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It could be your wedding day, a concert with friends, a festival with the kids, a sporting event cheering on our favorite team, or just a celebration with family; these are the days that we consider special events. While special events are most often the best days of our lives, there is always someone on the planning or hosting side that might feel more overwhelmed with stress than with joy. Everyone wants their big days to run as smoothly as possible, but we all know that does not always turn out to be the case. This is why Special Event policies are so important, they are in place for those unforeseen moments that cannot be planned for. Make sure to get the right policy and take some of that pressure off, so you can be part of the event you worked so hard to create. It lets you focus on those key details that will make your event all the more, well….special.

Special Event General Liability

Special event general liability policies offer protection for situations in which an event holder or concessionaire must assure themselves against lawsuits or pay damages for bodily injury (BI) or property damage (PD) to third party entities. These events may be no longer than an afternoon (like a sporting event) or may last several days (like a festival). If you are holding your event at a location in which you do not own the property, the proprietor may ask to be listed as an additional insured entity. It is common to see an additional insured endorsement to these policies which provides protection to the venue and sponsors of the event as well. Beyond liability, there are three other key areas of most special event packages that you should look for, Property, Cancellation, and Liquor Liability.

Property, Cancellation & Liquor Liability Insurance

Depending on the event, you may have a lot of things you are worried about getting potentially damaged (i.e. a wedding). A property insurance policy protects equipment at events ranging from complex and expensive sound systems to your go to plastic folding tables. These items can be owned, borrowed, or rented specifically for the event. Property policies generally cover property while in transit (that is to and from the event) and during the event hours of operations, but what if the event gets canceled? Great question.

Cancellation policies are important for preventing serious monetary losses in the very case of a cancellation. These policies can be beneficial, even when the event is not entirely canceled. Expenditures due to unanticipated circumstances (ex: alternate forms of transportation to an event because of inclement weather) are normally covered. These policies typically cover all risks that are outside of the control of the host. These include inclement weather, equipment breakdown, strikes, or disease outbreaks. A single policy can cover multiple events, in which case you should let your agent know up front if you are planning for more than one event at a time. Policies are less expensive if they are purchased in advance, so if you know you are going to need a special event policy contact your agent early on to save. Costs vary depending on the time of year, type of event, and the level of environmental risk in the surrounding geographic area. Also, the amount alcohol consumption if provided at the event can cause a variance in costs.

Speaking of alcohol, liquor liability coverage is necessary if you are charging for alcoholic beverages at an event or if a liquor license is mandatory to distribute them. You may be held responsible for an event for several circumstances including causing or contributing to the intoxication of a person. Providing alcoholic beverages to an individual under legal drinking age or under the influence of alcohol. It is important to remember violating any statute, ordinance or regulation relating to the sale, gift, distribution or use of alcoholic beverages places you at risk for legal liability.

What is best for you?

The value of any special event policy depends greatly on the nature and size of your specific event. Being aware of your responsibilities, obligations, and obtaining the policy that best suits your needs will help protect your, your family, and/or business from financial hardships. Contact Burton & Company to evaluate your event needs and learn more about which coverages are best for you. I hope you enjoyed this post and I encourage you to please comment, follow, like, subscribe and share anything you find helpful on @BurtonandCoIns If you have more questions or would like to speak with one of our specialists, please contact one of our Burton & Company locations. Check back soon for new & exciting content! Until next time…