Everything you need to know about event insurance

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Whether you organise festivals, conferences or another type of event, it pays to understand event insurance.

Here’s what you need to know. 

What is event insurance?

Event insurance is an umbrella term for a range of different types of insurance that protect your business or organisation in case something goes wrong. 

Say, for example, someone got injured at your event and decided to sue you. Or your event got cancelled because of bad weather. Being covered with the right insurance means you won’t be left facing these costs alone. 

What insurance do event planners need?

There are lots of different types of business insurance that might be useful for event planners. As an absolute bare minimum, though, you’ll need employer’s liability insurance (it’s a legal requirement if you employ one or more people). And, though it’s not a legal requirement, it’s pretty much a given that event planners should have public liability insurance too. 

Finally, if there are certain circumstances outside of your control that might lead to your event being cancelled, you should consider cancellation cover. 

Employer’s liability insurance: Employer’s liability insurance protects you if an employee gets injured at work and takes legal action against you. For example, if they tripped over some poorly placed cables or hurt their back lifting something heavy. 

Public liability insurance: Public liability insurance protects you if a member of the public gets injured at your event and takes legal action against you. Most venues will need you to show a public liability insurance certificate because they won’t want to be the ones responsible if someone gets hurt at your event. 

Cancellation cover: Cancellation cover (also sometimes called contingency cover) protects you if your event needs to be cancelled. It’ll usually cover a predefined budget you had for the event, and possibly some of the profits you were projected to make. 

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What else can event insurance cover?

Asides from the bare minimum cover, there are plenty of other types of insurance that could help provide the security you and your event business need. A couple to think about getting include:

Property cover: This protects any equipment you use at your event, for example, AV equipment.

Hired equipment cover: This protects any equipment you hire for your event. 

Professional indemnity insurance: This can be useful if you’re planning an event for someone else. It protects you if a client feels a service you provided ended up costing them in some way, or that your work didn’t meet their ‘expectations’. Even though you put your heart and soul into your events, things can go wrong and clients can be tricky, which could result in them bringing legal action against you.

We have an article on essential questions to ask during the event briefing process, which can be useful for making scenarios like this less likely.

Where to buy event insurance

You can buy event insurance from a reputable business insurance provider. It’s worth looking for one that offers a specialist event insurance range, or lets you design your own plan. 

How much does event insurance cost?

There’s no set price for event insurance – insurers will work out the cost based on things like what kind of cover you want, the size of your event and certain risk factors about your event. For example, if there are high-speed rides or water-based activities, the insurance will probably cost more. 

Make sure you understand your policy’s exclusions

When you take out event insurance, it can be easy to think you’re protected against all scenarios. But there are likely to be some exclusions to be aware of, for example, cancellation policies often exclude terrorism (although you can probably add this on separately if you want). It’s also unlikely you’ll be covered for lack of ticket sales – if your event just doesn’t turn out to be very popular, your insurer won’t pay out for that. 

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The main event insurance mistake to avoid is...

Getting your insurance too late – you should aim to get it as soon as you’ve started booking things. 

This is because any number of things could go wrong in the run up to your event. And things can happen in the world that actually make it harder to get event insurance for a certain period of time. Say, for example, there was a series of train strikes in the area of your event that might affect attendance. You might then find it harder to get event cancellation cover that covers you for that particular problem.

When all’s said and done, it’s crucial to protect your business when event planning. No matter how organised you are, there are plenty of external factors that could derail things, and see your operation suffer – potentially irrecoverably. That’s why we say: be wise – and insurance up!