Theater Insurance Policy Information
Theater Insurance. Theater, in which live performers depict a play on a stage while members of the audience watch in specifically-designed seating, is among the world's oldest performing arts. Theaters themselves have undergone many changes over the years, of course.
Theaters are facilities built for large public gatherings: concerts, meetings, movies, plays, political events, or other types of programs. They can be open-air or covered. They generally have a stage in front and rows of seats for spectators. They may sell items at gift shops, snack bars, or restaurants. Liquor may be sold at some events.
Today's indoor theaters may be majestic buildings that feature specialized lighting and sound systems as well as valuable props, while outdoor theaters often make use of their natural surroundings to amplify the experience.
If you own and run a theater or are contemplating taking this step, your vision is one in which you provide an invaluable cultural venue for your community. Theater owners also, however, have to consider the many risks their business could be confronted with - all of which are associated with significant financial consequences.
To offer your business the best possible chance of surviving and even thriving despite a major mishap, it is essential to pay close attention to your insurance needs. What kinds of theater insurance coverage might be needed? Discover more in this short guide.
Theater insurance protects your venue from lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Below are some answers to commonly asked theater insurance questions:
- What Is Theater Insurance?
- How Much Does Theater Insurance Cost?
- Why Do Theaters Need Insurance?
- What Type Of Insurance Do Theaters Need?
- What Does Theater Insurance Cover & Pay For?
What Is Theater Insurance?
Theater insurance is a type of insurance coverage designed to protect theater companies, performing arts organizations, and individuals involved in live theater performances and events. This insurance can provide financial protection against various risks and liabilities associated with producing and performing live theater, such as injury or damage to actors or crew, damage to the theater or props, and legal claims related to copyright infringement or audience injuries. Some theater insurance policies may also cover lost income and expenses related to cancellations or postponements of performances.
How Much Does Theater Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small theaters ranges from $47 to $79 per month based on location, size, revenue, claims history and more.
Why Do Theaters Need Insurance?
As the owner of a theater, you will always strive to improve your business - but as risk and uncertainty are unavoidable, it is equally important to have a backup plan in place if something goes wrong. The right insurance coverage will help theaters to surmount the financial challenges associated with the many perils that could impact their facility.
Should your theater be struck by an act of nature like a wildfire, earthquake, flood, or big storm, the building and valuable equipment your business depends on could both be damaged severely.
A natural disaster will leave you unable to continue business, at least for a time, while also saddling you with massive repair bills. Theft and vandalism could deal a serious blow to any business, too.
Then, there are liability risks to think about. Should a member of the public be injured on your premises, or should an employee accidentally damage someone's vehicle while transporting lighting systems, for instance, it is not unlikely that you will face a costly lawsuit.
These scenarios do not begin to cover every challenge a theater could face, but it is apparent that many businesses would not be able to survive them if they had to cover all related costs on their own. With the right theater insurance, many of these expenses will be covered - so that your facility can recover, even when the worst happens.
What Type Of Insurance Do Theaters Need?
The modern insurance market offers businesses of any size a wide variety of different options, all of which defend you against a specific type of risk. The location of your theater, your number of employees, and the size of your operation are just some of the factors that influence the kinds of coverage you will require.
That is why it is crucial to talk through your options with a reputable commercial insurance agent who understands your field of commerce; together, you will be able to craft the insurance plan that best meets your needs. The kinds of theater insurance every venue needs, however, include:
- Commercial Property - If a major peril - like an act of nature, theft, or vandalism - destroys or damages your business property, this type of insurance helps you cover the repair and replacement costs that follow. While commercial property insurance does cover both buildings and assets within, theaters will want to know that specialized theatrical property insurance policies, which cover assets such as sound systems and valuable props, are also available.
- General Liability - This form of theater insurance serves to protect you from the financial fallout you would be confronted with if a third party - such as a vendor or customer - were to file a claim in which they allege that your company's activities led to bodily injury or property damage. It covers such expenses as attorney fees, medical bills, and repair costs.
- Workers Compensation - Employees can experience a wide variety of work-related injuries, ranging from chronic back pain caused by heavy lifting to those associated with robberies. If one of your employees is injured in the workplace, this form of insurance covers their medical expenses as well as any wages lost to work interruptions.
