Protect Events Hosted at Your Winery with Event Insurance

By now, most winery owners have heard the buzz regarding event insurance.  Sure, you know it exists, but do you really know exactly what event insurance covers and how it can benefit your clients (and you)? Event insurance is a necessity for winery owners looking to keep themselves, and their clients, protected.  We recently talked with Lauren Hernandez, Senior Event Insurance Specialist at Markel Specialty insurance to learn more.

  “It is probably important to first point out that there are two different types of event insurance– event liability and event cancellation,” states Hernandez. 

EVENT LIABILITY INSURANCE

  “Event liability protects the person hosting an event at your facility,” Hernandez explained.  If during their event someone causes property damage to your winery or someone is injured and the host is liable, an event policy will step in to provide coverage.  The coverage is typically primary over any other insurance protection.  That means the event policy will pay first before any other insurance policy.

  Primary liability coverage by event hosts, such as your clients, is preferred by most venues because it helps minimize the associated risks and exposures of owning a winery. “More and more wineries are requiring their clients to purchase one-day event insurance policies for events hosted at their facility because it reduces the possibility of having to pay for an accident that is out of the wineries’ control,” said Markel Specialty’s Lauren Hernandez. 

Wineries must also remember to require the host to name the winery as an Additional Insured on the host’s event policy.  That way, if there is a claim made against your winery due to the actions of the host, the event policy will defend and indemnify you against that claim.  It is also a good idea to require the host’s insurance carrier to be A.M. Best rated “A-” or better.  That way the carrier is financially strong and likely to be around to pay the claim should one occur.

  Examples of claims that would be covered under an event liability policy can range from damage to a furnishings such as couches, mirrors, coffee tables –   even toilets and landscaping from wedding or other event guests.  Event hosts would also be protected if someone slips, falls and gets injured at the facility if the host was negligent.  There are even worse claims that the event host needs protection from when an over-served wedding guest is involved in an auto accident on the way home.  These situations would be covered only if the damage or injury was the fault of your client.  Your business should have your own risk management plan which includes liability coverage to protect you from the hosts wrongdoing.

ADDITIONAL EVENT LIABILITY COVERAGE BENEFITS:

•   Limits vary by insurance carrier, but bodily injury and property damage liability limits typically are up to $1 million per occurrence and $2 million total per policy period.

•   The venue can be named as “additional insured” on the certificate of insurance for no extra cost.

•   Host liquor liability is included for free.

•   Set-up and tear-down is covered (within 24 hours of the event).

•   If the event being held at your facility is a wedding, an event liability policy covers the ceremony, reception and rehearsal dinner (if the rehearsal dinner is within 48 hours of the event).

•   Many policies are primary over any other insurance policy.  This means, if a claim were to occur, the event liability policy would pay out before any other insurance policy and there would be no need to worry about a potential increase in rates with a commercial business policy (as an winery owner) or homeowners policy (as a bride).

•   Protection and peace of mind for a low cost— there are policies available that start as low as $75.

WHY SHOULD YOU REQUIRE EVENT LIABILITY INSURANCE?

  It protects you. One day event insurance policies are typically primary coverage over your commercial business policy for property damage to your facility caused by your client’s negligence. Your facility can be named as an “additional insured” on the certificate of insurance often for no extra cost.

  It protects your customers.  Event insurance is an easy and affordable solution that helps protect your guests from the unexpected – because when your clients are properly protected, so is your reputation.

  It’s an easy solution.  More and more commercial winery insurance policies are requiring one day event insurance for all events hosted at the insured winery.  An event liability policy fulfills this requirement and are easy to purchase and you can direct your client to purchase them online or over the phone in minutes.

EVENT CANCELLATION INSURANCE

  Another popular event insurance option is cancellation coverage.  Being in the event industry, you’ve seen it all. Photographers go missing the day of the event, gifts get stolen, and hurricanes can ruin a perfectly planned event. Event cancellation insurance is becoming increasingly popular because it reimburses the event host for lost deposits and non-refundable amounts if they need to cancel or postpone their special event due to unforeseen circumstances.

  Examples of unforeseen circumstances include:

•   Vendor bankruptcy.

•   Accident or illness of the bride or groom or an immediate family member.

•   Extreme weather (hurricane, named tropical storm, etc.).

•   Military deployment.

•   Event cancellation insurance also covers additional expenses your client may incur to avoid cancelling their event, and pays for other losses or damages such as:

•   Lost wedding rings.

•   Damage to special attire.

•   Vendor no-shows.

•   Lost or damaged photography.

•   Lost or damaged videography.

•   Lost or damaged gifts.

  The pricing for an event cancellation policy is a little more involved as it is based on where the wedding is set to occur and the overall wedding budget. Policies start as low as $130.

Exactly how much event cancellation coverage does each event need?  Look a look at the chart below that outlines coverage limits based on the total overall event budget.

Total Event Budget

$7,500 $15,000 $25,000 $50,000 $100,000
Loss Of Deposits $1,000$1,500 $2,000 $3,000 $5,500
Photography & Videography$1,000 $1,500 $2,000 $3,000 $5,500
Special Attire & Jewelry$1,000 $1,500 $2,000 $3,000 $5,500
Wedding Gifts$1,000 $1,500 $2,000 $3,000 $5,500
Extra Expenses$1,875 $3,750 $6,250 $12,500 $25,000
Professional Counseling$500$650$1,000$1,000 $1,250

WHAT ISN’T COVERED UNDER EVENT INSURANCE

  With event insurance, some claims would be hard to disprove.  Because of this, many insurance carriers will exclude covering certain circumstances because of the potential increased risk of insurance fraud.

  Examples of circumstances typically not covered:

•   Change of heart –Typically if either the bride or groom get cold feet and change their mind during the wedding planning process or are at the altar and decide not to go through with the wedding, this would not be covered.

•   Known Circumstances – Previously known issues that could affect the event (Example: planned medical procedure delays or cancels the event).

•   Lack of Funds – if the event host is unable to pay for the planned event.

•   Non Appearance – if certain individuals (such as parents, the bride, etc.) don’t show up for the event, the show must still go on as this would not be covered.  Polies do not cover cold feet if either the bride or groom change their mind during the wedding planning process or at the altar and decide not to go through with the wedding.

START PROTECTING YOUR CLIENTS

  It’s easy to start protecting your clients (and yourself).  Request free brochures from Markel Event Insurance and provide your clients with an easy & affordable option to protect their special event.  Event liability policies start as low as $75 and can be purchased online or over the phone in minutes.  Visit www.markeleventinsurance.com/grapevine to learn more!

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