Disc jockey (DJ) insurance isn’t a specific policy. The term refers to all the policies that protect professional DJs against business losses related to expensive equipment or stemming from interactions with hosts, party guests, and venues where they work. Depending on the carrier, DJ liability insurance typically costs between $180 to $450 per month.
Simply Business makes getting DJ insurance easy. It offers primary coverages like general liability, professional liability, and errors and omissions. It can help you find affordable and tailor-made insurance options from premiere insurance providers like Markel, CNA, Hiscox, and Travelers. Get started online in minutes.
How DJ Insurance Works
DJ insurance is the term used to describe different policies professional DJs, video jockeys (VJs), and karaoke jockeys (KJs) need to cover their business risks. It is no surprise that DJs, VJs, and KJs need insurance since both the nature of their work and their frequent travel from one event to another increase their level of risk. For instance, most DJs need a business owner’s policy (BOP). By combining general liability and commercial property insurance, BOPs cover DJs’ most common problems: lawsuits involving third parties and damage to their own equipment.
Essentially, the different policies that make up DJ insurance match events that might cause DJs to lose money. Most can’t earn money if they can’t use their equipment, so they need commercial property coverage. Also, given that DJs can be sued by venue owners and partygoers, general liability insurance is essential.
DJs also face risks because they travel between venues. That may require commercial auto insurance for their car, plus inland marine insurance for their equipment when it’s in transit.
Pro tip: Whether they work regularly or are only booked for a few jobs a year, DJs need to secure liability insurance. It protects their assets by paying medical bills and legal fees when they’re blamed for either physical injury or property damage.
DJ Insurance Costs
Just as no two DJs are the same, no two DJ liability insurance policies are alike. Your specific cost depends partly on what kind of events you play, how many you book each year, and how much money you make. A DJ who mainly performs at private events averages about $260 a year for DJ liability insurance.
However, many insurers offer coverage for significantly shorter time periods. A three-day policy for a DJ who books private events can cost as little as $60. These short-term policies are often offered as special event coverage.
DJ Insurance Costs & Deductibles by Policy Term
$1 Million Occurrence/$2 Million Aggregate
$180 to $450
$0 to $1,000
$150 to $200
$500 to $1,000
$1 Million Occurrence/$2 Million Aggregate
$600 to $1,000
$500 to $1,000
$3,800 to $4,200
The chart compares the average costs of getting DJ liability insurance and property insurance separately rather than in a BOP. Combining liability and property coverages in a BOP usually results in a lower overall cost. Additionally, comparing policy terms among different insurance providers and brokers can give you a good picture of how much you should be paying for insurance.
For example, a DJ liability insurance policy that covers hired and nonowned autos makes sense if you always rent trucks, even if it will cost more on your end.
The premiums listed are averages and might increase for DJs who:
- Want property coverage for their equipment in transit and at venues
- Need higher limits
- Incorporate light shows, fireworks, or other performers in their acts
- Book gigs in nightclubs
- Have shows that run past 2 a.m.
- Play to larger crowds
Pro tip: Setting liability limits is dependent on the kind of equipment you have, so when you discuss liability limits with your insurance agent, you need to take this into account.
Types of DJ Insurance
One popular DJ insurance policy is a BOP. It combines commercial property and general liability coverage into an affordable package. However, mobile DJs also need inland marine insurance to protect their property at venues.
Most Common Types of DJ Insurance
Type of Insurance
What it Covers
General Liability Insurance
Third-party claims of bodily injury, property damage, and advertising injury
Commercial Property Insurance
Value of business property when it is lost, stolen, or damaged
Inland Marine Insurance
Value of business property that is lost, stolen, or damaged in transit
Commercial Auto Insurance
Value of business vehicle when it is stolen or damaged and the policyholder’s liability in accidents
While these are the most common policies they buy, DJs may need additional coverage if they have other risks. For instance, DJs with employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in most states.
Most DJs qualify for a BOP. BOPs typically combine general liability insurance with commercial property insurance. For DJs, insurance providers often add other key coverage, like commercial auto and inland marine, at a reduced rate.
DJ General Liability Insurance
DJ general liability insurance covers your interactions with people who aren’t your employees, such as clients, venue owners, and party guests or audience members. If one of these people accuses you of causing their injury or property damage, general liability covers the costs. General liability insurance also covers lawsuits regarding copyright infringement and defamation.
Say, for example, your sound system blows a circuit and a spectator is injured fumbling around in the dark. DJ liability insurance typically pays their medical bills or your legal fees if they sue. It also pays if an artist claims you used his or her music without permission.
General liability is a fundamental insurance policy. Pretty much anyone who runs a business needs general liability insurance, including DJs who only book a few gigs a year. Coverage for copyright infringement might be particularly attractive for DJs who post samples or remixes online. However, some insurers may exclude copyright infringement from DJ insurance, so check your policy.
