Congratulations, you’re planning an event for your company.  But, you’re probably realizing there’s a lot more to event planning than just drinks, food, music, and RSVPs. You’re here because you’ve realized you need event insurance and have questions. 

Good news – you’re in the right place for answers. 

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know:

  • Why you need event insurance
  • The different types of event insurance
  • The cost of event insurance
  • Navigating through sticky situations 
  • How to file a claim
  • And even obtaining a certificate of insurance for the event. 

Ready to conquer the big bad world of event insurance? Let’s go!

event insurance turtle dance party

Insurance Turtle dance party via Giphy

Why is Event Insurance Necessary?

It’s likely that your mind was instantly flooded with a slew of questions like: 

  • Is event insurance really necessary? 
  • How will I know what type of insurance to get? 
  • Is it expensive? 
  • What types of things could actually go wrong at my event? 

Let’s start with the basics. 

Everyone has a picture in their mind of what a successful event looks like. The last thing you want is for that picture ruined by an unexpected mishap. One of the best ways to prevent that, or at least mitigate any potential damage, is by getting event insurance. You can’t put a price on peace of mind. 

There are actually quite a few things that could go wrong at any event:
  • a guest could slip and fall
  • there could be accidental damage to the venue
  • there could be a severe storm that closes roads and forces you to cancel or postpone the event.
The list goes on.
 
Contemplating a new dress code of life jackets and bubble wrap to ensure everyone’s safety?
 
Don’t be!

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What is Event Insurance? 

At its core, event insurance provides general liability coverage for specific events. Event planners can purchase a variety of different types of insurance to cover different aspects of their event. 

General Liability is the most basic type of event insurance. It protects you and all other insured parties involved, for essentially anything that is out of your control within the realm of the venue, event planner, caterers, etc.

The general rule of thumb is that most venues require event liability insurance for at least $1,000,000. 

After making sure that you’ve insured your event for general liability, the fun part begins. Often, vendors will ask for additional event insurance coverage that is more specific to your particular event. 

We’ll dive into those later. 

First, let’s look at why event insurance is necessary and what can actually go wrong at an event.

Do You Need Event Insurance?

To help give you a better picture of some things that could happen at an event, we’re including a few real-life examples from Private Event Insurance

According to their testimonials, someone canceled an event after “ten inches of rain fell, State Highway closed and attendees could not get to the venue.” 

Another event needed to cancel when the event host “experienced chest pains and went to the hospital. Newly diagnosed heart condition forced him to postpone.” 

A venue fell through after “construction prevented the event from being held; venue refused to refund the deposit.” 

Guests can be injured by falling due to a slippery floor, chairs or tables can break, air conditioners can go out, airlines can lose luggage, and the list goes on. 

These examples are not to scare you, but to show you just how endless the possibilities really are. Of course, you buy insurance hoping to never use it, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. 

However, buying event insurance can be quite overwhelming and confusing because there are so many different types. We’ll walk you through each of the different types of event insurance below. 

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What Type of Event Insurance Do You Need?

As we mentioned earlier, the first type of event insurance that you absolutely need is general liability insurance. This type of insurance lays the foundation for covering the basic things like the event planner, the venue, caterers, and so forth. 

Once you have your basics covered though, certain vendors or events will require special coverage. Below we’ll explain each of the different types of event insurance and what types of events require them. 

Waiver of Subrogation

Sometimes, a vendor will ask you to provide a waiver of subrogation. A waiver of subrogation is to protect the vendor in the event that something happens, your insurance company won’t be able to ask for money from the vendor (even if the claim was because of the vendor’s negligence). 

Liquor Liability Insurance

Will you be serving alcohol at your event? Liquor liability insurance covers anything related to alcohol and the bartenders at the event.

For instance, a liquor liability policy will cover a bartender accidentally and unknowingly serving a minor. It even covers things like if a guest leaves intoxicated and drives home from the event. 

If you are considering serving alcohol at your event, liquor liability is a must-have. 

Cancellation Insurance

This is an important one. Cancellation insurance is there to protect you in the event that any unforeseeable thing happens like bad weather, construction or other venue issues, or anything else that might force you to cancel the event. 

Cancellation insurance helps you cover any costs or deposits you or your company has put down for the event. 

Third-Party Damage Insurance

Third-party damage insurance covers any damages made to the venue during the event. This could include broken dishware, tables, chairs, stains or spills, and other similar damages. 

Hired Auto Liability Insurance

Hired, or non-owned, auto liability insurance covers any rented vehicles for the event. This insurance even covers auto-related injuries to people driving the vehicles, or any property damaged by the vehicle. 

Worker’s Compensation Insurance

If you’re hiring anyone to work this event, it’s highly recommended that you get worker’s compensation insurance. Worker’s compensation insurance protects employees for any injuries that might happen while they’re on the clock and can help offset the cost of medical benefits due to the injury. Employers can be required to pay the employee for the rest of their life for injuries sustained on the job, this insurance picks up that tab. 

Most states actually require this type of insurance. 

Terrorism Insurance

A lesser-known insurance that is, unfortunately, becoming more important to consider is terrorism insurance. This insurance will help cover your event in the event that an act of terrorism was to occur. Check out our event safety guide if you want more info on how to plan a safe event.

Whether or not you purchase terrorism insurance mostly depends on the type of event you’re holding. If the event is something like a basic holiday party then it is unlikely that you will need terrorism insurance, but it is useful to know that it is available if you feel that it’s necessary. 

Special Event Coverage

Special event coverage, also known as one-day event coverage, is blanket insurance and often covers many potential claims. However, special event coverage only covers certain types of events like weddings and banquets. 

Certain public events like sporting events or art shows, fundraisers or corporate parties may not be eligible for special event coverage. It’s always worth the ask, though because if your event does qualify for special event coverage the coverage includes alcohol liability and general liability insurance.

 

Should I Pay for a Damage Waiver from a Vendor?

Something that vendors will often ask for is a damage waiver. There has been some back and forth as to whether or not paying for a damage waiver is worth it or not. Why? There have been incidents where the damage waiver has been paid and yet it doesn’t cover most of the rental. Which leaves you responsible for still paying for other repairs. 

However, at its core, a damage waiver is a smart thing to pay for because it helps cover any losses or damage done to any rented or borrowed item. If you want to ensure that any rented equipment is totally covered, it’s not a bad idea to pay for a damage waiver, but always be sure to read the waiver first to confirm what is and isn’t covered by the waiver. 

What Insurance Should Vendors Have?

Vendors will likely have their own insurance to cover certain liabilities. 

However, some venues will ask for you to include them as an additional insured under your insurance to ensure that no matter what happens they are covered. 

It’s also not a bad idea for you to do the same and ask the vendor to include you as an additional insured so that if something goes wrong due to the vendor’s negligence, you can still be covered. 

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What Happens in the Event of a Claim?

In the event of a claim, the first step would be to contact your insurance provider or agent. You want to do this as soon as possible – within a few hours of the accident. 

When you call to let your provider know about the accident or make the claim online, you’ll need to make sure that you have all of the necessary information at the ready. Information that is going to be important to have includes:  

  1. your name
  2. contact information 
  3. business name 
  4. insurance policy number 
  5. type of coverage
  6. A description of the claim or accident 

Another important thing to keep in mind when making a claim is to keep detailed records of the incident. Phone calls, emails, contracts, photographs, or anything else relevant to the situation. 

Depending on the size of the claim and whether or not you’re taken to court, any information that you have could be a great help in settling the claim. 

How to Stay Protected if Someone Gets Hurt

First and foremost, it’s important to be proactive with safety in your event planning. For example, having caterers or bartenders in non-slip shoes can help prevent falls. 

The fact is though, that accidents do happen. If someone is hurt at your event, the two most important steps are to report the incident to your insurance company and keep a log of anything and everything that is relevant to the incident. 

How Much Does Event Insurance Cost?

The price you pay for event insurance depends on the size and duration of the event, as well as the type of coverage you choose. 

In general, you can get event insurance for anywhere between $100-$200 per day. When you consider how much you are insuring, it’s a no-brainer to purchase the event insurance. 

How to Get a Certificate of Insurance for an Event?

Insurance companies will typically include a certificate of insurance when you purchase your policy. Many vendors and venues will ask for a certificate of insurance before booking, so you’ll need to hold onto your certificate of insurance to prove that your event is covered.  

Ensure (and Insure) A Successful Event

At the end of the day, you’re planning an event that should be enjoyable, educational, and safe for everyone involved. When you’re putting in so much effort in order to make sure that the event goes smoothly, purchasing event insurance is imperative to your event’s overall success. 

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Kyle Cramer

Author Kyle Cramer

Business Consultant. Electric Car enthusiast.

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