These types of insurance will all be essential to theaters, but you should be aware that theaters may also be additional theater insurance needs. Talking to a commercial insurance agent is an indispensable step that will allow you to explore all the possibilities
Theater's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is high due to the large number of visitors on premises. Public and life safety code compliance is very important. Good housekeeping is critical to preventing trips, slips, and falls. Events are often held in darkened areas. Escalators and elevators must be inspected regularly.
Floor coverings must be in good condition. Adequate lighting, marking of exits and egress are mandatory. Steps must have handrails, be well lit, marked, and in good repair. Balconies should be regularly inspected and maintained. Parking areas should be maintained free of snow and ice.
Security at events, in the building, corridors, and owned parking areas, needs to be carefully reviewed. There should be an evacuation plan for emergencies. The theater may present an attractive nuisance hazard when not in use.
There must be adequate security to prevent unauthorized entry to vandals or would-be terrorists. Personal injury losses may occur due to alleged wrongful removal, invasion of privacy, or discrimination. Contracts with suppliers, vendors, event planners, and performers must be clear as to all responsibilities.
Liquor liability exposure can be extensive if employees are not properly trained to recognize the effects of excessive alcohol consumption. There must be procedures in place for verifying the age of guests ordering alcoholic beverages and for refusing service to underage guests.
In addition, there should be a "cut-off" time well before the end of the event to prevent visitors from consuming excessive alcohol prior to driving home.
Products liability exposure comes from any item that is sold in a gift shop, snack bar, or restaurant. Employees should be trained in the proper handling of consumables to prevent foreign objects in food, food poisoning, or the spread of other transmissible diseases.
Workers compensation exposure is high. Employees who set up, build, or transport stage settings, equipment, lighting, and scenery have exposure to cuts, puncture wounds, electrical shocks and burns, slips and falls, or back injuries, hernias, strains, or sprains from lifting or working from awkward positions.
Stage and lighting setup may involve above-ground exposures that need additional protection and precautions to avoid falling from heights or being hit by falling objects. Ongoing exposure to noise levels can result in hearing impairment.
Food preparation operations can result in cuts, scrapes, and burns. Cleaning and maintenance operations can result in lung, eye or skin irritations, and reactions.
Employees responsible for collecting, counting, possessing and depositing money may be subject to hold-ups. Security personnel may suffer injury from hold ups or unruly patrons.
Property exposure is high due to the extensive wiring for lighting, electrical, sound systems, and other electronic equipment. Event sponsors and performers will often bring their own equipment that must be fitted into the electrical system provided by the theater. It must be in good repair, adequate for the equipment used, and meet all current building standards.
Circuit breakers and/or fuses must not be able to be overridden. Stage preparations such as building, painting, or gluing scenery and displays that use wood, plastic, or flammables will contribute to the fire load. These operations must be properly controlled with flammables stored in approved containers and cabinets. If there is a snack bar or restaurant, all cooking equipment must be properly controlled.
Smoking should be prohibited throughout the facility. Loss of power for any reason could result in spoilage of food items. Theaters may be a target for vandalism. Business income and extra expense loss potential is high because backup facilities are generally not available.
Equipment breakdown exposure may be high due to the heating and air conditioning systems, electrical control panels, lighting and sound equipment used for productions. Breakdown and loss of use could result in a significant loss, both direct and under time element, if replacements parts are unavailable or repair time is lengthy.
Crime exposures are due to employee dishonesty and money and securities. Background checks should be conducted on all employees and volunteers handling money. Ticket sales and receipts recording should be separate functions. There should be reconciliation required of all ticket agents.
All ordering, billing, and reimbursement must be separate functions. If tickets are sold at the theater, a significant amount of cash may accumulate. Cash areas should be stripped on a regular basis and receipts deposited at least nightly. There must be adequate security from guards.
Inland marine exposures are from audio-visual equipment, computers, fine arts, musical instruments, theatrical property, and valuable papers and records for contracts with performers, suppliers, and vendors. Values can be high due to the wide variety of equipment for sound, lighting, scenery, and displays.
Owned equipment taken off premises can be damaged in transit or stolen. Accounts receivable coverage may be needed if tickets are sold to season subscribers on an installment basis. If the theater assumes responsibility for the equipment of entertainers or other occupants while on the premises, bailees customers coverage should be considered.
Business auto exposure is generally limited to hired non-owned for employees running errands. If there is transportation of guests, performers, officials, or visitors, all drivers must be properly licensed and have acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be maintained on a regular basis with all service documented.
