According to insiders in the music industry, younger bands are toning down their on-stage antics due to concerns of hefty insurance bills charged to acts seen as dangerous. The Sun-Herald’s article Sex, drugs and public liability reported that in music’s good old days, smashing guitars, on-stage brawls and climbing trussing was the norm. Today, bands are considered wise to tone it down because “in an age of excessive insurance claims and increased security, how far can a band go before they are blacklisted by promoters?”

As always, there is a balance between risk and reward. Some bands may be willing to use precarious antics due to the entertainment value it offers fans.

However, given the current economic downturn, such behavior may become increasingly unpopular with insurers.

The Insurance Cycle

The insurance market cycle (and claims) significantly contribute to the actions of insurance companies regarding price, conditions of cover offered and the level of due diligence they apply when writing business.

A hard market is defined as one in which there is high demand for insurance but reduced supply of insurers and insurance products on the market. This typically occurs after a major catastrophe (such as the September 11 attacks) or financial downturns; both of which tend to contribute to insurers disappearing from the marketplace.

This lessening of competition for insurance companies means that those that continue to operate can increase premiums and adopt more restrictive conditions into their policies.

What does the Hard Market Mean for You?

Some insurance experts believe that due to the current global uncertainty in the financial sector, insurance markets are likely to harden in the near future. A hardening market means that insurance premiums will increase and this may coincide with increased scrutiny by insurers of prospective clients requiring them to demonstrate well documented risk management strategies. Given the capacity of a performer’s on-stage behavior to influence crowd behavior, the risk exists for expensive public claims.  It is no surprise then that some promoters are not prepared to carry acts that have ‘form’ in this area.