Wait….what? Insurance? Why?
Weddings involve months of planning, thousands of dollars, and so much time involvement – are you really prepared to leave yourself in a lurch should the unthinkable happen? NOPE. Are you prepared to cover any damages caused by your guests to the venue or the medical expenses if someone trips and falls on the dance floor? Also – NOPE. Thus, you need wedding insurance. Or, event insurance as they mostly refer to it.
Be forewarned: there are different kinds of insurance involved with events and weddings. The first is Liability Insurance. Here in California, your venue will likely require it. Most venues require as part of their contract that the licensee (whoever signs the contract) obtain a one day event insurance general liability policy naming them as an additional insured for usually $1 million dollars (sometimes $2 mil for historic or other high-risk properties). Additionally, if the venue allows you to bring in an outside caterer + bar, they will want you to add host liquor liability as well. This means that as the ‘host’ of the event (the one providing alcohol free of charge), you will ultimately be responsible for the alcohol consumption on property.
This should all be clearly defined in your contract – be sure to find it and list the venue exactly as it is worded, as sometimes it is the name of the parent company or LLC, not the name of the venue itself. It costs $$ to change it if you get it wrong. The exact policy requirements will also be listed, as well if they are requiring host liquor liability. If your venue doesn’t require it? We always suggest getting it anyway. You never know what will happen, especially with alcohol in the mix.
The second type is actually ‘Wedding Insurance’, which covers you getting your money back should there be a natural disaster, a vendor breaching contract causing you to need to hire another, wedding venue closure and a whole host of other issues. It’s a small price to pay for piece of mind, given all the money and time you are putting into this event that will only happen the one time. There are different levels of coverage, some even cover paying to take your wedding photos again if something happens in the development process or you photographer goes MIA.
Great – Where do I get this insurance policy? Event insurance policies can be easily acquired from sites like www.eventhelper.com, www.wedsafe.com or www.wedsure.com, or as a rider to an existing homeowners policy, and usually costs between $100-$300 for liability and anywhere from $500 and up for full coverage depending on your wedding specifications and location. For regular liability policies – the more dollar coverage they want the policy to be for, the more it will cost. Same with adding more additional insured, and ditto if your event lasts for multiple days. Sometimes, venues have specific insurance agents they require you to get the policy from. This will be listed in your contract with them as well if that is the case.
I’m sure you’re thinking, um…….don’t my vendors have insurance? What is that covering? Yes, vendors like planners, photographers, etc. should carry a general liability yearly insurance policy as well as workers compensation insurance, which covers them and their employees. However, this only covers things the vendor does. For instance, it would cover any large-scale décor they bring and set up if it should fall and injure someone, or if one of their employees is running when they shouldn’t be and sprain their ankle. However, vendor policies do not cover any damage to the venue caused by any uninsured vendors or your guests. It does not cover if your guests are drunk and fall down and hurt themselves. And remember above where we mentioned the venue will require you to list them as an ‘Additionally Insured? That places your policy between any incident and their own insurance.
Basically, California is a super litigious state – yay! – and we all have to have insurance redundancies. The only way to ensure you are covered and your investment is safe is to get your own insurance policy, just to be sure. Again, if you are spending tens of thousands of dollars on this one day event – better safe than sorry.
October 17, 2018