Types Of Event Insurance: Cancellation Vs Liability, For Weddings, Retirement Parties & More

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Bride feet on stairs (caption: Event Insurance)While hosting a large event, like a wedding or retirement party, is a fun celebration for you and your guests, it’s also a stressful and expensive undertaking — and things can go wrong. What if you have to cancel your event due to unforeseen circumstances? What if one of your guests gets seriously injured and you are liable?

Having event insurance can help protect you. The relative cost of this type of specialty insurance is minimal compared to the financial blow you could face if something unexpected occurs.

Article Overview

Event Insurance Basics

Event insurance helps cover financial and legal liabilities when hosting an event. There are two main types: event cancellation and event liability, which we go into in more detail in the next section.

When Do I Need Event Insurance?

Special event insurance is a sound investment when you’re forking out thousands of dollars on a venue and multiple vendors/services. You should also consider it if your event involves the potential for bodily injury or property damage. Some common examples of when getting event insurance makes sense include:

Wedding Insurance

Ring with heart breakThe most common reason individuals buy event insurance is for weddings. According to Wedding Wire, the average wedding cost in the U.S. is $30,000, including expenses for the venue, rentals, catering, flowers, and many other expensive services that you’ve contracted from private vendors.

Event insurance can protect you from financial losses in case you have to cancel once you’ve already paid costly deposits. It can also help protect you from alcohol-related accidents or damage.

In addition to weddings, event insurance can also help protect family reunions, anniversary parties, bar or bat mitzvahs, and many other large-scale personal events.

Get An Event Insurance Quote From Hiscox

Types Of Event Insurance

Now, down to the details. There are two main types of event insurance: event liability and event cancellation.

Event Cancellation Insurance

Storm cloud with rain iconIf you need to cancel or postpone your event, many venues and vendors won’t refund your pricey deposits and other expenses. However, if you have event cancellation insurance, you’ll be covered against this hefty financial blow if the event is canceled or postponed due to unforeseen circumstances. The key is to make sure you purchase enough coverage to reimburse all of your potential losses.

What are some of the circumstances that event cancellation insurance will cover? Most policies will cover you in the case of:

  • Accident or illness of host or honoree (or an immediate family member).
  • Extreme weather, such as a hurricane or major snowstorm.

Most event cancellation policies cover (but not all, so be sure to read the fine print):

  • Military deployment.
  • Vendor or venue bankruptcy.
  • Vendor no-show.
  • Damage to special attire.
  • Lost or damaged photography or videography.
  • Stolen, lost, or damaged gifts.
  • Professional counseling (covers treatment of severe emotional stress due to the event’s cancellation or postponement).

Tip: Check each provider’s policy carefully before purchasing to see which specific instances qualify and which don’t.

Event Liability Insurance

Person falling iconEvent liability insurance helps protect you if someone causes property damage to the venue or someone incurs an injury at your event, and you are found liable.

Features of event liability insurance policies vary by provider, but many include:

  • A choice of several different occurrence limits (usually starting at $500,000). Some venues will require a specific limit based on your number of guests.
  • Zero deductibles for personal injury claims.
  • Host liquor liability insurance coverage, which is typically included but may also appear as an add-on.

Note: Many venues now require you to show proof of event liability insurance with their venue listed on the certificate of insurance (the venue is typically named as “additional insured” on the certificate). Be sure to check with your venue to see if this is something they require, as more and more are now demanding this.

Get An Event Insurance Quote From Hiscox

Are You Holding A Destination Wedding?

Are you traveling to a tropical paradise or the city of your dreams for your wedding? Destination weddings have exploded in popularity over the last decade. Event cancellation insurance can protect you from cancellation expenses, even at a tropical location.

If you’re one of these lucky couples, you may also want to explore getting travel insurance for you, your partner, and your family members. This type of insurance can cover you from travel expense-related losses if you have to postpone or cancel your wedding.

Is Event Insurance Really What You Need?

While you’re considering event insurance, it’s a perfect time to protect other areas of your life as well. Be sure to read our guide on other types of insurance you should consider.

And if you have questions about what event insurance coverage or other types of insurance products might be right for you, please ask us in the comment section below. Our team includes a licensed insurance agent who can answer any questions you might have.

About The Author:

While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s graduate school for journalism and public relations, Sally began a long career researching and writing about hard-to-understand topics, such as insurance and finance.

Her additional experience in marketing, fundraising, public relations and financial planning at various foundations and nonprofit organizations over the years has given her the practical tools to inform consumers about making the smartest business and personal financial decisions. Her work has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, People, Forbes, Huffington Post, and more.

Speaking of smart living — growing up in the (at-the-time) per-capita murder capital of the U.S. (Richmond, VA) taught her a thing or two about the need for personal and home safety. Sally stays on top of all the latest gadgets and services to protect her and her teenage daughters from potential predators and thieves. And she brings this knowledge to every article she writes.

Disclaimer: Information regarding insurance company offerings, pricing, and other contract details are subject to change by the insurance company at any time and are not under the control of this website. Information published on this website is intended for reference use only. Please review your policy carefully before signing up for a new insurance contract or any other contract as your unique circumstances will differ from those that may be used for example purposes in this article.

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