VOCAL CORD DAMAGE CAN COST STARS MILLIONS
Disability insurance for an average American is fairly straightforward and simple. Purchase a disability policy and if the worker becomes disabled, they have an income to fall back on and maintain their normal lifestyle.
But how is a star who becomes disabled and can no longer carry out their million-dollar worldwide tour, protected? This is a question that insurance companies had to face when Adele had to cancel her 2011 U.S. tour due to vocal problems and Lady Gaga injured her hip and canceled the remaining dates on her 2013 world tour. (Risk Management, The Sounds of Silence, November 1, 2013)
Think about it: when a singer faces a disability before or in the middle of a major tour they will have to refund millions of dollars of tickets that people purchased months in advance. Then, the crew members that were hired on and the fees that were paid to book stadiums and major venues have to be refunded, as well.
It’s no wonder that artists have their tours insured for upwards of $20 million in case of illness, injury, weather, venue damage, or even acts of terrorism or kidnapping. These insurance policies protect the performer and promoters in case they have to reschedule dates or replace equipment and staff.
“Insurance companies have started to offer unique plans to the stars because they are dealing with unique situations. Unlike football players or racecar drivers, their health not only affects their own job, but the jobs of thousands of other people. Each city has to staff the venue and hire police officers and security guards. The performer also has their own internal staff. One missed concert due to the performer’s disability could mean hundreds of jobs lost and millions of dollars gone,” said Frank N. Darras, disability lawyer to the stars.
In addition to tour insurance, the performer should also invest in their own private disability insurance policy in case that strep throat one day turns into vocal nodules that could knock them out for the rest of their career.
Singers Adele, Keith Urban, and John Mayer have all undergone throat surgery in the past couple of years, just to name a few. Whitney Houston admitted to her own bad vocal habits that early on became nodules on her vocal cords and sidelined her while she recovered. (CBS News. Meet Adele’s vocal cord surgeon, Dr. Steven Zeitels, February 13, 2012)
“Just like any other muscle, it’s a physical thing. It depends on the use. If you stopped walking up the stairs every day, it would get harder. It’s exactly the same thing for the voice. Muscles do lose strength and agility as they age, so more effort is required in continuing that,” said Andrea Leap, a professional singer and voice instructor at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, in an article on Discovery News. (Discovery News, What Is the Lifespan of a Voice, February 17, 2012)
“A singer’s voice won’t last forever. That’s why a private disability insurance policyis so vitally important. Just like an athlete, they rely on their body to work and without it, they are at risk of losing their standard of living and way of life. Investing in their future now will save them a fortune later,” said Darras.