Step by step, our guide will lead you to all the important information you might need for your international work.

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The Guide

Professional liability insurance

Legally speaking, freelance artists and creatives are entrepreneurs and should have professional liability insurance. Unlike employees, freelancers are independently liable for damages. Personal liability does not cover professional liability cases, as is often wrongly assumed, and such risks must be covered separately. 

Generally, liability insurance covers personal injury, property damage, and financial losses. Special risks such as damage to work in progress, losses arising from loading and unloading, damage to rented property, and loss of keys can be insured individually.  

Coverage for damages abroad must be examined independently in each case.

An artist falls during a visit to his agent’s office and drags the computer screen to the ground, destroying it on impact. 


This qualifies as property damage and liability claims arise due to damage caused to others’ property in a professional activity of the policy holder involving the damaged items. 


A freelance musician with a permanent residence in Germany works for a Polish orchestra in Poland for several months. On the way to a performance, they hit someone with their car, who suffers a broken arm and consequently requires two weeks sick leave.

This is considered a personal injury. Since the musician was travelling for professional purposes, professional liability insurance will cover the case as long as damages abroad are included in the policy. If the musician does not have professional liability insurance coverage, they are fully liable for all damages arising from the accident.



  • In case of co-productions, e.g. guest performances of ensembles, orchestras or group exhibitions, it is sometimes unclear who is liable in what particular case. It is therefore recommended that each artist or creative has their own professional liability insurance policy.
  • It should also be noted that claims for damages are not covered by personal bankruptcy law. They persist until they have been completely satisfied. This is another reason why it is highly recommendable that freelancers take out professional liability insurance!
  • Ensembles, orchestras etc. acting as the contracting bodies of short-term projects often include in their contracts with artists that the artists themselves must purchase appropriate insurance coverage. Similarly, there will then be a clear reference to the exclusion of liability of the contractor. The responsibility in case of damage would then lie with the artist themselves.
  • Some companies require advance proof of professional liability insurance from dancers for a production.
  • The liability situation vis-a-vis the organizer should be clearly defined in advance and possibly factored into the remuneration.

During the setup for an exhibition in Indonesia, an artist from Germany damages the work of another artist. Do the German insurance carriers also cover the resulting liability claims in the event of damages abroad? 


Damages abroad will also be covered, if agreed upon in the terms of the contract.  

It is also important that any relevant risks are clearly identified in the contract to avoid difficulties in the settlement of claims. In reference to the example, when arranging the contract, it should be pointed out that the artist themselves instead of a specialist company is involved in the setup process so this may be included. (Special agreements must be concluded for some professions, such as pyrotechnicians.) 

An artist from Israel is working in Germany for several months. Is there a way for them to purchase short-term liability insurance in Germany? 


It is advisable that the artist tries to purchase liability insurance from an insurance company in their home country. This will facilitate the settlement process in the event of a claim, especially if the artist is no longer in Germany. Language barriers can also be an argument for purchasing insurance in a person‘s home country.  

Foreign artists and creatives also have the opportunity to cover their liability risk through German insurance during short stays in Germany. Premiums for short-term insurance hardly vary from annual premiums. 

If the Israeli artist can foresee that they will have several stays in Germany within a period of twelve months, it is useful to compare short-term insurance and annual insurance premiums.  

A German circus troupe, whose members are all freelancers, gives a guest performance at a theater in Greece. The performance starts in the foyer, where one of the acrobats drops the hoop with which they are performing and injures a member of the audience, who consequently requires hospital treatment. The fault is clearly attributed to the acrobat.


The professional liability insurance of the acrobat applies, as long as damages abroad are covered.



  • Existing personal liability insurance policies can possibly be coupled with a professional liability insurance policy.