I don't perfess to be an expert on this but have been in the industry in the US for a few years both as free lance temporary employee and as management level Master Electrician
on the corporate lighting company level
. Absolute most important, know your crap and if not ask lots. Beyond this, insurance is always a good thing but scaling what's covered verses what you are not really expected to be responsible for is a good thing or important to understand sufficient. Fresh out of college and part of a crew type people don't need insurance in my opinion. At that point
you are part of a crew of people working for an employer that supervises your work. The liability is theirs in doing work specified and supervised by who is telling you to show up at what time of day.
On the other hand
, once you get into more management level
or such as per the designer or person such as ME or master rigger, TD or master carpenter
free lance or not, personal liability insurance would probably be a good thing - this especially if free lance. In this case, your expertise and services are hired to manage the project as opposed to just working on it with supervision. On the other hand
there is a grey area of your experience and qualification by those hiring you for the job still ensuring that their company practices were followed no matter what level
of employee you are which could potentially also cover
you. For instance, it probably would not matter what a designer specifies, it’s both the Master Carpenter
or Master Electrician
, much less Master Rigger and TD over all that are charged with pipe dream realities in safety
. That said the designer can still have responsibility.
In the end, if a serious problem and only a free lance worker - not representing a DJ company or having above and beyond that in your name, it's possible you don't need insurance. All that's going to happen in the US as with here is that the lawyers will go after the big money after taking yours or what’s left after lawyer fees. An honest insurance agent or better yet lawyer one should have and consult once in a while about tax issues and other stuff hopefully will say what level
realistically you would need and it's not in the millions even for a management role
in the production most probably I would expect. Could be very dependant upon one’s country and status but it no doubt would be at no level
over what one might hope to afford.
There is probably a difference here in what's a more corporate even DJ insurance as a company and what free lance workers are required to hold or even have to cover
the work they do while working as a sub-contractor as it were for another company that does have the insurance and the contract. The UK might be different but I doubt by much in requiring some even high school kid to buy a insurance policy to cover
what they will make mistakes on that's more expensive than they will be able to afford.
Overall, it's probably 100% possible that if a free-lance person, when there is a problem, such as the last big night club disaster, you will probably become mentioned personally in the law suit. This no matter if free lance or employee by the way. On the other hand
, beyond fees from defending yourself your own liability even if you spend the next couple of years funding will probably be fair in end result insurance or not. You screw up big time and probably should spend some years helping to pay for the mistake perhaps.
Not intendant to be flippid by way of some pyro
person said to be out by the exit door smoking and choking with a security guard while watching the wall catching on fire instead of putting it out and other details about the job, but this stage hand
- not qualified for doing his job also was not worth much to sue. What are you going to get from the tech person before he realistically was able to file for bankruptcy given the few hundred bucks in his bank account was in doubt?
Not nice, but in a realistic sense, raise your hands here as to who has more than a few hundred or even thousand dollars in their bank account worth winning a law suit over? Than much worldly possessions worth someone going after you directly in the end.
Again I don't live in the UK and were I even in the US free lance in my pay grade, I would have some form of insurance for what I do, but that's at the management level
and as employee on productions where by now if free lance I will have also incorporated.
Advice to all in the industry is to have a lawyer you meet with in general to set you up initially getting into the business or on any questions of liability and an accountant that specializes in the industry if free lance. This all for a small fee in addition to meeting with the family insurance agent all at least once initially. See what each says about your status and balance each with your future needs.
Only after each has had a visit should one at least in the US worry about what you as just a tech person and especially one starting out in the industry should plan for and fund.