Saturday, September 20, 2008

The streets not covered by car insurance

Given the recent popularity of Britain's Got Talent it's likely that insurance companies around the country might expect to receive a rising number of enquiries about anything from insuring their dancing dog, to cover for balancing a barbeque on their chin. This is not necessarily a good thing, but if the TV show did reveal anything, it was that there's a world of weird and wonderful skills out there.

It's easier than ever these days to take out home insurance; in fact, you can shop around for the best deal because there are so many companies vying for your custom. Bearing this in mind, those companies might be wise to branch out to offer a more eclectic range of insurance services. There is the distinct possibility that in the coming months there will be a growing number of bizarre applications for insurance quotes. The holy grail of 'getting on TV' has spread its wings to open the door for everything from street dance to dubious keyboard skills.

Once performers have mastered a particular skill in the privacy of their own home, the obvious next step is to find an audience. For many this will involve a foray into the world of street theatre. Street performance offers the chance to demonstrate an act in front of a live audience, and hopefully, with a strategically placed hat, to actually make some money. If the show's no good, few will watch, or leave money, so there is some expectation that what's on show should be of some merit. However, if you want to grace the streets with an act you're highly likely to need to apply for a performance licence. One of the main criteria for gaining permission is that you have your own public liability insurance.

Performers, who are members of the actors union Equity, receive cover as part of their union fees. They might only ever choose to deliver Shakespeare in dulcet tones, but they would have up to a million pounds worth of cover should they ever decide to juggle swords, shake hula hoops, or stroll about on stilts. This means that should any member of the public ever be unlucky enough to be hit by a stray hoop, or become entangled in the leg of a six-foot high alien, the performer wouldn't face a lifetime of bitter lawsuits. However, there are many performers who've yet to make it to full Equity status.

It's probably fair to say that the majority of busking acts (involving slightly more creativity than a keyboard murdering the theme to Star Wars) have no desire to parade in front of Simon Cowell. Ever. However, now that the nation has witnessed the true 'rags to riches' tale of a fourteen-year-old boy who literally worked his way up from the streets, it's likely that we might see many more wannabes gracing our pavements.

It could well be that there is a clear gap in the market for insurance companies to, quite literally, get in on the act.



Confused.com offer car insurance, home insurance and travel insurance comparison services. Try them out at http://www.confused.com.

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