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Special Event Liability Insurance

August 28, 2012

With the Olympics earlier this month and political conventions looming, these types of gatherings highlight the importance of the coverages available in a Special Event Insurance policy, a policy which addresses risks unique to short term events.  This type of insurance is not just for large organizations or businesses – it is accessible and affordable to everyone, including those hosting small scale events.  Frequently forgotten or ignored as part of the event planning process, Special Event Insurance is an important type of policy to understand in evaluating potential risk exposures when sponsoring events, parties, etc.

First, what is a Special Event?

Events of short duration such as weddings, anniversary parties, fairs, carnivals, exhibitions, sporting events, fundraising dinners, private parties, reunions or other events lasting a few days all qualify.  Seasonal events or festivals lasting across a few consecutive weeks/weekends also often qualify as a special event.

What kind of coverage is included in Special Event Insurance?

Every policy is unique for every client.  However, like other liability insurance which indemnifies a policy holder if held liable for property damage or bodily injury, Special Event Insurance is liability coverage specific to risks associated with parties, exhibits, festivals, etc.  For example, special event insurance may offer coverage for cancellation, postponement, host liquor liability, liquor liability, prize indemnification (i.e. Hole in One contests), sudden illness, extreme weather, etc. as part of the policy or as a standalone policy.

Components of Special Event Insurance

There are several considerations with regard to Special Event Insurance, however it is important to review the definitions and terms for some of the key elements being discussed:

Liability – Insurance coverage for bodily injury, property damage, and personal injuries to third parties.

Event liability – Protects the policy holder, host, or honoree against liability arising from an event. 

Liquor Liability – Protects the policy holder against alcohol-related suits brought as a result of an intoxicated guest or other alcohol-related accidents at an event.

Additional Insured – Rental facilities and venues often require proof of insurance and may also require adding the facility or venue as an Additional Insured in order to transfer some of the risk to the event organization or business responsible for the event.

Vendor Coverage – Vendors such as caterers or musicians are usually NOT usually covered on a Special Event policy.  Any vendors participating in event should carry their own liability insurance that addresses their area of expertise.

Without adequate liability protection, exposure to damages and costs can escalate to the extent that an event organizer, business, or individual may suffer financial hardship or even bankruptcy.  Even with careful planning, special event insurance can help mitigate unplanned events. Plan to expect the unexpected, and check into the options available for this type of specialty coverage.

As your Insurance Specialist, we are always looking for ways to keep you informed. We invite you to subscribe to our blog, or check us out on Facebook and Twitter!

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