Date Published: 2024/07/03

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Event Liability: Is Your Wedding Covered?

Wedding reception in a white marquee with flowers and table decorations.

As wedding season kicks into high gear, many couples are immersed in the excitement and preparations for their big day. From selecting the perfect venue to finalizing the guest list, every detail is painstakingly planned to ensure a memorable celebration. However, amidst the flurry of arranging flowers and tasting cakes, one important aspect often goes overlooked: event liability insurance.

In this article, we’ll explore event liability insurance and why securing it should be a top priority for every couple preparing for their wedding day. 

What is event liability insurance?

Event liability insurance, also referred to as event insurance or wedding insurance, is a specialized form of coverage that shields event hosts from liability claims that may arise during the event. 

Event insurance is particularly important for weddings, where many factors—such as large guest lists and the serving of alcohol—can increase the risk of accidents. In light of this, many wedding facilities now require couples to carry wedding insurance coverage as part of the rental agreement.

While it might not be the most glamorous aspect of wedding planning, securing event liability insurance is a smart and essential step to safeguard your big day. Without coverage, you may be financially responsible for any accidents or damages that take place at your wedding, which could result in significant expenses that add strain to a newlywed budget. 

Understanding event liability coverage

Event liability insurance typically covers the following key areas:

  • Property damage: Protection against damage to the venue or other property caused by guests.
  • Bodily injury: Coverage for medical expenses and legal fees if someone is injured during the event.
  • Alcohol liability: Essential for events where alcohol is served, protecting against alcohol-related incidents.

Why wedding insurance matters

Without adequate coverage, you may be on the hook for hefty repair bills, medical expenses, and legal fees. For example, if one of your guests accidentally damages valuable artwork in the venue or someone slips and falls, event liability insurance ensures these expenses do not come out of your pocket.

Event liability insurance provides a safety net, allowing you to focus on enjoying the moment rather than worrying about potential liabilities.

Finding the right coverage

Selecting the right amount of coverage will depend on the details of your event, including:

  1. Type of event: Different events have different risk profiles. For example, a large event where alcohol will be served (like a wedding or a stag and doe) will have a different risk profile than a job fair or a career workshop.
  2. Number of guests: Liability increases as the guest list grows, meaning larger events require higher coverage limits.
  3. Venue location: Venue types and locations can impact the cost and availability of coverage. For example, if you host your wedding at a venue that is open to the public or near a large body of water, your risk for liability increases.
  4. Length of event: The longer your event, the more coverage you will need. Insuring a wedding that takes place over multiple days will cost more than insuring a five-hour reception.
  5. Alcohol service: Events serving alcohol need specific coverage, such as Party Alcohol Liability (PAL) insurance. Depending on where you're hosting your wedding, you may also need to obtain a valid liquor license from the province's alcohol governing authority.

When evaluating event insurance policies, you should:

  • Ask your venue organizer if there is a minimum coverage requirement. Many event locations in Canada require a minimum of $1,000,000 in liability insurance.
  • Look for comprehensive coverage that aligns with your specific event's needs.
  • Review the policy carefully, making sure to understand the limits and check for exclusions.

Learn more about your wedding insurance options

At Orbit Insurance, we understand the importance of having the right coverage so you can focus on creating beautiful memories on your special day. Our team of experienced insurance brokers is here to help you find the right coverage for your next big event. If you're planning a wedding or other large event, contact an Orbit insurance broker for a free personalized quote.