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The True Cost of Home Brewing Your Insurance

Moonshine has a romantic place in history. Working people making their own liquor for fun and profit. We’ve gotten TV shows and NASCAR as a result. What people don’t really talk about is what happened when that home brewed shine went wrong. People got sick, died, went blind, had serious legal issues and sometimes got shot as a result of their artistic creativity.

When it comes to insurance for performing hypnotists, the idea of cutting out the middle man and home brewing it yourself is also a romantic ideal. ESPECIALLY BECAUSE YOU CAN SAVE $150!!!! Let’s talk about what happens when it goes wrong. On Thursday night May 9th , Jim Kellner and Grant Saunders had magician Louie Fox on their HypnoNews podcast. Fox told the story about how he went to a magic and hypnosis show, and in Fox’s words, “I walked out because I got physically injured by a hypnotist during his show and he didn’t seem to give a crap about it. That’s why I left, the performer intentionally hurt me and didn’t seem to care.”

The unnamed magician/hypnotist did an “arm pull” induction and ended up injuring Fox’s shoulder. Fox went to a doctor who examined him and diagnosed him as probably having a sprained shoulder. To add some context to what was really going on here, the “magician/hypnotist” was reading his “pre-talk” and “induction” off of note cards and later suggested he had learned hypnosis from reading a book.

When Fox approached the venue later about his injury, they blew him off and didn’t want to help him work things out with the insurance. When he asked the venue if they had gotten the performer’s insurance information, they refused to answer his really reasonable question. Fox then went to the performer, the performer was very defensive saying, “You couldn’t have gotten hurt, I saw the video and a nurse looked at it.”

Here is where it gets very interesting for those of us who are professional performing hypnotists. Fox said, “then I found out his insurance didn’t cover it.” The great news for the performer in this case, was that Fox wasn’t looking to get attorneys involved or turn this into litigation over pain and suffering; he just wanted his doctor bills covered. That aside, think about those words: his insurance didn’t cover it.

What if you, like that performer, had decided to home brew the insurance you have for your hypnosis show and you had someone at your show who was seriously injured and your insurance didn’t cover it? What would that mean for you personally?

Fortunately, most of us in this profession have made the decision to go with professionals who know what they’re doing. Most US based members of ISHA have made the choice to work with PEEP Insurance or the National Association of Mobile Entertainers to setup our coverage. Both PEEP and NAME have been working with entertainers helping them with their insurance needs for over two decades. These organizations work very closely with hypnotists and understand the challenges we face. Those services also come with a $150 fee for those services.

Sadly, there are those out there who think it is outrageous that professionals would profit from this and are quite upset about that $150. Think about that for a second. Worried about $150 vs. the words “his insurance didn’t cover it.”

Part of the argument is that it only takes minutes to fill out the form. Newsflash: You aren’t paying an expert for their time. You’re paying for their experience and knowledge. Here is another way to think about it. When I am paid for a show, I am not charging for the hour I am doing the show. I am charging for everything I have done and learned as a professional and person since 2011. I am charging them for giving them everything I have in order to deliver the best experience possible. Home brewing your moonshine might cost you your sight. Home brew insurance could mean getting sued blind. Or you could just go with a skilled and experienced professionals who knows their business and understand ours.

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