Escaping Event Catastrophe
Event Insurance 101
No one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected.
One of the primary goals in event planning is preparedness—making plans for things you anticipate and having backup plans for those you don’t. Having the proper insurance in place before your big event will prevent you and your company from being held liable for injuries or property damage incurred during your highly anticipated occasion. There are a wide variety of insurance providers and policy types that differ in terms of coverage and classification. We’ll cover a few of the most common, and the one you’ll hope gets used.
But first, allow us to put a little bit of healthy fear in you. After all, the biggest roadblock for many would-be insurance shoppers is not the paperwork. It’s the doubt. Doubt that anything bad could possibly happen. Doubt that their coworkers would ever sue. So for the record, enjoy this rich menu of a sampling of common lawsuits filed by employees after company parties:
- Food poisoning
- Sexual harassment
- Alcohol-related injury
Convinced? Good. Now, here’s what you can do about it:
General Liability Insurance
Special Event General Liability Insurance is a product offered by a number of different insurers, with some basic benefits in common. Some policies have no deductibles whatsoever, and are primarily intended to protect against bodily injury and property damage claims. The sources of those claims aren’t always obvious, either. A policy we reviewed clearly states coverage of claims arising from “operations, premises, products and completed operations, advertising, and personal injury liability.” Really, advertising? One of the benefits of general liability insurance is protection from those risks that would never cross your mind. Advertising, believe it or not, has been the instigator of numerous lawsuits in recent years.
Lance Salisbury, our VP of Event Marketing, encourages event partners to review each vendor’s insurance coverage, as well. “Many vendors carry their own liability insurance. Checking with your vendors first will prevent unnecessary redundancy.”
If you’re looking to insure a company party, check your existing insurance policy for information about after-hours events. You may already be covered, or can easily expand your policy to cover the event with a quick phone call. For those shopping around for special event general liability insurance, there’s no shortage of options. Below are just a few of the insurance companies that offer this very product:
Event Manager Eddy Willingham encourages partners to make sure that their understood coverage is reflected in their written policies: “Make sure you have the proper scope of coverage and dollar amounts, and confirm that you’re named on all Certificates of Insurance carried by vendors as an additional insured.”
Okay, enough with the apocalyptic warnings. Let’s move on to a subject that will turn your “what if” worries into “what if” hopes.
Most insurance is purchased with hopes of never having to use it. But there’s one kind of insurance that any event planner would delight is cashing in: prize insurance. Those hole-in-one competitions you see at grand opening events and auto dealers? It turns out that giving away $50,000 cash doesn’t have to cost $50,000. By purchasing prize insurance, hosts pay a fixed rate (sometimes as little as a few hundred dollars) to an insurance company for backing of a specific chance giveaway. If a lucky employee gets a hole-in-one at the company party, the employee could walk away with some cold hard cash without emptying your social budget.