When and Why You Need Event Insurance


Event planners are often puzzled over whether to purchase event insurance, and if they do, exactly what they need to insure. Whether it’s an intimate cocktail party or a black-tie benefit, an indoor or outdoor event, a passive or interactive experience, some things are always out of your control. We have researched and dug deep into the insurance arena to clarify what event insurance is needed, who needs it, what it covers, and how to get it.

What is event insurance?

Insurance associated with events covers and protects planners in several specific areas. “Event insurance provides general liability for specific events.” Planners can purchase additional coverage that protects them from such things as liquor liability and event cancellation and if you hire a band they must have at least 2 Million Dollars of Liability Insurance and will be asked to name the venue as an additionally insured so the venue is not responsible for any damage the band may incur.

General Liability insurance protects a company and all parties involved in the event-the planner, venue, caterers, etc., for losses due to bodily injury or property damage caused by the insured’s employees or agents. Venues and agents will usually require liability for $2,000,000.

An unlimited number of your vendors and venues may be provided with certificates of insurance naming them as additional insured in the event of a loss.

  • Liquor Liability Insurance is sometimes necessary, especially if you are in a venue in which the bartenders are not covered or if you directly employ any part-time bartenders.
    Liquor liability covers arising from causing or contributing to the intoxication of a person; the accidental furnishing of alcoholic beverages to a person under the legal drinking age or under the influence of alcohol, or any statute, ordinance, or regulation relating to the sale, gift, distribution, or use of alcoholic beverages.
  • Cancellation Insurance will protect you in case of unforeseen situations such as inclement weather, including hurricane, if a venue is deemed unusable, or something else that requires you to cancel an event. This helps you cover many of the costs and deposits already paid.
    Most Bands and entertainers will have a clause in the contract with the planner “Force Majeure” which will basically state if any of the above does happen you will not get your deposit back. So Cancellation insurance will pay these losses back to you.
  • Hired/Non-owned Auto Liability provides liability coverage for vehicles rented specifically for the event, and auto-related injury to third parties or damage to their property. Hired auto physical damage covers damages to vehicles you rent
  • Worker’s Compensation provides medical benefits and salary compensation to your employees for injuries sustained while in your employment.

It is mandatory in the state of Florida and event planners should be aware of their legal obligation and requirements.  While not as likely as someone getting injured at an event, terrorism insurance is an option to be aware of depending on the type of event you are planning.

Why you need Special Event coverage.

In a society where litigation runs rampant, it’s always best to protect yourself from ever having to deal with those worst-case scenarios, especially if you’re the one in charge.

An event planner is like a general contractor: They’re at the top of the chain of responsibility and need to protect themselves in case someone has an accident and sues the venue or host and tries to bring in the law suit your band or Production company

It’s not just for your own protection. Many venues and vendors won’t do business with a planner or company that doesn’t have insurance

Choosing The Best Insurance Policy For Your Event

With so many terms flying around in the world of insurance-“liquor liability,” “general liability,” “additional insured”- it’s hard to know what is right for you. Most companies and planners purchase general liability, which provides broad coverage for such incidents as people slipping and falling or a faulty product passed out in a gift bag.

You can then consider the importance of including other coverage at an additional cost. Your safest bet is to purchase personal insurance for yourself. Some planners request that the client for whom they’re planning the event add them to their company policy as additionally insured. But in the long run, that may not be enough.

If the planner is negligent about something and the company wasn’t involved, it won’t protect the planner. We would recommend they get liability for themselves.

How To Get Insurance For Your Event

The first step is to call your own insurance agent and find out if you’re already covered, and for what. In some business policies, event coverage is automatic. Be sure the insurance carrier is financially stable and has a well-defined program for special events insurance.

Remember that things like liquor and weather are add-ons, and you are responsible for informing your insurance agent if you plan to serve alcohol at an event

Cost of Insurance for Your Event Entertainment

Prices will always vary. General liability cost is based on the type of event, its duration, and the number of people attending. But after tossing around different scenarios with insurance experts to determine the general-liability cost of insuring a black-tie benefit for more than 500 people, including liquor and live entertainment, we estimate a price range of $400 to 600 for the typical $1 million policy. Certain additions, like a policy covering a terrorist attack, can be added with a 1 to 2 percent surcharge.

No matter the size of your event or how well prepared you are, you never know when the worst-case scenario could become your reality, CK Entertainment carries a 2 million dollar liability insurance , plus owned auto and workers comp. Although we have never had to file a claim we consider this a necessary business expense to protect us as well as you the planner for anything we are contracted to do.