The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » You are getting sleepy...very sleepy... » » Latest update on insurance for stage hypnosis (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
shrink
View Profile
Inner circle
2609 Posts

Profile of shrink
After contacting equity today, there is "some" insurance available for stage hypnosis. But only insurance to cover any damage to venue or place of performance. I.e. someone falls into an expensive speaker. At this time it doesn't cover claims for phyisical or psychological damage. Aparrently one of the problems is that when they get a broker interested there is a rush demand for the policies and they get concerned and back off.

I know lots of hypnotists in the past who performed without any insurance at all.

I was wondering what the opinion was out there in the present climate about the possibiliy of doing shows with this minimum amount of protection?

It is an on-going thing and equity says they are still trying to get a better deal. Apparently employers and public liability is really difficult to set up at the moment across the board.
Bob Sanders
View Profile
Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
20495 Posts

Profile of Bob Sanders
Any old business professor would tell you that we earn for our judgment in dealing with uncertainty but we spread risk through contracts. Thus, the smart thing to do is take insurance when you can. Insurers depend on spreading risks over large populations. For stage hypnosis the numbers just aren't there. So would I perform without insurance? YES! But I am not here to tell you to do what I would do. I do not practice law.

Why would I perform without insurance? First I feel that the true odds of damaging someone in the act of entertaining are very remote. It would perhaps be just as easy to hurt another with poetry or writing. It challenges a thought or image over which the subject only suffers by his permission. Secondly, at law in much of the USA there is a legal protection already in place. That is the rule of contributory negligence. What this does is recognize that if a person willingly puts himself into a position to be harmed or contributed to making the harm possible he is also responsible for being harmed. His recovery from another for his own mistakes is barred. Another way to look at it is that he is a partner in crime and that partners in crime cannot sue each other for damages.

Another reason I see little likelihood of a suit is by avoiding audiences that profile as those who file frivolous lawsuits. These are usually nonpaying, unemployed or unemployable, low achievement audiences. They have no investment in such lawsuits and gain status among other underachievers or nonachievers for suing an achiever. Even when they lose, they win. More productive audiences have high opportunity costs associated with missing work, etc. and that creates investment and initially marks frivolous lawsuits as such. They are also much more likely to understand that this activity is entertainment they elected to join into. Even if offended, they tend to be secure in themselves and simply learn from the experience. They don’t have the idle time to make a bad experience worse for anyone. I won’t work for just any audience. That decision has paid me well. Audiences should be worthy of the time too!

The fourth reason I would continue is because a wise attorney will sue the house rather than the act. The act leaves town and continues working while the case is pending. The house must continue at that location during the case. The house is also a deeper pocket to sue. The house will defend me to defend itself. I’m not alone in this defense. The house is willing to hire an act just like mine to replace me, if it was financially sound to hire me. They have local clout the entertainer may not have.

I agree lawsuits are indeed a real threat. There is a lot we can do to avoid them. One of the most basic as a group is to lobby for laws that protect our work from unreasonable jeopardy. Other professionals have had to do it. My wife is a practicing physician who owns her own business. That is getting to be rare in America. It is the consequence of professionals who did not know how to be in business and thought being a professional would protect them. It did not and will not. Running a business is a separate endeavor from being a professional. Learning to do both appears to be a disappearing art. Those who can do it deserve our admiration and support. Parasites typically seek out healthy animals to attack in nature and court. Pest control is in order. One of the strongest methods is choosing a worthy audience. Don’t associate with those whose time is worthless. It tells something about the value of what you are offering.
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
MagicalPirate
View Profile
Special user
Shamokin, PA
828 Posts

Profile of MagicalPirate
Hi Bob:

The issue for insurance in the UK isn't the same as we have it here in the States. In the UK they have actually had a law since 1952 about Stage Hypnosis and are required to obtain an entertainment license for each show they perform from the local authority. It is not an issue of perform with or without, they are required to have the insurance in order to obtain permission to put on their public show.
Martin Blakley, CSH, DASH, CMSA
http://www.thehypnoguy.com/HYPNORESOURCES
http://www.docgrayson.com/
How To Sell Anything Online
http://tub.bz/?r=1z
Copyright to my own words retained 100%.
John LeBlanc
View Profile
Special user
Houston, TX
524 Posts

Profile of John LeBlanc
Quote:
On 2003-12-08 20:36, AmazedWiz wrote:So would I perform without insurance? YES! But I am not here to tell you to do what I would do. I do not practice law.


While I won't argue your reasons for performing without insurance, I will join you in stating what I do: I would as soon perform in public without insurance as I would without clothes on (which is to say, not a chance.)

The very nature of insurance is to cover the risk of an event occuring which consequences are usually all out of proportion. Lightning very rarely kills a human being, but it does happen. There is even less likelihood of a person winning the lottery, but that happens also.