What Does Theater Insurance Cover & Pay For?
Theaters can be sued for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:
Slip and fall accidents: If a patron slips and falls on a wet floor or a poorly maintained staircase, the theater may be held liable for any injuries sustained. Insurance protection: General liability insurance can help cover the cost of medical bills, legal fees, and settlements resulting from slip and fall accidents.
Property damage: In the event that a patron's personal property is lost, stolen, or damaged while in the theater, the theater may be held liable.
Insurance protection: Property insurance can help cover the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property.
Employment disputes: Theaters can also face lawsuits from their employees, including claims of discrimination, harassment, or wrongful termination.
Insurance protection: Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) can help cover legal fees and settlements resulting from employment disputes.
Copyright infringement: Theaters may be sued for showing copyrighted material without permission.
Insurance protection: Media liability insurance can help cover legal fees and settlements resulting from copyright infringement claims.
Product liability: If a product sold or used in the theater (such as a faulty seat or projector) causes injury or damage, the theater may be held liable.
Insurance protection: Product liability insurance can help cover the cost of legal fees and settlements resulting from product liability claims.
Overall, theaters can protect themselves from lawsuits by carrying a variety of insurance policies, including general liability, property, employment practices liability, media liability, and product liability insurance. These policies can help cover the cost of legal fees, settlements, and damages resulting from lawsuits.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: 5812 Eating Places, 6512 Operators Of Nonresidential Buildings, 7832 Motion Picture Theaters, Except Drive-In, 7922 Theatrical Producers (Except Motion Picture) And Miscellaneous
- NAICS CODE: 512131 Motion Picture Theaters (except Drive-Ins), 711110 Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters, 711310 Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events with Facilities
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 9082 Restaurant NOC, 9083 Restaurant: Fast Food, 9084 Bar, Discotheque, Lounge, Nightclub or Tavern, 9154 Theater NOC - All Other Employees, 9156 Theater NOC - Players, Entertainers, or Musicians
Description for 5812: Eating Placess
Division G: Retail Trade | Major Group 58: Eating And Drinking Places | Industry Group 581: Eating And Drinking Places
5812 Eating Places: Establishments primarily engaged in the retail sale of prepared food and drinks for on-premise or immediate consumption. Caterers and industrial and institutional food service establishments are also included in this industry.
- Automats (eating places)
- Box lunch stands
- Buffets (eating places)
- Carry-out restaurants
- Coffee shops
- Commissary restaurants
- Concession stands, prepared food (e.g., in airports and sports arenas)
- Contract feeding
- Dairy bars
- Diners (eating places)
- Dining rooms
- Dinner theaters
- Drive-in restaurants
- Fast food restaurants
- Food bars
- Food service, institutional
- Frozen custard stands
- Grills (eating places)
- Hamburger stands
- Hot dog (frankfurter) stands
- Ice cream stands
- Industrial feeding
- Lunch bars
- Lunch counters
- Oyster bars
- Pizza parlors
- Refreshment stands
- Restaurants, carry-out
- Restaurants, fast food
- Sandwich bars or shops
- Snack shops
- Soda fountains
- Soft drink stands
- Submarine sandwich shops
- Tea rooms
- Theaters, dinner
Description for 6512: Operators Of Nonresidential Buildings
Division H: Finance, Insurance, And Real Estate | Major Group 65: Real Estate | Industry Group 651: Real Estate Operators (except Developers) And Lessors
6512 Operators Of Nonresidential Buildings: Establishments primarily engaged in the operation of nonresidential buildings.
- Bank buildings, operation of
- Insurance buildings, operation of
- Lessors of piers, docks, and associated buildings and facilities
- Operators of commercial and industrial buildings
- Operators of nonresidential buildings
- Retail establishments, property operation only
- Shopping centers, property operation only
- Theater buildings (ownership and operation)
Description for 7832: Motion Picture Theaters, Except Drive-In
Division I: Services | Major Group 78: Motion Pictures | Industry Group 783: Motion Picture Theaters
7832 Motion Picture Theaters, Except Drive-In: Commercially operated theaters primarily engaged in the indoor exhibition of motion pictures.
