Mackay Insurance Blog
Why Should You Invest in Event Insurance in Ontario?
Whether you're in the business of planning or throwing an event privately, you need to read this.
As the event organizer, it's up to you to ensure the safety of each of your guests. That includes the attendees as well as the staff and hosts!
Thankfully, Mackay Insurance offers a simple solution to protecting your guests - event insurance!
This insurance covers host liquor liability, medical payments, property damages, etc.
Note: If your event has corporate sponsors, event insurance is definitely a consideration factor. These sponsors typically ask for proof of coverage before sponsoring you.
It's also important to note that event insurance applies to both in-person and virtual events. In-person, virtual and hybrid events all hold a unique risk. But with the right coverage, you can ensure your event runs smoothly and safely!
Keep reading to learn about the potential risks associated with event hosting.
Potential Perils & Pitfalls of Virtual & In-Person Events
First, look at the potential risks associated with virtual and in-person events.
Over the last few years, hosting a virtual event has become increasingly normalized. In fact, it's unsurprising today to see virtual events for personal and professional purposes.
It may seem as though a virtual event holds less risk than an in-person. But there is an equal risk factor for both types of events.
Take a look a the risk factors involved in both of these event types:
Risk Factors For Virtual Events
In some ways, virtual events carry similar variables as in-person events.
For example, you can still cancel or postpone virtual events. Typically this is due to a speaker no-show, last-minute cancellation or technology issues.
And in other ways, virtual events carry a whole new level of risk than local events do.
One example is the risk of cyber hacking.
Cyber hacking disrupts your event and poses a security threat to your attendees.
Back in the pandemic days (around 2021), Zoom bombing actually made international news headlines!
Virtual events are also vulnerable to other cybercrime activities. Some examples include data leaks and identity theft.
Risk Factors For In-Person Events.
Just as virtual events have their specific perils, so do in-person events. These perils can include personal injury or damage to the venue.
There is always the risk of someone becoming injured at your event. It could be a guest, vendor, volunteer, performer or contract worker.
This risk escalates if you plan to have live music, a bar or interactive activities.
If your event serves alcohol, your liability also extends to when your guests leave.
What happens when your guests exit the premise and head home? Drunk driving accidents are serious offences.
Thankfully, your liability coverage protects you from legal repercussions.
Risks of Hybrid Special Events.
Hybrid special events include both a virtual and a local component.
An example might be when you stream your event virtually from a live event location site.
You'll often see this done for sports, conferences or private events (i.e. grad ceremonies).
Not sure how much coverage you need for your upcoming event? We discuss these details and more below!
How Much Event Insurance Coverage Do You Need?
Are you reading this blog thinking, "I don't even know what kind of event insurance I need”?
This learning curve is a necessary part of ensuring your event is successful.
Plus, you're never on your own in the learning process! Your Mackay broker always ensures you have the right coverage.
We create an event scope - covering everything from the number of guests to risk assessment.
This assessment ensures proper risk management and coverage.
Here's how to get the process started on your own!
1. Get your event details down on paper.
The first step is to sort out all your event details.
- What is your event date?
- When will the actual special event start and end?
- When will setup and teardown for your special event start and end?
- What is the schedule of activities?
- Will you have sponsors involved?
- Will you have volunteers at your event?
- Will you have performers or vendors at your event?
- Will your event include sports or interactive activities or games?
- Will you serve alcohol?
- Is your event local, virtual or hybrid?
- Will your event include or cater to minors?
- Will you rent a space for your event or host yourself?
These questions help develop the event scope.
2. Schedule a call with your Mackay Insurance broker.
We understand the investment of time, money and effort it takes to plan/host an event.
Our team of brokers wants to simplify the process - allowing you to just enjoy the party!
Once you have all the details figured out, it is time to sit down with your Mackay broker. We work with you to ensure your investment is well protected by identifying the exact components your coverage must include.
This meeting ensures that
a) You don't pay for unnecessary coverages.
b) You aren't missing crucial coverages - leaving you vulnerable to lawsuits.
Contact Mackay For Event Insurance in Ontario!
Our Mackay brokers help you plan a successful and memorable event.
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.