A special event can take a significant amount of time and money to plan – coordinating vendors, selecting the menu, securing the venue and so many other details. As much as you plan, though, there is always a chance that something unexpected could happen. Whether the event is canceled due to an illness in the family or you need to make an accommodation when there is an issue with a vendor, you may still be responsible for most of the costs and perhaps some new ones as well. However, special event insurance is designed with situations like these in mind.
There are two types of event insurance coverage most popular on the market – event cancellation coverage and event liability coverage. While event cancellation coverage is completely optional, many venues, including our own exclusive venues Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Museum of Art and Eiteljorg Museum, require event liability coverage that names the museum as an additional insured party.
Event cancellation coverage may reimburse you for lost deposits and fees should something unexpected force you to delay or cancel your function. However, there is quite a bit of red tape with cancellation coverage and not all situations may be covered. Additionally, this type of coverage is only valid for a specified period of time, so claims made outside of a certain window may not be addressed at all (i.e. cancelling your event several months prior to the event date).
Event liability coverage may protect you if you’re found responsible for property damage or an injury caused during your event, and many venues, like our venue-partners, may require you to have it. For example, if you hire a band and their gear damages the walls of the venue, this coverage may help pay for repairs. Some policies also cover incidents caused by your guests, and also cover medical issues from slip and fall accidents. Again, like any insurance coverage, what is covered is entirely situational so it’s important to read both the expected insurance coverage requirements of your venue and vendors, and also to read the finer details of the policy you are purchasing.
Keep in mind that it’s a good idea to purchase special event insurance as soon as you start making deposits or purchases for your event. There may also be restrictions on when you can purchase coverage such as no sooner than two weeks prior to your event (some venues require that proof of insurance is provided to them in a specified window prior to your event as well).
Just like the research done when seeking an event venue, be sure to get as many quotes as possible before deciding and make sure to compare each policy’s deductible, premium, types of coverage, coverage limits, and the types of events covered.
Every insurance policy and every special event is different. Be sure to speak with your vendors that require you to have insurance so you can get the right type of insurance. It’s better to be safe than be sorry.