As Acro teachers, we take every possible step to eliminate accidents or injuries in our classes. Practicing new tricks on mats, making sure students are mentally focused, spending time on conditioning/fitness each class, following safe and logical progressions, and learning effective spotting techniques all play a big part in keeping your studio safe.
Even when you do all of the above and are confident in your abilities as an Acro Dance teacher (as you should be!) it is still of the utmost importance to have insurance coverage should anything go wrong.
Why Do I Need to be Insured?
It is essential to have insurance as a dance and/or Acro teacher. If you aren’t insured and a student gets hurt under your instruction, even if you aren’t spotting or even correcting him or her at that moment, you could be considered liable.
You may have excellent relationships with families at your studio, and you may have never encountered a serious injury in your classes before. Regardless, there is always an inherent risk, so why would you want to take the chance?
Being insured doesn’t mean you lack faith in your abilities as a teacher, or that you believe dance and/or Acro is dangerous. Being insured demonstrates that you are a responsible, proactive teacher who wants to protect your students and your career.
Am I Already Insured?
In short, if you aren’t on payroll, you aren’t insured. You must be an employee of the studio you teach at in order to be covered under their business’ insurance.
You know you are an employee if you receive vacation pay and tax deductions each time you get paid.
If you are a contractor, meaning you invoice your studio owner for your time and do not get tax deductions or vacation pay, then you are not covered under your studio’s insurance policy.
Contracted workers often have a slightly higher pay rate because they essentially work for themselves, and this requires a bit of overhead i.e. paying for your own insurance policy. If this is the case for you, ensure you are covered!
Setting up insurance may seem like a nuisance, but being a contractor with your own insurance policy actually comes with many benefits when compared to working as an employee.
Perhaps the most appealing is that, as a contractor under insurance, you have the freedom to work outside of your own studio (teaching at workshops/conventions, choreographing solos, acting as a guest teacher, providing private lessons, etc.) while still remaining covered.
Working on outside freelance projects is extremely risky for studio employees who are not personally insured. All it takes is for one student to have an accident to be on the hook for a costly settlement or lawsuit.
So, make sure that you get yourself insured, and feel confident both at your own studio and as you explore new opportunities.