Commercial Insurance: Special Events 101

When it comes to special events, you never know when the worst-case scenario could become reality. Even with the most careful planning, unexpected situations do occur. Will you clients be prepared?

Whether your they’re planning a corporate event, holding a large rock concert, community festival, car show or convention, odds are insurance is the last thing on your clients’ minds. Help them protect themselves and their investment by doing the thinking for them.

Any time a major holiday or seasonal change is drawing near, like St. Patrick’s Day (March, 17, 2015. Gosh & begorrah!), is the right time to reach out to your clients and ask if they have any special events on their calendars. Offer to review their insurance policies to help identify any weak areas and options for filling those gaps.

To help educate your clients/prospects on special events insurance, here is a list of possible questions that you could use to develop a Q&A, make sell sheets, post to your website or use in social media posts:

What is Special Event General Liability Insurance?

Special Event Liability Insurance (also referred to as CGL, Commercial General Liability or Spectator Liability) is an insurance policy designed to provide broad protection for situations in which an event holder or concessionaire must defend itself against lawsuits or pay damages for bodily injury or property damage to third parties. Host liquor liability is included if there is no transfer of money for alcohol. This policy also gives protection to the venue and or sponsors of the event by adding them to the policy as an additional insured. Examples, such as a slip and fall or damaged floors are covered by this type of policy. Exclusions do apply.

What is an event holder?

The person, organization or company responsible for the organization and promotion of the special event and typically the signer of the rental facility use agreement.

What is a vendor/exhibitor/concessionaire?

A vendor/exhibitor/concessionaire is a person or firm that operates a business within the premises belonging to another under a concession, usually as the only seller of certain goods or services during a short duration special event such as a carnival, convention, concert or flea market. An example of a concessionaire would be a jewelry salesman at a swap meet or an artist selling their art at an arts and crafts show.

My venue has asked for a certificate of insurance with them added as an Additional Insured. What does this mean and how do I add them?

You, the special event holder, will most likely be required to provide proof of liability insurance to the facility/venue where you have decided to hold your special event. In addition to providing proof (in the form of a piece of paper known as a Certificate of Insurance) to the facility/venue that you have secured a liability insurance policy, you may also be required to add the facility/venue to this required liability insurance policy as an insured. This is known as adding the facility/venue as an Additional Insured to this liability insurance policy, which the facility/venue requires you to purchase before you will be allowed to hold your special event.

The practice of a facility/venue requiring that all persons or entities renting or using the site name them as an Additional Insured on a General Liability insurance policy is quite common. It is so common, in fact, that the required Additional Insured wording or language is generally contained within the Insurance Requirement section of the Facility Rental Agreement or Facility Use Agreement.

Other questions you may want to address could include:

  • My venue has specific wording to be added to the certificate of liability. Can Event Liability Insurance accommodate this?
  • During the online application process, you can enter your venue’s required wording. You will receive your policy documents and certificate of liability instantly online.
  • What is liquor liability? Do I need it?
  • How far in advance must I purchase a Special Event General Liability Policy for my event to be covered?
  • Additional questions:
  • What types of events are covered?
  • What limits of insurance do you offer?
  • What are the insurance coverages available for Event Liability Insurance?
  • Who is protected under a Special Event General Liability Insurance policy?
  • Does the policy cover alcohol-related accidents?
  • What is Host Liquor Liability?
  • How do I make changes to my policy?
  • What is your cancellation/refund policy?
  • Do you offer an Annual Event Liability Policy?
  • Does the policy have a deductible?
  • How do I report a claim?

Having the proper insurance for a special event can make the difference between experiencing a minor bump in the road when challenges arise and a complete detour. Help your clients stay on course by helping them make the most educated decisions possible.