Performing in public these days is akin to holding a lightning rod in your hand. Getting sued happens rarely, but if it's your lucky day, having paid your $1,500 insurance policy premium will seem like having bought the winning lottery ticket.

Just another opinion.

John LeBlanc
Houston, TX
Escamoteurettes, my blog.

"One thought fills immensity." -- William Blake
christopher carter
View Profile
Special user
660 Posts

Profile of christopher carter
Quote:
On 2003-12-08 20:36, AmazedWiz wrote:
Why would I perform without insurance? First I feel that the true odds of damaging someone in the act of entertaining are very remote.


Just for kicks I called my insurance man to ask his opinion. What he gave me was a long, long, long list of physical injuries that have occured in his clients shows. Understandably he wouldn't tell me the names of the performers. Most of the injuries were broken bones. Ankles, wrists, and clavicles seem to be the highest numbers. I, myself, had a girl break her clavicle during a show once, so I was interested to see that I wasn't even close to being the only one.

Then I called my lawyer asking his opinion about liability. He explained that the people onstage will be presumed to be under the control of the hypnotist, so don't count on any court assigning contributory negligence to a participant. As for whether the injured party would sue the house or the performer, my lawyer said they would "probably sue the both of you, and even if they did sue the venue, the venue would turn around and sue you, so what does it matter!"

Since the chance of physical inury during a hypnosis show is in reality rather high, what might happen if you do cause an injury and get sued. The worst horror story I heard was of a high school senior who suffered a compound ankle fracture. As it happened, he was a baseball star on his way to a college scholarship. The ankle fracture was a carreer ender and he lost his scholarship. The hypnotist, or more correctly his insurance company, ended up paying for hospital bills, pain and suffering, a college education, and a percentage of lost wages for the young man's potential professional baseball carreer.

A simple question for anybody performing without insurance: How much do you like your house? If you cause the right (or wrong) kind of injury, there's a very good chance it won't be yours anymore. And if you're the sort of person who thinks that accidents only happen to other people, or that you have sufficient safety precautions, well that's what I used to think, too.

If you perform hypnosis shows without insurance, you are irresponsible, not just to yourself and your family, but also to the people on your stage.

--Chris
jlibby
View Profile
Inner circle
1022 Posts

Profile of jlibby
Chris...

Thanks for the enlightening (and somewhat unnerving) post. A thought occurred to me while reading it.

I have liability insurance through the IBM. That policy excludes coverage for hypnosis. As many of you know, I've developed quite an interest in "waking hypnosis" (although I'm not performing it yet). I wonder if the IBM liability insurance would include or exclude coverage for waking hypnosis.

I'll look into it and report back.

See ya!
Joe L.
International Motivational Speaker & Entertainer; Helps you get ROCK-STAR RESULTS for your event!

For your gifts and free trainings, visit:
https://JoeLibbySeminars.com
MagicalPirate
View Profile
Special user
Shamokin, PA
828 Posts

Profile of MagicalPirate
Let us know what you find out Joe. I would presume that any type or form of use of the word Hypnosis would automatically kick back to the hypnosis exclusion.

I would expect that the higher liability risk for Stage Hypnosis is due to the fact that we have the volunteers up on stage moving about. I would also expect to a lesser extent these risks exist anytime you perform a show using audience participation. Just getting them up and down the stairs on stage leaves your open to risk.

Hey Chris:

I may be off on my anatomy, but isn't the clavicle the bone ring around your neck. How did your volunteer manage to break that on stage during your show.
Martin Blakley, CSH, DASH, CMSA
http://www.thehypnoguy.com/HYPNORESOURCES
http://www.docgrayson.com/
How To Sell Anything Online
http://tub.bz/?r=1z
Copyright to my own words retained 100%.
christopher carter
View Profile
Special user
660 Posts

Profile of christopher carter
Quote:
On 2003-12-09 15:40, MagicalPirate wrote:
Hey Chris:

I may be off on my anatomy, but isn't the clavicle the bone ring around your neck. How did your volunteer manage to break that on stage during your show.


I call them rollers. You know, the types who get so loose they roll off their chairs and onto the floor. Well, she rolled off onto her shoulder, apparently hit it at just the right angle, and 'pop.' I would never have expected it, but apparenlty I'm not the only one it's happened to.

Now I make darn sure they stay in their chairs. If they start to roll, I go up to the first one and say, "From this moment further you will stay in your chair. If you fall off again, I'll have to excuse you and send you back into the audience." It does a great job of minimizing the rolling.

--Chris
jlibby
View Profile
Inner circle
1022 Posts

Profile of jlibby
Quote:
On 2003-12-09 15:40, MagicalPirate wrote:
Let us know what you find out Joe. I would presume that any type or form of use of the word Hypnosis would automatically kick back to the hypnosis exclusion.

