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Insurance For Independent Musicians – How to Get Covered

stethescopeI had a crazy thing happen to me in August of 2006 – my entire apartment went up in flames and I lost my home. This got me thinking about how important insurance is and I surveyed a few of the musicians we work with and an overwhelming amount of them had NO Insurance. So I did a little research and here’s what I learned…

I have listed the services I found from easiest to the more complicated to navigate.

First, I called Brian and Shoshana Zisk from The Future Of Music Coalition

They told me about HINT: The Health Insurance Navigation Tool. This is a FREE hotline that will talk you through the best possible insurance possibilities based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Shoshana also mentioned that she had all of her equipment stolen a few years ago and she found it at a pawn shop – however because she had no proof that the items were hers she could not get them back – so the

THOUSAND DOLLAR TIP for this newsletter is: If you can’t afford full insurance coverage for your equipment DO THIS:

Write down all of your serial numbers and take photos of everything and keep those on file (and not on your laptop which may also get stolen from your van on the road)

Here is the link to: HINT: The Health Insurance Navigation Tool

Are you a musician? Do you need advice or information about health insurance? You’re not alone. A 2001 FMC survey of 2,700 musicians revealed that the complicated process of obtaining health insurance overwhelmed many of them.

The goal of HINT is to provide informed, musician-friendly support and advice to curious musicians who need information about health insurance, for free.

There are two parts to HINT:

1. A number of number of articles that give an overview of the options available for musicians.

2. Second, they offer a free telephone advice service where you can talk to an insurance expert about your situation to understand your options.

We see this project as a safety net for those musicians who remain uninsured because of lack of support or clear information. Those musicians who reach out for help will get it.

I urge all of you to make an appt!


I also called Samantha Cox the Senior Director, Writer/Publisher Relations BMI and she told me that she directs all BMI members to Music Pro Insurance.

Music Pro

They offer instrument and equipment insurance if you are on the road and your van gets broken into, health insurance life insurance and even disability insurance. I am pretty sure that All BMI and ASCAP members qualify and according to Samantha the prices vary depending on where you live of course.

The “About” Section says: “We offer the advantage of one stop shopping with low ‘group rates,’ flexible options, and excellent service. MusicPro is endorsed by a rapidly growing list of professional music organizations, including MENC (National Association of Music Educators), the AFM (Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians), NARAS (the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) and ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers). MusicPro is also available through special offerings to Artists Services subscribers and Musician’s Friend Platinum Card Holders.

Another Tip Samantha gave was looking into AFTRA she said it’s a bit complicated to navigate but may be totally worth your while.


The insurance page is here:

The “About” Section says: “The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) is a national labor union representing over 70,000 performers, journalists and other artists working in the entertainment and news media.”

AFTRA’s scope of representation covers broadcast, public and cable television, radio, sound recordings,”non-broadcast” and industrial material as well as Internet and digital programming.

AFTRA’s membership includes an array of talent – sound recording membership includes artists who bring pop, rock, country, classical, folk, jazz, comedy, Latin, hip hop, rap and R&B to the world. AFTRA members perform in television and radio advertising, non-broadcast video, audio books and messaging, and provide their skills for developing technologies such as interactive games and Internet material.

Professional performers or broadcasters who wish to join AFTRA should contact their Local AFTRA office or the national membership department at (866) 855-5191 or by e-mail at

Ariel Hyatt founded Ariel Publicity & Cyber PR 11 years ago and her firm has worked with over 1,000 musicians and bands of all genres. The Ariel Publicity mission states that all artists deserve to be heard and there is a place for artists of every level to receive exposure. Ariel Hyatt has managed to place tens of thousands of artists in countless outlets from national magazines and TV to the most grassroots online fanzines. Her company is now 100% digital and helps artists increase their online exposure. She also runs a company that creates newsletters for musicians.

– Ariel Hyatt

Ariel Publicity’s Sound Advice is a free monthly e-zine for musicians & entrepreneurs who want marketing, promotion and PR tips for navigating the new music business. Sign Up here:



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