Event Preparation Should Include Liability Insurance

Festivals, trade shows, and parties as well as picnics, parades and weddings are events we all look forward to. As with everything, accidents happen and things can go wrong. A serious accident or incident at a joyous occasion is bad enough, but a lack of coverage for such an occurrence can be catastrophic.

Unsure of the need, or on the fence about purchasing coverage, some event planners and promoters have been caught unprepared.

“Any number of situations can arise creating liabilities for event promoters,” says April Moeser, executive vice president at LevelFirst. “Unfortunately, the oversight can be costly, eat into profit, cause serious injury and take the fun out of any occasion.”

In one case an insured event sponsor was directing traffic when she suffered injuries after being hit by a motorcycle. Medical bills and lost wage claims exceeded $68,000. In another case, fake blood was used for a special effect at a high school theater performance damaging curtains in an auditorium and costing $7,500.

While many claims involve accidents, Moeser says many of the liabilities faced involve alcohol.

Moeser describes a case where a guest who had been drinking heavily hit a tractor-trailer head on after leaving a party. The driver suffered severe injuries and sued the host for negligence. The driver’s injuries totaled $300,000. In another case, a minor was served at a brew festival, left the festival by car and struck a utility pole. The minor suffered severe facial lacerations and sued the event sponsor and beer vendor. Medical bills totaled $150,000.

Some protection may be had from other coverages such as homeowners insurance. When using a rented facility, premises liability is typically covered by the venue. In many cases, this coverage will not extend to all related risk exposures.

“If there is a storm and you had to cancel, insurance secured by the venue is not going to cover that,” Moeser says. “You need a special events policy to capture this exposure.”

Special events coverage can add a piece of mind, protect profit and keep unforeseen circumstances from dampening the fun.

For more information about coverage for special events including weddings, festivals, fairs, trade shows, sporting events and more, contact Heath McCasland at LevelFirst at 800-880-7428 x224.