What is special event insurance?
Last updated: January 1
Special event insurance is an insurance policy that helps protect your investment in a specific event, such as a wedding. Event insurance may help cover your costs if you unexpectedly need to cancel your event or if you're found responsible for property damage or an injury caused during your event.
What does special event insurance cover?
You may be able to purchase two types of coverage to help protect your upcoming event — cancellation coverage and liability coverage.
Event cancellation coverage
Event cancellation coverage may help reimburse you for lost deposits and other fees — up to your coverage limit — should something unexpected force you to delay or cancel your function. If your photographer closes shop suddenly, you'll likely be covered for the cost of the lost deposit and potentially unexpected charges from having to book another photographer at the last minute. If your officiant breaks his leg the day before your wedding and you're forced to postpone, this coverage may help pay fees associated with rescheduling the venue, caterer and other vendors. Be sure to check your policy to find out what types of situations may or may not be covered.
Event liability coverage
Event liability coverage may help protect you if you're found responsible for property damage or an injury caused during your event, and many venues require you to have it. If the band you hired damages a wall with their gear, for example, this coverage may help pay for repairs. Some policies also cover incidents caused by your guests. So, if someone gets a little wild on the dance floor and trips a waiter as he walks by, event liability coverage may help pay for medical expenses resulting from an injury. Remember, a coverage limit will apply. Keep in mind that while event liability coverage may help protect equipment that you rent from your venue, it likely will not pay for damage to equipment rented from a third-party company that's not associated with the venue. Again, make sure to read your policy to find out what kinds of situations it does and does not cover.
What Events Does Special Event Insurance Cover?
What types of events are not covered by special event insurance?
Public events, including dance recitals, sporting events and exhibitions, typically cannot be insured under this coverage, and neither can bachelor/bachelorette parties. Certain business functions, such as fundraisers or private corporate parties, may or may not be eligible. Your agent can tell you what specific events may qualify for coverage.
When should I buy event insurance?
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 — often no later than two weeks before your event but no sooner than two years prior.
What else should I know?
The Insurance Information Institute also offers these useful tips when you're looking into insuring your special event:
- Find out what coverage you may have already through home, auto or liability insurance as well as credit cards.
- Ask if your venue and vendors have liability insurance.
- Know what is and is not covered by the policy, such as honeymoon costs, special attire and gifts.
- Choose an insurer that is licensed in your state.
Hopefully your party goes off just as you hoped, but event insurance can help take your mind off the "what ifs" and let you focus on your special occasion.