Weddings, reunions and other special events may need special event insurance coverage
The bride and groom dance the night away at the wedding reception. Your family sings karaoke late into the evening. Your college classmates reunite and tell stories over a bonfire.
If you’re planning a special event like this, you’ll need to book the venue, arrange the food, schedule the entertainment and make sure your insurance policy includes the coverage you’ll need. For some events, your homeowners or umbrella insurance will provide enough coverage. But, for other events, you’ll need event insurance.
Know the Venue Requirements
If you plan to book a venue (and sign a contract), ask about the insurance requirements. Different venues require different levels, types and documentations of coverage. Ask these questions to be sure you can meet the requirements:
- What type of coverage is required?
Venues may require different types of coverage. Some homeowners insurance or umbrella insurance policies will include coverage while others will not. For example, at Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance, coverage for special events is not included with a homeowners or umbrella insurance policy. We refer our policyholders to a special events insurance company that can provide the specific insurance needed to host a special event.
- Are any special events excluded from your insurance policy?
If your homeowners or umbrella insurance policy includes special events, make sure the specific type of event you are planning is covered. Some homeowners or umbrella insurance policies will exclude specific types of events, such as aircraft/aviation, athletic events, carnival rides, demolition work, use of fire, use of guns, jousting, martial arts, luge, music concerts and more. Check with your insurance company to be sure your event is not excluded from coverage under your homeowners or umbrella insurance policy.
- What level of coverage is required?
Whether the venue requires $500,000 or $1,000,000 or more in coverage, be sure your insurance policy meets the required minimum coverage. You won’t want to risk being underinsured if an accident takes place during the event. Review the requirements carefully. For some venues, limits vary based on what activities will occur at the event. For example, a venue may require a $1 million minimum if alcohol will not be served at the event or a $2 million minimum if alcohol will be served.
- Does the venue need to be listed as an additional insured?
Whether you are using your home insurance policy, umbrella insurance policy or a special events insurance policy to cover your event, you may need to list the venue as an ‘additional insured.’ That means the policy will be modified to include the venue as an insured party. Be sure to find out the full list of those who must be added to the policy as an ‘additional insured.’ Your insurance company may charge a fee to add the venue to your policy.
Buying a Special Event Insurance Policy
If your homeowners or umbrella insurance policy will not cover your special event, look for a special event insurance policy. Sometimes called ‘wedding insurance,’ these policies are specifically designed to cover your special event, whether it is a wedding, anniversary party, class reunion or other event. A special event insurance policy often comes with additional coverage:
- Cancellation coverage — If extreme weather or a natural disaster forces you to cancel or postpone the event, a special event insurance policy may provide financial protection.
- Key person coverage — If an important event participant falls ill, is injured or dies, the insurance may cover some of your event planning costs.
- No show coverage — If a vendor fails to deliver the flowers, cake or food for your event, the insurance coverage may help you recoup some of the costs.
- Counseling — If cancellation of the event causes you emotional stress that requires professional counseling (and you provide a doctor’s note), special event insurance coverage may cover the costs of such counseling.
Special event insurance policies are different than liability insurance. Ask your event venue which type of insurance is needed.
If you are planning an event at home, check with your insurance company to be sure your homeowners or umbrella insurance policy will protect you if something goes wrong at the event. That way, you can focus your attention on the event details that matter — like the words to the next karaoke song.