Though it may not be something that you have considered as an independent teaching artist, general liability insurance is an incredibly valuable asset. While a company will likely have some resources at its disposal should a legal situation arise, for an individual there is little more than your savings account standing between you and an insurance claim.
This insurance covers you for two things: 1) damage to a location and 2) injury to an uninvolved bystander or a student in one of your classes. It does not cover injury to your employees or your volunteers, or damage to your company property.
Some possible scenarios:
- You are teaching a class and a student falls while doing an exercise. They then sue you for medical expenses.
- One of your students accidentally knocks a hole in the wall of the classroom. The school requires you to pay for the damages.
When do you actually need it? Most schools and venues will not include you in their liability insurance coverage: instead, they will require that you show a certificate of insurance with them listed as additional insured as proof of your own coverage. Even if no one is currently requesting that you carry this insurance, it is an incredibly valuable thing to have: spending $500 on a policy now is much better than a $500,000 claim in the future. In addition, it will open up your options for additional work: since most schools require this coverage, you'll never be stuck having to say no to an unexpected opportunity again. At least, not because of your insurance coverage!
Since this is a solo operation, I don't have anyone I pay but I do shamelessly nag my friends to help me get my supplies ready. Done under duress or not, that's still considered volunteering. Do them a favor. Volunteer Accident
Luckily I have enough work that I can actually pay my teaching assistants. Nice job! Workers' Compensation