I would expect that the higher liability risk for Stage Hypnosis is due to the fact that we have the volunteers up on stage moving about. I would also expect to a lesser extent these risks exist anytime you perform a show using audience participation. Just getting them up and down the stairs on stage leaves your open to risk.



Good point about having a bunch of people on stage with you. I've emailed the agent who administers the IBM policy. When I get his answer, I'll report it for one and all.

See ya!
Joe L.
International Motivational Speaker & Entertainer; Helps you get ROCK-STAR RESULTS for your event!

For your gifts and free trainings, visit:
https://JoeLibbySeminars.com
MagicalPirate
View Profile
Special user
Shamokin, PA
828 Posts

Profile of MagicalPirate
Blair Robertson covers himself during the induction with instructions that no one will fall out of their chair so that this doesn't happen. I'll have to look up the proper wording and I'll post it later.
Martin Blakley, CSH, DASH, CMSA
http://www.thehypnoguy.com/HYPNORESOURCES
http://www.docgrayson.com/
How To Sell Anything Online
http://tub.bz/?r=1z
Copyright to my own words retained 100%.
shrink
View Profile
Inner circle
2609 Posts

Profile of shrink
Any suggestion that suggests sticking or staying in the chair will work.

When I started out I used to suggest, "on the count of three the volunters will feel their bum is hot". I did this once and a volunteer got up and ran out of the venue at olympic speed. I had to carry on with the show while my friends went looking for him. To make matters worse it was a small village on the coast and fifteen feet in front of the hotel was a harbour a mile long! After getting the rest of the people under control I went out side and looked over the edge I was dreading seeing bubbles on the surface of the water!

However it turned out he was found further up the road a little disorientated. You need safety suggestions throughout your show. "No matter what happens you will not leave the stage".

This happened to me early on in my career with the proper training by an experienced hypnotist.

This is why I advise newbies to get training. Attempting this after just reading a book is crazy.
christopher carter
View Profile
Special user
660 Posts

Profile of christopher carter
Safety suggestions are sound policy. Unfortunately I had them in place long before ever having an accident, and people still rolled. I'd be willing to bet that most of those my insurance man told me of had the same safety policies as well. Do not be lulled into thinking "It can't happen to me."

People in hypnosis shows will act boisterously. They have come onstage for precisely that purpose. No matter how you phrase suggestions there will always be people who take the opportunity to go way over the top. Get insurance or don't perform. It's as simple as that.

--Chris

PS: I'm sure you all know that an increasing number of venues are asking for proof of insurance these days, so being uninsured is less and less of an option.
mastermindreader
View Profile
V.I.P.
Seattle, WA
12589 Posts

Profile of mastermindreader
While I certainly agree with the necessity of obtaining insurance, you can give yourself a substantial bit of extra protection by simply redefining what you do. An excellent example is a presentation built along the lines of Orville Meyer's "Telepathy in Action." In that approach it is clearly emphasized that the subjects will simply attempt to receive your thoughts, that they are not to do what you tell them to do, but what they feel you want them to do. They're to try to "catch" your thoughts.

Ten minutes into this type of presentation and you can do any of the standard hyp routines, you just never claim that it is hypnosis, but rather (an in Meyer's routine) an example of telepathy in action.

Kreskin, of course, has always claimed there's no such thing as hypnosis, and that what he does is merely suggestion. (!?)

(There are cynics who have claimed that the real reason Kreskin insists that hypnosis does not exist, and that what he does is simply a matter of suggestion -and not the domination or a persons will or mental control of their actions - is because his syndicated television program was based in Canada where presentations of stage hypnosis were prohibited by law.

So assume you take this route and someone falls down and breaks something. You get sued and are able to characterize the plaintiff's case as an allegation that he was injured by telepathy. You've just subtly
planted the words "frivolous lawsuit" in the judges mind.(An example of practical mentalism in the real world.)


Best-

Bob Cassidy

Click here to view attached image.
christopher carter
View Profile
Special user
660 Posts

Profile of christopher carter
Bob,

You're a lawyer and I'm not, so I'll be glad to defer to your knowlege. But I would still rather defer to MY lawyer, since I pay him for his knowlege. I haven't spoken to him about presenting hypnosis shows in other guises, but I have spoken about relative liability of mentalism and hypnotism shows. His opinion is that it doesn't matter what you're presenting, mentalism or hypnotism, if a person is injured onstage during your show, You--not the venue--will be first in line for liability. I don't know the point of law, but the gist as I understand it is that the participant would not be onstage doing these things if not for you, and is presumed to be under your care.

