A member has asked about whether the Celebrant Institute membership includes insurance. It doesn’t, and we’ll be honest with you, that’s because we reached out to a bunch of insurance brokers and insuring you lot in such a general way turned out to be so expensive and hard, that it wouldn’t be worth it for you, or for us, to offer such a broad stroke of insurance, when each of your businesses are so unique and personal.
So here’s the seven insurances I think every wedding celebrant should at least consider, and of course you need to do your own research and consider your own circumstances.
Please note that this is general information only and should not replace financial or professional insurance advice. Talk to a licensed insurance broker, business advisor or insurer for detailed advice.
None of this information has been influenced by an outside business and we have received no payments or discounts for offering this information.
When I’m at a wedding, there is about $9000 worth of equipment with me, and in my home office, another $4000 worth. If that equipment fails, is damaged, or stolen, I’d like to be able to make a claim.
Loss of income insurance
This is a more personal item for you to attack with your family, an insurance broker, and your superannuation fund (you are contributing to super right?), but if something was to happen to you personally, in regards to your health – would you have insurance to cover that?
Public Liability Insurance
Some businesses in some states are required by law or registration to have public liability insurance, but to the best of my knowledge, marriage celebrants are not required to have public liability. However many wedding venues require contractors on their premises to have public liability insurance, as do many wedding events, fairs, expos.
The Commonwealth Government website describes public liability insurance as:
Public liability insurance covers you for third party death or injury. It helps protect you and your business when you’re liable for negligence. For example, if your business causes:
- injury or death, such as your food making a customer sick
- negligent advice (for some occupations), such as saying a generator can power a business in a blackout and it doesn’t, causing a loss
- nervous shock, such as emotional distress or a recognised psychiatric illnesses
- property damage, such as causing a fire
- consequential loss, which occurs in very rare cases where negligence causes another business to lose expected revenue.
Going through that list leaves me thinking that there’s a very small risk of a professional celebrant ever being caught up in one of those situations, however, here’s some possibilities:
- Your PA system is a poor quality system, maybe a cheap import from China and it’s electrical wiring isn’t up to the Australian safety standard and it starts a fire. This kind of thing has literally killed people, even in Australia, in regard to cheap phone chargers.
- Your microphone stand, or speaker stand, or any of your furniture or equipment, could be a trip hazard and lead to injury or death.
- I wonder how wide-ranging the negligent advice could go for a marriage celebrant to a newlywed couple?
- A consequential loss could occur maybe if you were late, or ran so overtime, that it caused the caterer to perhaps lose revenue?
- I wonder how exposed you would be to a claim if someone died from heatstroke in a ceremony and you had given advice to have it in a sunny location at a certain time?
- Your ceremony was so boring it put someone into a coma? I’m sorry, I had to joke.
So many of these scenarios seem far-fetched, but when protection is easy and affordable, and we live in a litigious time, public liability insurance for $10 million or $20 million doesn’t seem silly. I’m insured for $20M because some wedding venues and expos have required that in the past.
I’m not here to tell you how to live your life, but if the vessel that brings you to weddings isn’t insured for accidental damage, windscreen replacement, a hire car if it’s off the road, third party personal injury insurance, and more, then that’s your phone call to make on the day of someone’s wedding.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Professional indemnity insurance works toward covering the cost of legal action due to your professional advice as a marriage celebrant. It may cover breaches of contract, or you giving poor legal advice.
I’d say this is important for Commonwealth authorised marriage celebrants who operate in and around the Marriage Act and other pertinent pieces of legislation.
Cyber Liability Insurance
The government insurance website describes cyber liability insurance as:
Cyber liability insurance protects your business against cybercrime. This insurance covers the cost of keeping your data secure as well as the expenses from the disruption to your business. Talk to an insurance broker or insurer about your options.
In simple terms, you know all those NOIMs, marriage certificates, scans of passports and birth certificates, that live in your computer – that’s a massive liability against your integrity and business operation.
Insurance against this is a last stop, so before you buy insurance I would work really hard at increasing your computer security, and deleting data you no longer need.
I spend about $600 a year for annual multi-trip travel insurance so that if I’m more than 100km away from home, for personal or wedding travel, I am well protected. If you work in those realms as well, it’s the best $600 I spend every year, and that covers my family too.
Who do I use?
Personally, I change car insurer every year because the incentives are to do so, and if you stay the price goes up and there’s no sign up bonus. For equipment, public liability, and indemnity insurance I use Duck For Cover because they’re pretty good, and for travel insurance I use Qantas.