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Accidents happen, and when they do you can be held liable. Dance Instructor Insurance means no more worrying about the unpredictable events that take place during one of your dance classes. And if you’re an independent instructor, most dance studios require independent contractors to carry their own liability insurance and provide proof of coverage.
Dance Instructor General Liability insurance protects you if someone sues you for damage to their property, bodily injuries incurred on business premises, copyright or brand infringement in your advertising or marketing materials, and damage to someone’s reputation (libel or slander).
Because dance instruction is considered a fairly low-risk profession, the cost for Dance Instructor insurance is lower than that of other professions. Most instructors can find peace of mind with ample coverage for less than $200 a year.
Dance instructors should be aware of any independent contractor agreements they sign with dance studio owners/operators. These agreements may include heavy-handed indemnification/hold harmless provisions that require the dance instructor to assume the liability that would ordinarily belong to the studio, even when the studio is 100% negligent. In this case, the dance instructor should attempt negotiations to modify any unfavorable provisions.
Why Dance Instructors Need Liability Insurance
Dance students can suffer accidents severe enough that they sue you for damages. Dance Instructor insurance covers the medical costs incurred, attorney fees and court costs if a lawsuit if filed, and even lost wages for the time spent defending yourself.
For example, say a student in your class falls and suffers a broken ankle while practicing a dance move. He or she could claim negligence on your part, alleging the move was intended for a more advanced student or that he or she wasn’t being supervised properly. Without insurance, just one claim could bankrupt you professionally and personally, regardless of whether the allegations have merit or not.
All dance instructors should consider adding to their General Liability the following enhancements:
Professional Liability: Unlike General Liability, which covers lawsuits that primarily allege bodily injury or property damage, Professional Liability covers lawsuits stemming from the delivery of your personal trainer services. Examples include claims for economic damages from students not reaching career goals, loss of scholarships, or loss of a professional dance opportunity.
Abuse/Molestation: Because of dressing room situations and the close proximity of the teacher to the student, dance instructors can be targets for allegations of inappropriate comments, inappropriate touching, and inappropriate sexual relationships.
Risk Management for Dance Instructors
When you understand your risks as a dance instructor, you can take preventative measures.
Below are basic safety tips to follow that can lower your risk of a claim.
- Have a policy for proper footwear and review is all students and parents.
- Inspect the floor daily for wet spots, damaged or loose flooring, protruding nails or screws.
- Keep on hand or make sure a first-aid kit is on premises during lessons.
- Have a strong liability waiver and require all students to sign it. We offer a free template, but you can consult an attorney for help with creating one tailored to your needs. We encourage you to read our article that answers the question whether waivers are worth the paper they’re written on.
Please click here to access our free risk management resources, including sample waiver liability and emergency medical forms.
Supervision of Students
You risk management responsibilities should be clear not only to you, but to anyone you employ, particularly younger teachers and assistants. That being said, supervision of students is critical.
- Review written disciplinary policies with students and parents.
- Maintain an instructor-to-student ratio appropriate for each age group and skill level.
- Take extra precautions to avoid falls for aerial and lift moves.
Eligible dance disciplines include:
- Belly Dancing
- Folk Dancing
- Hip Hop
- Tumbling (no gymnastics apparatus)