- Motion picture exhibitors for airlines
- Motion picture exhibitors, itinerant
- Theaters, motion picture: except drive-in
Description for 7922: Theatrical Producers (Except Motion Picture) And Miscellaneous
Division I: Services | Major Group 79: Amusement And Recreation Services | Industry Group 792: Theatrical Producers (except Motion Picture)
7922 Theatrical Producers (Except Motion Picture) And Miscellaneous: Establishments primarily engaged in providing live theatrical presentations, such as road companies and summer theaters. This industry also includes services allied with theatrical presentations, such as casting agencies; booking agencies for plays, artists, and concerts; scenery, lighting, and other equipment services; and theatrical ticket agencies. Also included in this industry are producers of live and taped radio programs and commercials and producers of live television programs. Establishments primarily engaged in the production of taped television programs and commercials are classified in Industry 7812. Theaters which are normally rented to theatrical producers and stock companies are classified in Real Estate, Industry 6512. Motion picture theaters and motion picture service industries are classified in Major Group 78. Establishments primarily engaged in operating dinner theaters are classified in Retail Trade, Industry 5812.
- Agents or managers for entertainers
- Agents, talent: theatrical
- Ballet production
- Booking agencies, theatrical: except motion picture
- Burlesque companies
- Casting agencies, theatrical: except motion picture
- Community theater productions
- Concert management service
- Costume design, theatrical
- Employment agencies: theatrical, radio, and television-except motion
- Legitimate theater producers
- Opera companies
- Performing arts center productions
- Plays (road companies and stock companies)
- Radio programs, including commercials: producers of
- Rental of theatrical scenery
- Repertory or stock companies, theatrical
- Road companies, theatrical
- Scenery design, theatrical
- Stock companies, theatrical
- Summer theaters, except dinner theaters
- Television programs (including commercials): live
- Theatrical companies
- Theatrical equipment rental
- Theatrical lighting on a contract basis
- Theatrical production, except motion picture
- Theatrical ticket agencies
- Vaudeville companies
Theater Insurance - The Bottom Line
To learn more about the specific types of theater insurance policies you'll need and how much coverage you should carry along with costs, consult with a reputable business insurance broker.
Additional Resources For Arts & Recreation Insurance
Read up on small business arts and recreation commercial insurance.
- Amusement Parks
- Archery Ranges
- Athletic Fields
- Billiard And Pool Halls
- Bowling Alleys
- Cave Tours
- Dance Studio
- Disc Jockey DJ
- Drive-In Theaters
- Entertainers And Performers
- Event Planning
- Fairs And Fairgrounds
- Film Production
- Fine Art
- Guides & Outfitters
- Handball & Racquetball Courts
- Horse & Dog Racetracks
- Indoor Sports Complexes
- Interior Decorator
- Interior Design
- Motorsports Racetracks
- Photo Booth
- Recording Studio
- Recreation Centers
- Riding Stables
- Roller Sakting Rinks
- Shooting Ranges
- Skeet & Trap Shooting Ranges
- Ski Resorts
- Talent Agency
- Tennis Centers
- Video Arcades
- Wedding And Special Event
- Specialty Arts And Antiques
- Specialty Clubs And Leisure Time Activities
- Specialty Entertainment
The arts and recreation industry is a vital part of our society and culture, providing entertainment and enjoyment for people of all ages. However, as with any business, there are inherent risks and potential liabilities that can arise. This is where insurance comes into play.
One of the main reasons the arts and recreation industry needs insurance is to protect against financial losses due to accidents or injuries. For example, if a performer is injured while rehearsing or performing, their medical bills and lost wages could be significant. Without insurance, the cost of these expenses could potentially bankrupt a small arts organization.
In addition to protecting against accidents and injuries, business insurance can also cover damages or losses due to weather events, natural disasters, and other unexpected circumstances. For example, if a theater is forced to cancel a performance due to a power outage or extreme weather, insurance can help cover lost income and expenses.
Another important aspect of commercial insurance for the arts and recreation industry is liability coverage. This type of insurance can protect against legal claims and lawsuits if someone is injured or becomes ill while attending an event or using facilities. For example, if a patron slips and falls at a theater, they may file a lawsuit against the venue for damages. Liability insurance can help cover the costs of legal fees and any settlement or judgement.
Overall, the arts and recreation industry needs insurance to protect against financial losses and legal liabilities that can arise in the course of business. Without commercial insurance, small arts organizations and recreational facilities could be vulnerable to financial ruin in the face of unexpected events or accidents.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Income with Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Commercial Articles Floater, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Umbrella Liability, Hired and Non-owned Auto Liability & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Bailees Customers Floater, Money and Securities, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices Liability, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.