Pro tip: Part-time DJs who only book two to three weddings per year don’t need annual DJ liability insurance; they can meet their liability needs with event insurance instead.
DJ Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial property insurance covers workspaces your business owns, plus the items within them. If your items are damaged or stolen, commercial property pays the amount you insured them for, minus your deductible, so you can repair or replace them.
DJs, video DJs (VJs), and karaoke DJs (KJs) who own their equipment and cannot afford to replace it immediately need commercial property insurance because it helps them get back to work faster. DJs may also need property insurance if they work out of a building that they own other than their house.
DJs may not need commercial property insurance if they:
- Rent their equipment: Rented equipment is typically excluded from commercial property insurance; DJ liability insurance often excludes damage caused by rented and borrowed equipment too.
- Rent business space: Commercial landlords are responsible for their own property coverage; however, most protect their interests by requiring tenants to have general liability insurance.
- Work out of their home: A standalone commercial property policy may be too much coverage for a home-based DJ business, but you still need business insurance; other options include a BOP, a business rider on your home insurance, or an in-home business policy.
Pro tip: A homeowners’ policy won’t cover a business that you operate out of your home and won’t usually cover business activities. You can either get a BOP or include a business rider in your home insurance to cover your DJ equipment. If neither works, your last option is to get standalone commercial property and general liability insurance.
You can learn more about home-based business policies here.
DJ Inland Marine Insurance
Inland marine insurance is a type of property insurance that covers your equipment when it’s being moved from one place to another. Commercial property insurance only covers your belongings when they’re in a specific location. Inland marine picks up where property insurance stops, covering your property when it’s damaged or destroyed in transit.
DJs who own expensive equipment and transport it to different venues need inland marine insurance. You might also need it if you borrow another DJ’s equipment. For instance, if you borrow another DJ’s karaoke machine, you become a bailee. You’re responsible for the karaoke machine as long as it is in your care.
DJs don’t need inland marine if they contract with venues that have their own equipment. They also might not need coverage if they typically rent trucks, as most truck rental companies sell coverage to protect the renter’s property.
DJ Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial auto insurance covers the cars, vans, and trucks your DJ business owns. At a minimum, most states require liability coverage so that you can pay damages if you’re responsible for an accident. However, as with your personal auto insurance, you can add other coverage if you’re willing to spend more.
Examples of additional commercial coverage includes:
- Medical payments: Covers injuries you and your passengers sustain
- Collision: Covers damage to your car
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist: Covers costs when the other driver is responsible for damage but cannot pay
DJs who have cars registered to their businesses are required to have commercial auto coverage, but those who drive their own cars for work may need it too. Personal auto insurance usually excludes business driving, so accidents between gigs may not be covered. However, DJs who always rent vans or trucks can skip commercial auto insurance.
DJ Equipment Breakdown Insurance
Equipment breakdown insurance provides funds that can help protect your company’s electronic equipment from sudden malfunctions. While commercial property insurance covers damages due to external causes, such as fires, equipment breakdown insurance covers damages caused by internal forces like power surges.
DJs would be wise to include equipment breakdown insurance on top of commercial property insurance to ensure their equipment is covered when unforeseen problems occur before or after an event.
Other Types of DJ Insurance
Most DJs work alone, but they may need additional coverage if they have employees.
Here are three common insurance policies for DJs with employees:
- Workers’ compensation insurance: Employers are required to carry workers’ compensation in most states; it pays for employees’ work-related injuries and illnesses, covering their medical bills and lost wages.
- Commercial crime insurance: This policy covers employees stealing from your business or your clients; it does not include illegal acts committed by you or your business partners.
- Hired and nonowned auto insurance: Hired and nonowned auto (HNOA) covers your liability in cars you rent, hire, or borrow, so you may want a policy if you regularly rent vans to haul equipment. You may also need this coverage if you send employees in their own cars to perform job-related tasks like checking out a new venue.
Of these three, workers’ compensation is the only one mandated by law. HNOA and commercial crime coverage may be a good idea, depending on your unique risks.
Interested to learn which insurance provider or broker is best suited to you? Check out our buyers’ guide specifically for DJs.
DJs tend to focus on liability insurance, and for good reason. They face many liability exposures because of the number of people they interact with and the equipment they use. By getting insured, DJs are not only protecting their assets but are meeting the contractual requirement set by many venues that they have an insurance policy.
However, DJs should also consider getting additional coverage for risks such as property theft and automobile accidents.
DJs can easily get liability insurance with Simply Business. Its online application is short, and it compares quotes from top national insurance providers to get you the right policy at an affordable price. Get a free quote and get started today.