What with Nashville being one of our nation’s finest entertainment hubs, you can just about find a dozen events or festivals all across town, every weekend, all year. Local organizers and entrepreneurs cover it all, from live music to craft beer to crafts, from free weekly celebrations to ticketed annual confabs.
One thing they all have in common: the significant amount of risk that comes with planning an event.
Organizing an event or festival generally requires a pretty good investment, from venue deposits to marketing materials. To make good on that investment — and to make a profit — you depend on everything going off at least mostly without a hitch, come the day/weekend of the event.
It’s impossible to predict and avoid all the things that can derail an event, unfortunately. Something as big as an act of nature or as small as a disorganized vendor can knock things off course, and put your profit in peril. Which is why we have insurance.
Insurance coverage you’ll need for your fest or event
Some must-have insurance coverage if you’re hosting a public event:
As with cars and homes, insurance needs to be in place to protect against accidents. If someone slips and falls on the event site, you could be liable. If attendees damage the venue, you could be liable. Most venues will require liability insurance to be in place before they’ll rent to you, for good reason.
— Host liquor liability
If you’ll have adult beverages on site, this is a must, even at a small event. If you tap a keg, one of your inebriated attendees leaves and crashes into a nearby building, you could end up named in a suit.
— Workers compensation
If you have employees, you’ll need to get this in place. If you’re working primarily with volunteers, you’ll want to make sure your liability coverage is sufficient to protect against any accidents/issues that could arise during their work.
Using vehicles at your event, to move performers, employees or materials? You’ll need coverage for that. You or your drivers’ individual policies won’t cover claims for event use.
If you’re depending on a bold name performer/appearance, this coverage is invaluable. Anything from health to weather to whims could affect those plans, and this insurance coverage makes sure it doesn’t also affect your bottom line.
— Event cancellation
This is always going to be among your biggest gambles: the possibility a curve-ball coming in that knocks out the whole event. Anything from a major storm to a venue fire to the untimely death of a headliner could lead to a cancellation or postponement. With insurance in place, you’ll be able to mitigate the financial damage, ranging from the costs of rushed solutions to postponement problems (having to get unexpected lodging or private transportation for talent, extra staff costs, etc.) to total shutdown.
If you’re hosting an outdoor event, rainy conditions might not make a cancellation necessary, but that doesn’t mean the lousy weather has no effect. You can still end up with minimized turnout and minimized sales. There are policy provisions that can account for that. If it rains a certain amount — say, half an inch — but the event goes on in a diminished capacity, you should be able to make a claim.
Check yourself, check your vendors
A responsible event organizer makes sure she/he is covered thoroughly against any and all twists and turns. But as the person or people in charge, you also need to be on top of the people and businesses you’re contracting with — they should be properly insured too, and you should be listed as an additional insured.
Reason being, should something happen at the event that leads to a lawsuit — attendees get sick and blame a food vendor, for instance — and you get pulled into the suit, the vendor’s policy will protect you, as well.
When you’re planning something with so many moving pieces, putting protections in place at every corner is key.
If you’re working on organizing an event or festival in Nashville, and have questions about getting the insurance coverage you need, I’d be happy to help. Just send Tucker Coverage an email, or give me a call.
Any other insurance topics you’d like to see me dig into here on the Tucker Coverage blog? Suggestions always welcome.