The floor for the Final Four is laid and ready at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys. Additional seating has been added, the concert venue has been prepped and the countdown to the tip off for the NCAA’s Final Four is well underway. College basketball’s flurry of activity to crown a national champion is one of the biggest sporting events of the year, only rivaled by the NFL’s Super Bowl.
Special events come in all shapes and sizes. There are family reunions, birthday parties, company picnics, awards banquets, anniversaries, product launches, retirement dinners, art showings, networking events, and of course, national championships. These events are put on by individuals, families, companies, non-profits, churches, civic organizations, schools, and more.
Some venues will require the individual, company, or organization to have a special event insurance policy as a condition for renting their space. Special event insurance policies provide liability coverage during the setup and course of the event, as well as, any time that’s needed to tear down after the event. These policies are designed to protect the owner of the venue and the event host should a liability claim occur during the time the group has access to the venue. Special event insurance policies can run for one day or several days depending on the length of time the event runs.
I work with a Fort Worth non-profit that holds an annual event where scholarships are awarded to deserving students. Their event is held on the campus of a local university and they’re required to have a special event insurance policy. This protects both the university and the organization should either party be sued due to someone getting hurt while at the venue. I’ve also written special event insurance for individuals hosting birthday parties and other celebrations at art galleries, museums, and other public facilities.
Special event policies can cost as little as $200 to $300 or much more. The cost of the policy is dependent on several factors including; anticipated attendance, will alcohol or food be served, will there be a band and dancing, will group exercise be a part of the festivities, sporting activities, sack races, and much more. Each of these items has an impact on the cost of special event insurance so it’s very hard to predict what someone will pay until the application is submitted to underwriters.
One of the questions I’ve been asked by individuals is whether they’ll be protected by the personal liability coverage on their home owner’s policy. In the case of organizations, the question I’m asked is if their general liability insurance policy will protect them at the event’s venue.
In the case of home insurance policies, most will extend the liability to owned property locations but not to a temporary rented venue. Most general liability policies carried by businesses and organizations will cover offices and other facilities but not extend to a temporary use venue that is outside the daily mission or business of the organization or company. In either case, a special event insurance policy is required.
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