A special event can be as simple as a birthday party or as complex as a month-long state fair. If you are planning a special event, you need to check with a professional insurance agent to determine what coverage, if any, may be provided by your existing insurance and what additional special event insurance you will need to carry.
You should obtain insurance for events well before the time it is needed, because the process to underwrite this kind of coverage can be complicated and lengthy.
This article is courtesy of SouthGroup Insurance and Trusted Choice. You may view the full article here: https://www.trustedchoice.com/business-insurance/liability/special-event.
Special events can involve a many different exposures:
- Automobile liability
- Liquor liability
- Aircraft liability
- Spectator liability
- Products liability
- General premises liability
- Animal liability
- Liability for rented or loaned property
- Damage to owned property
- Medical malpractice if you have a first aid station
Standard personal or commercial policies will not cover all these exposures. In most cases you will find that you are better off having event liability insurance that is specifically tailored to cover your situation.
Here is the kind of information an insurance agent will want to have available in order to price your special event insurance:
- The nature of the event
- The length of the event
- The location of the event
- A list of all activities planned
- The number of participants expected
- What are the provisions for crowd control?
- Will liquor be served or sold?
- Are there any amusement rides?
- Are there activities that can involve injury to spectators?
- Are vehicles or other motorized equipment involved?
- Is food to be provided or sold?
- Are outside vendors involved and will they provide proof of their own insurance?
- Who is running the event and what experience have they had?
- Are there any prior claims if the same event has been held previously?
- What limits of liability are requested?
If you are planning to rent a facility for the event, the owner may require that you purchase special event coverage as a condition of the rental. In many cases, the owner will want to be an additional named insured on the policy.
Weddings and concerts are two of the most common special events. A private wedding in a church with a reception on the grounds will not normally require special event insurance.
However, if your wedding is a more elaborate event in a rented facility, you may have to purchase a special events insurance policy. You should take extra caution if your event involves alcohol. Liquor liability laws vary from state to state.
However, it is very possible that if you provide alcohol to a guest or participant at your wedding and that person later is responsible for an accident, you could have some legal responsibility. If you do provide alcohol, the safest thing to do is to be sure your special event insurance includes this exposure.
Concerts can vary from small, one-time events to large, elaborate affairs involving thousands of spectators. Some concerts involve fireworks, which can and have caused serious injuries and large legal claims. Large events can also involve issues having to do with crowd control.
Crowd control is a challenging issue for concert organizers to deal with. Too little crowd control can cause injuries to spectators and potential liability risks, but too much crowd control can be just as problematic and could also cause you to face a lawsuit if a patron was handled roughly by a bouncer, for example.
A festival can be anything from a bake sale in your church parking lot to a large music festival like Lollapalooza. The longer the event, the more activities, and the more participants involved, the more likely it is that you'll need private event insurance.
One-day events, like a 5K run or a food truck festival, still take a lot of effort to organize. Depending on the events you plan and the vendors you use, you may still have a lot of insurance risk to juggle.
If you have vendors at your event, make sure you know if they have proof of insurance to operate at the site. Similar to a wedding or a concert, be sure that you have insurance to cover your exposure, like liquor liability insurance.
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