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Mackay Insurance Blog

 

November 2019

Special-Event Insurance: When You Need It & How to Get It

special event insurance

Special-event insurance is a less well-known product – in fact, most people don’t even know they need it until after their event date has passed!

But depending on what you’re planning, you really may need it. In this litigious society we live in today, you just never know when an unexpected oops might turn into a headline-making lawsuit.

In this post, find out more about what special-event insurance is, when you need it, how much insurance you need and how to get it.

What Is Special-Event Insurance?

Special-event insurance might more accurately be named “special-event planner insurance.” It could also be called “one-day event insurance,” since in most cases it is active only for the time the event is taking place.

The primary purpose and goal of this type of insurance product is to protect you, the event planner, from any event or action that might cause you financial or personal distress.

More specifically, special-event insurance is designed to cover anything and everything that might occur during your special event that no other existing insurance policy will cover.

What Does Special-Event Insurance Cover?

Special-event insurance, like most insurance products, can be customized to some degree. This means the answer to the question of when you need special-event insurance may not be clear-cut at first.

It is always smart to talk with your Mackay broker to share the details of the event you are planning and discover if special-event insurance is a smart choice.

For general purposes, special-event insurance is designed to cover issues such as the following:

  • Damage/destruction of rented property (i.e., venue, tables, chairs, tent, vehicles)

  • Bodily injuries sustained by bystanders, participants, staff or you

  • Extra costs sustained by last-minute vendor cancellations or changes

  • Financial losses due to participant cancellations (permits, security deposits, etc.)

  • Issues related to alcohol (this often requires a special rider on the policy)

  • Event cancellations due to weather, fire, power outages and other unforeseen issues

When Do You Need Special-Event Insurance?

Here are some common event-planning scenarios to help you think through whether or not you may need a special-event insurance policy.

You are hosting an event at your home

In general, if you are hosting small events in your home, your homeowner’s insurance policy will probably be sufficient to cover you.

Here, you want to read the fine print of your policy, because sometimes there are exclusions for gatherings over a certain number of people, where alcohol will be served, specific types of gatherings (such as bachelor/bachelorette parties) and similar limitations.

If you will be bringing in a band, a DJ, portable bathrooms, a tent, valet parking attendants or any similar additions, you may also need one or more permits from your municipality.

And if you are hosting a party where most of the guests are personally not known to you, be sure to talk with your Mackay broker to find out if you need special-event insurance to increase liability coverage during the event.

You are hosting a personal event at a rented space

Purchasing special-event insurance is always a smart move if you are hosting an event at a rented space. If alcohol will be served, be sure to mention this when you take out your policy. Often this will require a separate policy rider.

Here, it does not matter whether the event will be private (invitation-only) or open to the public. In either case, and especially in the latter case, unless the rental venue specifically states otherwise, purchasing your own independent special-event insurance policy is a protection you don’t want to be without on the day of your event.

You are hosting an event for work

If the event you are hosting is for your employer and is part of your job description, it is quite likely your employer already has insurance that will protect you, but be sure to ask!

If the event you are hosting is for your own small business, talk with your Mackay broker about whether your existing small-business liability insurance policy is sufficient to protect you or if you need to add a separate event insurance policy for the day.

How Much Special-Event Insurance Do You Need?

As with any insurance policy, you have options when it comes to purchasing your policy. In general, event insurance is an inexpensive product and also one you have a great deal of control over.

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