Event Planner Insurance: Prepare for the Worst

February 14, 2013

As an event planner you make sure every last detail is in order for your clients. You want to be prepared for anything. So why wouldn’t you bring the same attention to detail to your own small business?

Every good event planner needs the ability to stay cool in intense-pressure situations when organizing a big function. No matter how much you plan for an event, however, you never know when you will get thrown a last-minute curve ball. But what if that unforeseen glitch results in your company being hit with a legal claim? That’s why you should bring the same attention to detail to protecting your own small business as you do to organizing your clients’ events.

Why do I need professional liability insurance as an event planner?

For example, you’ve been hired to run a big fundraising gala for one of your charity clients. It’s a lavish black-tie affair in your city’s oldest and most exclusive venue: the art museum. Press and VIPs are invited, a celebrity auctioneer has been lined up, and top-quality caterers and a band have been hired. But a mix-up between your office and the venue manager means the museum has mistakenly been booked for the week the event is scheduled to take place.

The charity is very unhappy. This was going to be the set piece event of their fundraising calendar and it was one of the few dates when all their biggest donors would be available. They were traveling from far and wide and many had flights and hotel accommodation already booked. The irate director of the charity calls you to tell you that the charity’s board blames you and wants redress. A week later an attorney’s letter arrives from the charity, suing you for negligence.

Even the best event planner would be forgiven for freaking out in this situation. Your company is being dragged through the courts by one of your most prestigious clients, and your company’s hard-won reputation is now hanging by a thread.

How can event planner insurance help me?

Professional liability insurance coverage could help your company survive this disaster. This insurance could pay your attorney’s fees as well as any legal damages that might be awarded to your client by the judge.

Every event planner also needs general liability insurance. Just in case an exhibitor at a trade show you’re organizing is injured when they trip over a toolbox left by one of your contractors. What if the exhibitor is left with a broken wrist, which they claim was your fault, because you did not ensure the walkways were kept clear? In that case, your general liability policy could help pay the person’s claim for bodily injury and related medical costs.

Every event planner knows that when organizing a function they should hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. That’s exactly what you need to do for your own business by making sure you get the right event planner insurance protection so an unexpected problem doesn’t wreck all the best-laid plans you’ve made for your own company.

Tell us! As an event planner, what have you experienced that caused problems where you were thankful you had event planner insurance?