Is insurance for event planners neccesary?

While we all know that the topic of insurance can be a little dry, I’d like to spice it up with a personal story. When I first started my event business back in 2009, I went about a year without any insurance. I thought, my venue is not asking for it, so why incure myself any extra costs….right!? Is a customer really going to trip over something and sue me? At the time, I convinced myself not as I didn’t want to part with any more of my hard earned cash. 

Finally, as my vintage fair event grew and more money was rolling in,  I decided to bite the bullet and get some; you know, just in case. 

Well, wait till you hear what happened at that event with insurance.  First of all, we had a terrible blizzard which rarely happens were we living on the West Coast. The event was our busiest ever. Great for business but not so great when you can’t keep up drying the floors. My husband drove to 3 hardware stores to finally find a bag of salt and a small shovel to clear the path leading to the doors. Just when you think it can’t get worse, a customer walked in, immediately slips on the wet floor and hits their head! They then had a seizure and had to be taken away by ambulance! Right then and there I know I had made the right decision. I ran after the customers friend and refunded the admission they had paid. I am not sure what happened to that poor individual and never did hear from my insurance agency about it (meaning they did not put a claim in). But could you imagine getting sued if you were in the same position with no event insurance?! 

Fast forward about 5 years later. I was running the largest Vintage Event in Western Canada with over 80 vendors and 3000 attendees. A large & heavy metal clothing rack fell on a customer, in a vendors booth! This vendor did not have insurance. The customer was in pain and understandably very upset. I spoke with the customer on the phone and she asked who will pay for her physio if she needs it? I told her how sorry I was and to please contact her doctor for further evaluation of her injuries. I then sent her a refund for attending my event. I never heard from that customer again either. But could you imagine if I did hear from either of those customers? What would have I done? I probably would have been sued for a larger sum than I am worth! 

This is me in 2013, literally taking a leap of faith the day before the largest event I had ever organized, the Victoria Vintage Expo at iconic Crystal Gardens, Vancouver Island!

So yes, I definitely recommend insurance for event organizers! Is it frusterating to fork over a few hundred dollars when you’re just getting started? Sure. But absolutely worth it. You will also have a competitive edge, no matter if you are a wedding planner or trade show organizer. When your vendors and customers see that you have liability insurance, it shows a whole new level of integrity and professionalism. 

Are there any circumstances in which I do not recommend it? I would give that a hard no. All venues will have there own liability insurance, but will this cover you, an organizer bringing in your own vendors and customers? I highly doubt it! Learn from my stories! The peace of mind is well worth a few hundred dollars to be well covered. Shop around and look for a rate that works with your budget. If you need to up your costs a little bit to cover the insurance, then do it! Lets hope your event runs seamlessly with no injuries or accidents, but you can’t put a price on the peace of mind you will have for being well insured!

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