Many venues require event liability insurance before you can book them for your event. In this guide, we’ll give you the low-down on event insurance, including what’s typically required by venues, what’s covered, what’s not covered, typical costs, where to buy event insurance and more.
Please bear in mind, this guide is not written by a lawyer or insurance broker. For answers related to your specific situation, be sure to consult a lawyer or certified broker.
Our Recommended Event Insurance Providers
Option 1: CoverWallet (For Small Businesses)
For small businesses that regularly hold events, having insurance is key. That way if a guest accidentally sets the venue on fire or your headlining act cancels at the last minute, you aren’t stuck with costs that could cripple your business. CoverWallet is a great option. They provide insurance for bodily injury, vendors breaching contracts, liquor liability, cancellation, and property damage. To get a free quote, just take 5 minutes and fill out your event info on their site.
Option 2: Event Helper (For Quick Coverage)
For low cost, fast and hassle-free event insurance, we recommend using Event Helper. They cover a huge range of events, from weddings to concerts, corporate events, trade shows, sports competitions and more. You can view a quote and purchase coverage immediately online, and their pricing is considerably lower than other providers.
Option 3: AJ Gallagher (For Comprehensive Coverage)
For larger, public or multi-day events, we recommend speaking with a broker at AJ Gallagher. Event insurance policies can have a lot of exclusions, so it’s important you find a policy that covers everything at your event. AJ Gallagher partners with many different insurance carriers nationwide, so they can find a policy that’s perfect for your specific event. Click here to schedule a consultation.
What Is Event Insurance?
Event insurance can refer to 2 different types of policies:
- Event Liability Insurance. This is the most common type of event insurance. It covers hosts in the event of injury or property damage occurring at the event. This type of insurance is often required by venues, as it protects them from damage to their property.
- Event Cancellation Insurance. This covers hosts in the event they need to cancel or reschedule their event. This coverage can typically be added to an event liability insurance policy for an optional extra fee.
How Much Does Event Insurance Cost?
The price of event liability insurance will vary widely depending on the type of event, the length of the event and the number of attendees.
Standard wedding liability coverage costs $70 – $120 (through EventHelper) depending on the number of attendees. This gives you $1 million in coverage per incident (or $2 million in aggregate) which is the standard amount required by most venues.
For a 3 day trade show with 2,000 attendees, you’ll pay closer to $500 (or higher, if the venue requires a greater coverage limit.)
Event cancellation coverage requires an additional premium – typically about 1 to 2% of your overall budget.
What Does Event Insurance Cover?
Event liability insurance can cover hosts in the event that an accident occurs at their event. This can include:
- Bodily Injury Claims – such as, if a guest is injured at your event.
- Property Damage Claims – such as, if a guest or vendor causes damage to the venue
- Liquor Liability Claims – any accident that results from serving alcohol at your event
Event cancellation insurance covers can reimburse you for expenses if an emergency causes the event to be cancelled or postponed. Examples of emergencies include extreme weather, accidents or illnesses.
Event Insurance Coverage Examples
Bodily Injury – Say a food vendor you hired is mopping up in the kitchen. A guest wanders in and slips on the floor, causing an injury. The guest claims they were trying to find the bathroom and didn’t realize they were heading into the wrong room, let alone that the floor was wet. If the guest seeks damages, your event liability insurance should have you covered.
Liquor Liability – Say this same guest was intoxicated after drinking alcohol served at your event. The guest claims intoxication was the reason that they fell. If the guest seeks damages, your event liability insurance should have you covered ONLY IF you included liquor liability coverage.
Property Damage – Your food vendor is preparing dinner in the kitchen. A small fire erupts that causes damage to some appliances. The venue holds you (the host) responsible for the damages. Your event liability insurance should have you covered.
Event Cancellation – The day before a company fundraiser, your keynote speaker is injured in an accident and is unable to attend. You decide to reschedule the event for one month later. If you purchased event cancellation insurance, any lost deposits or payments should be reimbursed.
What Does Event Insurance Not Cover?
Exclusions will vary depending on your specific policy, but here’s a few examples of common event insurance exclusions:
Liquor Liability: Most event insurance policies include liquor liability coverage by default. However, if you choose to opt out (because you are not serving alcohol or for other reasons) and save on your premium, you will not be covered if any accidents occur as a result of alcohol being served at your event.
Sports & Contests: Unless specifically requested, your event liability coverage may not cover injury and damages that occur during a game. LexisNexis chronicles a specific 2006 case in which coverage was not granted because the policy did not cover “participation of any person in any athletic event, contest game, demonstration, exhibition, race or show.”
Improper Setup: Some policies will exclude coverage on temporary structures if you fail to set them up properly. A common example is a tent or canopy used for an outdoor festival. Failure to follow directions closely when setting one up can exclude you from coverage in the event the tent collapses and property damage or bodily injury occurs.
The Bottom Line
Many venues require a $1 million occurrence / $2 million aggregate liability insurance policy in order to book your event. If you’re just looking for fast certification, we recommend Event Helper – it’s incredibly fast, straightforward and less expensive than their competitors.
For larger, public or multi-day events, it’s important to find a policy that covers everything you need. In these situations, we recommend speaking with a broker at AJ Gallagher. They can get on the phone with you to discuss exactly what kind of policy you need, then search their network of carriers for the perfect option. Click here to schedule a consultation.