The Importance of Event Liability Insurance


By now, most wedding and event professionals have heard the buzz regarding event insurance. Sure, you know it exists, but do you really know exactly what event insurance covers, and how it can benefit your clients (and you)? Event insurance is a necessity for event planners looking to keep themselves, and their clients, protected.


More and more venues are requiring event hosts (such as your clients) to carry special event liability insurance, but finding an affordable solution is not always easy.  Often times, event planners are asked to help their clients fill this void and don’t know where to turn.

Event liability protects your client if someone causes property damage to the venue or someone is injured at their event (the host/honoree must be liable). The coverage is typically primary over any other insurance protection, which means if a covered claim occurs at your client’s event, the client’s one-day event liability insurance policy will pay first—before any other insurance policy. Primary liability coverage by event hosts, such as your clients, is preferred by most venues, be­cause it helps minimize the associated risks and exposures of owning a venue. Many require it.

“By having event professionals offer Event Liability Insurance to their clients, it not only helps protect their client from liability losses, it may also help protect their business,” says Kerri Nguyen, Marketing Director at Markel Event Insurance.  “Event planners and their clients are focused on the planning and execution of a flawless event, Markel is focused on giving everyone peace of mind and the protection they need should the unexpected occur.”

Each year, Markel sees numerous liability claims for things like damage to reception hall furnishings such as couches, mirrors, coffee tables – even toilets and landscaping.  Markel also sees guest injury claims when someone slips, falls and gets injured at the event venue.  The ultimate unfortunate liability claim is when an over-served wedding guest is involved in an auto accident on the way home.  Not all liability claims are related to over-indulgence – Markel also sees claims for such as spills on photography equipment or even damage to floors.


  • Limits vary by insurance carrier, but bodily injury and property damage liability limits typically are up to $1 million per occurrence and $2 million total.

  • The venue can be named as “additional insured” on the certificate of insurance for no extra cost.

  • Host liquor liability is included for free.

  • Set-up and tear-down is covered (within 24 hours of the event).

  • Protection and peace of mind for a low cost—policies start as low as $75.


As an event professional, you’ve seen it all. Photographers go missing the day of the event, gifts get stolen, and hurricanes can ruin a perfectly planned event. Event cancellation insurance is becoming increasingly popular because it protects the event host if they need to cancel or postpone their special event due to unforeseen circumstances. Examples of unforeseen circumstances include:  Extreme weather (hurricanes, tropical storm, even an epic snowstorm), accident or illness of an immediate family member, military deployment, or vendor bankruptcy.

“We’ve seen event cancellation insurance claims as crazy as photographers closing their business after the wedding and disappearing with the photos, dogs chewing up wedding dresses the day before the wedding, and venues scheduling multiple weddings on the same day,” says Nguyen.

Nguyen says approximately 23% of Markel Event Insurance’s cancellation claims are for vendors who have unexpectedly gone bankrupt and closed their doors.  Reception venues, photographers, DJs, florists – can all take hefty deposits from your clients and disappear.

Event cancellation insurance also covers additional expenses your cli­ent may incur to avoid cancelling their event and pays for other losses or damages such as:

  • Lost wedding rings

  • Damage to special attire

  • Vendor no-shows

  • Lost or damaged photography

  • Lost or damaged videography

  • Lost or damaged gifts


  • Weddings

  • Birthday parties

  • Baptisms

  • Memorial services

  • Bridal showers

  • Anniversary parties

  • Business and corporate events


Why recommend an event insurance policy to your clients versus telling them they are probably covered under their homeowner’s policy?

  • Location – typically homeowners policies only cover the wedding/reception if it’s located on the home’s property, while an event insurance policy will cover events located off the insured’s property as well.

  • Liability Limits – most times a venue will require a liability limit exceeds the homeowner’s policy liability limit. With an event insurance policy, liability limits can go over $1mil, while most insured’s only have about $500k personal liability on their homeowner’s policies.

  • Liability Only – a homeowners policy will only cover liability. Cancellation and Liability policies can be purchased with Markel.

  • Coverage Outside of the US – most event insurance policies extend outside the 50 states (Cancellation: USA & its territories/possessions, Canada/UK, Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean Islands, Mexico, and cruises leaving those ports. Liability: USA & its territories/possessions, Canada, and cruises leaving those ports.). A homeowners policy will typically only cover the insured in the US

  • Business or Corporate Events – typically would not be covered under a homeowners policy.

  • Additional Insureds – An event insurance policy can usually add additional insureds in certain situations if required (for example: if an insured is having their wedding at a Clubhouse, we can add the Clubhouse as an additional insured if required.)


With event insurance, some claims would be hard to disprove.  Because of this, many insurance carriers will exclude covering certain circumstances because of the potential increased risk of insurance fraud.

Examples of circumstances typically not covered:

  • Cold feet –Markel does not cover cold feet if either the bride or groom change their mind during the wedding planning process or at the altar and decide not to go through with the wedding.

  • Known Circumstances – Previously known issues that could affect the event (Example: planned medical procedure delays or cancels the event)

  • Lack Of Funds – if the event host is unable to pay for the planned event

  • Non Appearance – if certain individuals (such as parents, the bride, etc.) don’t show up for the event, the show must still go on as this would not be covered. Markel does not cover cold feet if either the bride or groom change their mind during the wedding planning process or at the altar and decide not to go through with the wedding.


It’s easy to start protecting your clients (and yourself).  Request free brochures from Markel Event Insurance and provide your clients with an easy & affordable option to protect their special event.  Policies start as low as $75 and can be purchased online or over the phone in minutes.  Visit to learn more!



Lauren Hernandez – Senior Marketing Specialist at Markel Event Insurance

She has been managing the marketing for Markel’s event insurance for the last 5 years. Her duties include educating event professionals on the value of event insurance, continuously evaluating the event insurance competitive landscape to ensure Markel has the best product in the market­place, and much more!

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