As an event professional, you take the time to make sure every last detail is in order for your clients. While you may have checked everything off of your “to-do” list, you never know when you’ll be thrown a last-minute curve ball. In a job where the little things matter, it can be easy to overlook a big detail on that checklist (and one your clients might not know to ask for)--insurance coverage.
With the spring and summer months bringing an influx of wedding celebrations, family reunions and other events, it’s an important time to assess how your business will be covered should the unexpected happen.
To take the guesswork out of finding proper insurance coverage, here are a few of the major categories all event planners need to know to protect themselves and their business:
1. Professional Liability (PL) Insurance: This type of insurance coverage is important for event professionals because it protects your business if you are sued for negligently performing your services, even if it wasn’t your mistake. There are some instances where clients may even request that you have professional liability insurance to complete a contract.
The situations where this type of insurance would come into play include:
- Poor weather: You fail to deliver a service that was promised--such as having an outdoor party--due to elements that may be out of your control (e.g., rain, extreme heat). The client sues you for failing to properly line up an alternative indoor location.
- Scheduling mistakes: The venue where a client’s event is supposed to take place mistakenly wrote down the wrong date, and is now booked. Clients have already spent time and money planning around a particular date--leaving you in the crossfire.
The number of instances where PL insurance might be needed is endless, but the key takeaway is that this type of coverage will protect you and your business by paying your attorney’s fees, protecting against libel or slander, paying legal damages awarded to your client, and protecting you from claims that arise from work done by your employees, temporary staff or independent contractors. If you are slapped with a large claim, the costs associated with this could jeopardize your business--especially for smaller companies.
2. General Liability (GL) Insurance: This is another type of insurance policy that event professionals should seriously consider because it protects your business from another person or business’s claims of bodily injury, associated medical costs, and damage to property. Since event professionals often deal with clients face to face and use third-party locations for events, this will provide you with added protection.
Some examples of what could be covered include:
- Bodily injury: A wedding guest trips on a tablecloth or slips on a wet floor causing an injury. General liability insurance will help pay the person’s claim for bodily injury and related medical costs if you’re found to be legally liable for said injuries.
- Property damage: You’ve planned an event at your client’s place of business for a company celebration. One of your employees accidently spills coffee on one of the computers, causing damage. This policy will cover any claims filed.
- Personal injury: One of your employees is overheard talking poorly about one of your clients using false statements. The client learns of this discussion and sues for slander. GL insurance will cover the subsequent claim and pay for an attorney to defend you if necessary.
In a profession where the details are crucial, don’t let the need for insurance slip through the cracks. Having the right insurance coverage for your event business will give you one less thing to worry about.
Gyawu Mahama is social media and marketing manager at Hiscox Insurance. In this role Gyawu is responsible for driving social media engagement, publishing Hiscox’s award-winning small business blog, and internal communications. Prior to Hiscox, he held communications and corporate responsibility roles in the small business tech industry.
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