Event planner business insurance – requirements, extras and exclusions

By Anna Jordan on Small Business UK - Advice and Ideas for UK Small Businesses and SMEs Are you an event planner in need of business insurance? Find out what you need, what extras could be useful and restrictions you should know The post Event planner business insurance – requirements, extras and exclusions appeared first on Small Business UK.

Event planner business insurance – requirements, extras and exclusions

By Anna Jordan on Small Business UK - Advice and Ideas for UK Small Businesses and SMEs

Event planner organising a party - insurance concept

Any event planner will know just how many things can go wrong – transport strikes, illness, theft, equipment being sent to the wrong address – so you need to keep yourself covered for many, many eventualities.

We’ll be looking at why you need business insurance as an event planner, what’s required by law, plus any extras and restrictions you might not have thought of.

Why you need business insurance for event planners

As we’ve established, a great many things can go wrong in organising events (as we’re sure you’ll know!) Without adequate insurance, you could find yourself deeply out of pocket. It could be the case that a guest gets injured, a clients feels disappointed in your event, or you could find yourself falling ill.

What types of insurance are required by law?

Technically, you’re not legally required to have any types of insurance. However, some clients, venues and local authorities need you to have certain types of insurance to run an event, so be sure to check before you go ahead. The rest is absolutely up to you.

Public liability insurance could be a requirement for your aforementioned clients and venues. As your events are geared towards members of the public, this provides cover if there’s an accident. For example, a guest’s belongings could get damaged and they make a claim against you. A minimum of £5m is recommended.

If you have employees (even seasonal staff and interns), you must have employers’ liability insurance. This will protect you in the event than an employee or an ex-employee becomes ill or gets injured because of their job.

Natural disasters, global events and equipment breakdown could be just three reasons that you might need business interruption insurance.

Business contents insurance is as it sounds – cover for your business contents, stock and other equipment you need for your business operations.

Event equipment insurance will cover your equipment should it get damaged. Most policies will cover accidental damage, loss and theft. Some policies will protect your hired equipment too.

Cancellation cover protects when you have to cancel due to circumstances outside your control. Again, this could be extreme weather, but it could also be an occurrence that makes the venue inaccessible or key guests have to cancel last-minute.

You might want to consider professional indemnity insurance too. A client could make a claim against you for letting them down if the reception of the event is poor thanks to the lighting, the catering or a host of other factors.


If you’re running an online event, add cyber insurance to your policy so that you can account for incidents including security breaches, meeting ransom demands and paying legal costs.

Specialised virtual events insurance is another option which can include public liability, employers’ liability, cancellation cover and virtual equipment insurance.

Restrictions you might not have considered

Terrorism cover is a common exclusion, as are lack of interest, low ticket sales and no longer being able to finance the event.

What else do I need to know about event planner business insurance?

Top tip: buy your insurance early. Don’t wait for something major such as a pandemic or a series of planned train strikes. The earlier you secure your insurance, the earlier you can use it – if you need to change venue at the last minute, for example.

Your premiums are likely to be affected by how many people are expected to attend the event, the nature of the event, how long the event is and if you wish to add extra cover. Think about conditions too. Say you’re hiring staff, are they likely to be working in hot conditions or at a height?

Policies can be less than £10 a month but, on the other end, they could be upwards of £2,000 a month.

As with any financial product, shopping around is essential. “Not all events or organisations are the same, so there is no one size fits all. It is our job as event managers to get to know the client or business lead well enough to understand their appetite for risk and advise accordingly,” said Sarah Thackray, co-founder and director of independent event agency, BeaconHouse Events.

“I would recommend finding a trusted insurance partner who can help you navigate where you might need specific cover for each individual event and recommend where you might benefit from additional coverage (terrorism cover for a large event in a major city, for example).”

Thackaray stresses the importance of being thorough when looking for event planner insurance. “The best way to start is with a robust risk analysis – from there you can weigh up the risk in a considered and strategic way, rather than being drawn into paying for add-ons that you might not need or could already be covered by your/the client’s existing policies.”

“Interrogate what would be lost if an event had to be cancelled or postponed, and look at Plan B options to try to mitigate some of that risk – for example, could an event turn hybrid or fully remote if there was an issue that significantly impacted whether delegates could attend in person?” said Thackaray. She added that you can also insure against loss of anticipated profit caused by forced event cancellation due to the need to refund ticket sales and sponsorship monies.

Thérèsa Jordan, founder of Hummingbird Events, agrees that it takes time to find the right cover. “Insurance for event planners can be a little tricky to navigate, especially as a lot of the time, the scope of what we do isn’t always understood. I wish it was just as simple as throwing a good party!” she said.

“It was a difficult process in the beginning to find something that suited our small agency, as many of the events we planned were diverse. Plus, many of the companies we spoke with didn’t have much experience with cover for event companies, so it took a while to find the right one.”

Once she found an insurer, she established that the most important insurance to have was public liability. It’s also worth having employers’ liability insurance, even if it’s only for freelancers, just in case you might need it.

“If planning a particularly large event for a company, we would recommend purchasing one-time event cover; this just means that the liability is taken away from the events agency,” she said.

Should I get event planner business insurance?

Once again, this is up to you. First, do a risk assessment to evaluate what type of insurance would be beneficial to you based on the types of events you’re planning to run. Then it’s time to shop around. Depending on the insurer, they’ll offer a fixed package while others will let you customise it.

Be sure to factor in what events you’re running, whether you’re hiring staff, the scale of the event and any equipment you might need.

Read more

Dealing with business insurance claims – SmallBusiness.co.uk provides some points to help you if you need to make an insurance claim

Business insurance: Everything you need to know – Insurance offers vital protection from the crippling costs of a claim against your business. But which insurance do you actually need and which is merely optional?

My first public speaking event as an entrepreneur – podcast – Anna Jordan meets Dale Beaumont, an international speaker and entrepreneur. He talks about what he learned from his first public speaking event

The post Event planner business insurance – requirements, extras and exclusions appeared first on Small Business UK.