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Public liability insurance - the professional way

Organisations often require community musicians, whatever their field of practice, to carry their own public liability insurance. This is to protect against any compensation arising out of injury to third parties and damage to third party property. Having public liability insurance isn’t just peace of mind, it marks a musician out as a professional.

Taking out public liability insurance as an individual can be very expensive. That is where the strength of Sound Sense as a professional association comes in. Detailed discussions with a specialist insurance broker have resulted in the development of a public liability insurance scheme, arranged by Sound Sense exclusively for its members.

Sound Sense members are automatically covered by £10m public and products liability insurance. The policy meets the demands and needs of individuals working on any activity connected to community music, music therapy, or teaching of music requiring insurance against their legal liabilities to pay compensation arising out of injury to thirds parties and damage to third party property.

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If you are already a Sound Sense member, you'll find further information on your insurance benefit in the Members area. Login here to gain access.

All you need to know about Sound Sense insurance
How do I know someone is covered by the Sound Sense members’ public liability insurance scheme?
  1. Look up the name of the member at Find a musician. Those covered by the scheme - individual members paying at the "earning" rate and up to date with their subscriptions - carry the flag Insured Through Sound Sense
  2. If you need a printed certificate, ask the Sound Sense member to provide this. But because a member’s subscription may lapse or be cancelled at any time, you should still check Find a musician to make sure their insurance is currently in force.
  3. To check that Sound Sense itself is covered, view their master certificate of insurance here
What does the insurance cover?

In brief, and subject to the terms and conditions of the full policy, the policy covers relevant Sound Sense members for their legal liability for damages including claimant legal costs for accidental Injury to any person or accidental loss or damage to third party property while:

  • undertaking any activity connected with the organisation or participation in community music activities
  • or music therapy
  • or while carrrying out general teaching of music
  • or for any other musical activities provided your income from those other musical activities does not exceed £7,500 a year.

The cover is for £10,000,000 any one claim (any one period in respect of products liability) with an excess of £250 for property damage claims.

The cover is worldwide excluding the United States of America and Canada, provided the member is usually resident within the UK. Relevant overseas members are covered for work undertaken in the United Kingdom but not work in any other territory.

You can view the key facts of the policy here. You can see the full detailed policy here.

Who does the insurance cover?

It covers only named individual members paying at the "earning" rate and up to date with their subscriptions. It does not cover, for example, all the members of a band or a choir.

All the benefits of Sound Sense membership and which membership categories they relate to are described in our membership information pack. See here for more information, or go straight to downloading the pack here

If I join, when does my insurance start?

If you pay through our PayPal account, we can confirm your membership, and the start of your cover, usually within a couple of working days.

If you pay by direct debit, your insurance cover commences as soon as your Sound Sense membership is recorded on our database, usually within ten working days of us receiving us your properly filled-in enrolment form.

Note that if your direct debit mandate is rejected or your PayPal payment is reversed you will be treated as not having joined and never having been covered by our insurance.

Is cover retrospective?

Sound Sense took out this insurance from 1 April 2009, and incidents occurring before that date are not covered by this insurance; music therapy work before 10 October 2012 is not covered. Any incidents occurring after those dates but while the member was not paying subscriptions in the appropriate category are not covered: you can check this for any particular date and member by contacting Sound Sense. For incidents occuring before 1 April 2014 the limit of cover was £5,000,000.

Who provides this insurance?

Hencilla Canworth act as insurance brokers for Sound Sense, and this policy is underwritten by by a consortium of insurers led by Royal & SunAlliance Insurance plc (until 1 April 2014, by International Insurance Company of Hannover Limited).

Hencilla Canworth Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Royal & SunAlliance Insurance plc and all other consortium insurers are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. See the summary policy for details of regulation and contacts.

Come and join us
Membership of Sound Sense offers some brilliant benefits, which are all about supporting you in your work.