Borden Perlman AYCO Insurance Flyer (1)-page-001

We are very proud to be able to offer links to high quality insurance for our members.

Please note that membership to ACE is a requirement for obtaining the below insurance for circus schools. Organizations and programs who work with the below insurance provider must be members of ACE at the institutional level (Organization, Partner or Pyramid Partner member).

Not a member yet? Check out our levels and sign-up here. 

Carrying appropriate insurance is key to safe and responsible operation of a circus school.  We urge our members to review their insurance needs with an expert and examine policies carefully. AYCO/ACE does not provide advice on insurance products and does not sell insurance.

AYCO Relationship Provider:

For Organizations and Circus Spaces


AYCO/ACE endorsed broker Jeremy Perlman of Borden Perlman is available to help you meet all your insurance needs, including general liability, accident, D&O coverage, auto, workers compensation etc.  Jeremy provides helpful information on how to assess your needs. His services to circus education organizations are available only to AYCO/ACE members, and ACE Safety Program members receive a 10% discount. If you are looking for a broker to help you understand what products to buy to manage your risk and to keep your costs to a minimum, we recommend Jeremy hands down.

Other Providers  (note these are not formally endorsed by AYCO, but in the service of sharing as much information as possible, we recommend you reach out to the below for individual needs so that you can be covered.)

For Individual Instructors

Unfortunately, NSM has discontinued their coverage of individual circus teachers and we are seeking other options for the community at this time.

For Performers


If you are a performer or the parent of a young performer, visit Speciality Insurance.

How did ACE build these relationships?

These relationships are continually developed and were initiated via our insurance committee in the first quarter of 2015.  The committee advocates for our sector with insurers and periodically works with providers to identify those that appear to understand our sector well and to offer good value products.  The committee’s priority is to help make sure that quality, good value insurance coverage is available to our members.

About the Insurance Committee:

Current committee members are:
Carlo Pellegrini, AYCO Board Member and Executive Director of Amazing Grace CIRCUS! In NY and Creative Director of Westchester Circus Arts in NY.

Zoe Brookes, former AYCO Board Member, former AYCO Executive Director, current Executive Director of Trenton Circus Squad and part owner of The Circus Place and Stone Soup Circus in New Jersey

Notes about Insurance from the Committee:

Curious to learn more about Insurance? Read the below.You need insurance for your circus education business for three main reasons:
1. To make sure that staff and those you serve will be protected if they are accidentally harmed in your program. This is part of safe program operation.
2. To allow you to make agreements with landlords, bookers and other companies with whom you wish to do business. Typically, landlords will ask to see a certificate of general liability insurance that will pay up to $1M in the case of a suit.
3. To protect you from losing assets that you can’t afford to lose through theft or a law suit. If you don’t have a lot of assets, you may not need as much insurance as providers first tell you.

Products that ACE members typically buy include: 

-Directors and Officers insurance. This protects the board members of a nonprofit from being sued for negligence. If you have board members with substantial personal assets they will typically ask that you carry this.

-Accident Insurance. This helps you handle the medical and out-of-pocket costs that add up after an accidental injury.

-General and professional liability insurance. This protects you in the case that someone has an accident or is harmed on your property. This is the insurance that landlords typically ask to see. Liability insurance typically comes as a package that may includes some optional coverages. The organizations we’re aware of typically include the option for sexual abuse and molestation coverage. You should look at other options based on your own situation.

-Property insurance. This protects you in the case that your equipment is stolen or damaged

-Auto insurance. This protects any vehicles you drive for business.

-Workers compensation insurance. This is a legal requirement if you have employees.

-Employment practices insurance. Mostly bought by bigger organizations, this protects you if an employee sues you for bad practice.

Before you buy a policy from anyone, check that your activities are covered. Your activities do not necessarily need to be listed on the policy, but read through the exclusions carefully. We have encountered members who bought low cost policies that turned out to exclude athletic activities. Discuss directly with your provider the kind of business you’re in and make sure that they have evidence that the underwriter is aware of these activities. You do not need to describe your activities as particularly risky, you just need to be clear what it is that you do. Our preferred providers have both taken this step.

If you are starting up, the cost of insurance can feel daunting. Rather than operate without insurance, it’s a good idea to find another organization that can bring you into their policy and have you operate under their umbrella. For example, if you teach classes for a local arts council or Boys & Girls club, their insurance should provide you with the basic coverage that protects your students.

If you are truly starting your own business, or a nonprofit, then insurance will be a necessary expense. Count on paying a few percent of your overall budget on this area. In our experience, AYCO members pay 2-10% of their revenue in insurance. We are working to keep this number low. Your choice of what products you need will depend on your circumstances. A broker can advise on what you need, but make sure you understand why each product is recommended. For example, if your equipment only amounts to one or two thousand dollars worth, you might prefer to risk the possibility of theft and fire rather than pay for a property insurance policy.

Finally, join the ACE Safety Program. This will earn you a 10% discount on the policies our preferred providers offer. If you are talking to other providers, you will be able to point to the ACE Safety Program as a national safety guideline that you adhere to.