Nashville insurance insight: What musicians, photographers and other creatives should know


Nashville is a unique place to live for a lot of reasons, not the least of which being our healthy congregation of professional musicians, songwriters, photographers and other creatives.

Even those of us with straight-laced jobs know how hard of a slog it is to stabilize a creative career, and I have immense respect for neighbors who make it happen, and appreciation for a city that supports the hustle.

A funny, frustrating thing about creative jobs like these, though: It’s necessary to amass loads of expensive equipment, and usually just as necessary to haul it around to less-than-locked-down locations, like dark rock clubs, open parks and Motel 6 parking lots.

The kicker:

Creative professionals tend to be chronically under-insured, and people in my industry don’t reach out to musicians and artists enough to change that.

Just as an example, one study of U.S.-based artists showed that 43 percent didn’t have health insurance — more than double the general population’s uninsured rate of 17 percent. The same goes for other kinds of insurance.

“Most artists don’t think about insurance until after a catastrophe,” says Emily Gray, who works with creative entrepreneur-focused nonprofit Fractured Atlas. My experience definitely bears that out.


A costly and incorrect assumption


A common reason behind creative professionals’ insurance lapses: an assumption that their equipment is covered under homeowners or renters insurance.

That’s an understandable, but largely incorrect assumption.

Depending on your particular policy, yes, your home or renters insurance might cover some of the tools of your trade. But if you’re a professional artist with valuable gear that’s used primarily for your livelihood, your home/renters coverage probably ranges, at best, from scant to far from enough.

Most homeowners and renters insurance policies have pretty low limits on items that are primarily used for business — a really good policy might hover around $5,000. I know drummers whose cymbals alone ran almost that much. Photographers might be able to replace their camera body, if that.

In other cases, your profit-making tools might fall outside the purview of your policy altogether. So, say, your home — including your home photography studio — is robbed. Your KitchenAid stand mixer would be covered. Your expensive and money-making camera lenses probably wouldn’t be.


What a creative professional needs to be adequately insured


Forgive me if I get a little nagging-grandma, but stuff happens, with alarming regularity.

I shared a bunch of statistics on things like fires and burglary in this post about renters insurance. And I know most Nashville musicians don’t really need a reminder, but search Gofundme for “band robbed,” any day of the week. It hurts.

Bottom line: Getting insured is important, and whether you call me or not, I hope you’ll sort yours out.

What I tend to recommend to my photographer/artist/musician clients:

a business owners policy, or BOP.


photo studio.jpg

What these cover:

— the spaces you work in, and the equipment you work with

— business interruption, i.e. the income you might lose in the wake of a fire/robbery/etc. that takes out your tools or your workspace

— liability, in the case of something like a club claiming you damaged their flooring loading in your gear

With a BOP, you and your equipment are covered everywhere in the world, so if you travel even semi-consistently, this is an especially smart and valuable thing to have.


The cost of getting your creative business insured


Like all insurance options, the cost is going to depend on how much coverage you need and a mix of factors specific to you.

But just as an example, let’s say you’re a touring guitar player whose equipment totals around $20,000. A business owners policy that’d sufficiently cover your property/liability would probably run you somewhere around $50/$70 a month.

Ballpark average I see here in Nashville, for a mid-range working musician/artist: $500 to $1000 a year. It’s not prohibitively expensive, but it is extremely valuable.


Further reading


Here’s a really good recent rundown of why artists really should — but sadly, often don’t — get properly insured, from contemporary art outlet Artspace.

It’s focused on visual art, but the sentiments are applicable, and I think it’s a worthwhile read if this post has your wheels turning.

If you have any other questions about making sure you’re insured in Nashville — for your business, home, car, etc. — I’m always happy to help. Just give me a call or send me an email, or grab a quick online quote right here at

Any other insurance-related topics you’d like to see me write about here? Feedback welcome, always.