I understand that my lawyer's job is to be risk averse, but in this case so am I. First, I'm not convinced that a suit regarding an injury during a show is necessarily frivolous. Second, it sure looks like plenty of frivolous lawsuits are being won these days. I don't think it's likely to make any substantive difference how you present things, the more important issue is the inherent riskiness of the endeavor.

--Chris
mastermindreader
View Profile
V.I.P.
Seattle, WA
12589 Posts

Profile of mastermindreader
Cris-

I don't disagree with you. Someone gets injured on stage and, yes, any halfway decent lawyer is going to sue anyone and everyone who could conceivably have and share liability.

I didn't mean to imply that insurance was a luxury rather than a necessity. My point was that by removing the word "hypnosis" you eliminate the word that in an earlier post was referred to as a block to contributory negligence - insofar as it would imply total control by the performer.

(Most jurisdictions, however, now use the standard of comparative, rather than contributory negligence - ie. a plaintiff recovers if it is shown that he was less than 50 percent responsible. In contributory negligence, any negligence at all on the part of the plaintiff would be a bar to recovery.)


But I wasn't trying to be entirely facetious when I referred to the possible defense strategy of characterizing the plaintiff's case as a claim that his injury was caused by "telepathy." That, of course, is patently ridiculous. But in the context of a trial - where, of course, you have an appropriate factual basis, it's the kind of ploy that often wins cases.

To far too many laypeople, including those who should know better, the word hypnosis still means a kind of mind control. It is certainly an approach a plaintiff's lawyer would use in pursuing a case in which his client was injured while allegedly under the Svengali-like control of the hypnotist.

Bottom line - get insured. Next to bottom line - keep your premiums down and don't ask for trouble when you don't have to.

Best-

Bob
shrink
View Profile
Inner circle
2609 Posts

Profile of shrink
In the UK you wouldn't sell tickets if you didn't have Hypnosis in the publicity.
jlibby
View Profile
Inner circle
1022 Posts

Profile of jlibby
Howdy folks!

I heard back from the agent who handles the IBM's liability insurance. His response to my question about coverage for Waking Hypnosis was, and I quote:

"There is no coverage for mind control, mood control or any manipulation or affecting of the personality or psyche."

So as I understand it, the hypnosis exclusion in the IBM policy would also exclude coverage for waking hypnosis, "Telepathy In Action," The Doctor Q Act, or any other variant no matter how it's named or presented.

See ya!
Joe L.
International Motivational Speaker & Entertainer; Helps you get ROCK-STAR RESULTS for your event!

For your gifts and free trainings, visit:
https://JoeLibbySeminars.com
shrink
View Profile
Inner circle
2609 Posts

Profile of shrink
If that's the case then the insurance situation in the US is similar to the UK! We could defend against claims of psychological damage before the main insurance company went bust.

Perhaps if someone is sued in the States it could open a can of worms?
MagicalPirate
View Profile
Special user
Shamokin, PA
828 Posts

Profile of MagicalPirate
Looks like the only choice I've been able to find is the ClownsoftheUS.com policy.

I would have to say that the only thing you would not be covered on in a Dr. Q style act is if it was presented as an act in say your Magic Show would be psychological claims against you. The policy would still have to cover physical injury as it would in any other audience participation segment.
Martin Blakley, CSH, DASH, CMSA
http://www.thehypnoguy.com/HYPNORESOURCES
http://www.docgrayson.com/
How To Sell Anything Online
http://tub.bz/?r=1z
Copyright to my own words retained 100%.
Dr Omni
View Profile
Regular user
UK
199 Posts

Profile of Dr Omni
Having discussed the insurance situation with several working American stage hypnotists, I've been told that there has never been a successful lawsuit in the USA against a stage hypnotist for "psychological damage" and that general insurance for stage hypnotists is available in that country. However, no US insurance firm will cover stage hypnotists who are resident and working outside North America.

In the UK, if a stage hypnotist is a member of Equity, he has public liability insurance up to the point where the subjects on stage go into trance. From that point on, the insurance cover ceases. If you take reasonable precautions - video every show and keep the tape, including your warning that people with a history of mental illness should not volunteer; avoid any age-regression effects; and get the volunteers to sign a release form; ensure your volunteers' physical safety on stage - then the odds are overwhelming that you will avoid a lawsuit for psychological damage. You probably have a lot more chance of being sued by a neighbour for something like water damage from a leaking pipe.

It's unfortunate that no UK insurance company will give us insurance once a person enters trance. But that won't stop me performing my act to people who want to see it, given the precautions mentioned above that I always take.
Hypnotist and mentalist.
Websites: www.corporatemedservices.co.uk
www.doctoromni.com
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » You are getting sleepy...very sleepy... » » Latest update on insurance for stage hypnosis (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.27 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL