Do I need special event insurance?

When it comes to big events – a wedding, a festival, a business event like a fundraiser – there are a lot of things to juggle. The invitations, the food, the entertainment, the guests, the decorations…the list goes on. While it’s not necessarily fun to consider the possibility of a catastrophe befalling your event, it’s important to consider the power of Murphy’s Law – anything that can go wrong will go wrong. We’re not trying to spread doom and gloom…but it’s important to be prepared. And that’s why they invented special event insurance. What’s that, you ask? Don’t worry – we’re going to go over what you need to know about special event insurance.

What is special event insurance?

So, here’s the deal:

Special event insurance is basically general liability insurance for a short amount of time – for example, when you’re hosting a wedding or your business is holding a festival.

The thing is that when you rent a venue for such events, you may have to sign a contract with the facility that owns or operates the premises. And oftentimes that contract will transfer the liability and risk from the owner or operator of the facility to the event holder.

What does this mean?

Imagine this:

You’re hosting an event at a big venue. A lot of guests are coming out, so there are a lot of people there. Then someone slips on a rogue piece of cake that fell on the ground and breaks an arm.

Now what? Who’s liable?

Well…you could be, as the event holder.

But that’s where special event insurance can come in handy. Being responsible for such a big event is a lot of pressure and liability on your shoulders. Slips and falls aren’t the only things you have to worry about.

But special event insurance can come to the rescue for many different worst-case scenarios.

What does special event insurance cover?

Liquor liability:

If you’re serving liquor at your event, you’re opening a Pandora’s box of risk. Since you’re the one who served the alcohol, you could be found responsible. But you can make sure that your policy covers your liquor risk.

General liability:

This encompasses the slip-and-fall scenario that we outlined earlier. Any number of mishaps could befall your guests, but the general liability aspect of your special event insurance can help protect you if someone gets hurt.

Liquor liability, property damage, and cancellation can be covered by special event insurance.

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Damage to property:

You told your overly energetic employees not to play football inside the fancy venue you rented a thousand times. Did they listen? Of course they didn’t.

And now they’ve smashed stuff that belongs to the owner of your venue.

If your guests accidentally cause some damage to property owned by the venue owner, your special event insurance can help you cover the costs. Accidents happen…right?


Your insurance can also help you if you have to cancel or postpone your event due to a covered loss – for example, terrible weather. Your policy could help you out by reimbursing you for revenue you lost and covering expenses that come up due to cancellation (such as lost deposits.) Just make sure you understand what will be reimbursed and what causes of cancellation are covered.

Why do I need special event insurance?

Events that qualify as being “the big day” get hectic. There are a lot of people you’re responsible for. You’ve got a schedule, a budget, a bunch of people, and equipment to keep track of. Special event insurance helps protect you from the risk that you take on by playing host.

What if my business already has general liability?

Let’s say that your business is hosting an event, but your company already has general liability insurance.

Do you need special event insurance?

Well, it depends.

The thing is that you have to figure out what your current general liability policy covers and what it doesn’t. If it doesn’t cover you for liquor liability but you’ll be selling alcohol, you may need special event insurance to cover that gap in coverage. (Anything involving alcohol typically necessitates copious amounts of insurance and a thorough policy check.)

And whether or not you get special event insurance also depends on the event itself and the amount of coverage you want. If you want to protect the limits of insurance on your general liability insurance policy by getting a special event policy, make sure that the special event is the primary insurance and your general liability is excess.

Be mindful of any exclusions.

As with any insurance policy (home insurance and auto insurance included), you have to make sure that you’re aware of any exclusions. Exclusions are things that aren’t covered under the policy, so you can see why it’s important to know and understand your insurance. It’s best to read through the policy and ask any questions you have so you can be sure you’re getting the coverage you need.

What types of events can I get insured for?

There are a bunch of events that you can be insured for, whether it’s a personal event (like a wedding) or a business event (like a holiday party.)

Some events you could get a policy for are…

  • Birthday parties
  • Corporate events
  • Festivals
  • Fundraisers
  • Weddings
  • Memorials

Severe weather cancellation can be covered by special event insurance.

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So, that’s what special event insurance is all about. If you’ve got an event coming up and you think you’d like to get some insurance, we would be happy to help you find the coverage you need to protect yourself from risk. We’re here to answer any questions you have and assist with your insurance needs. To get in touch and get started with some quotes, give us a call or fill out our online form today.