What’s Up With Event Liability Insurance


By: Joe Patti

In: Legal

If you try to hold an event somewhere, you will most likely be asked to provide general liability insurance coverage for the event. If you are an established company that already has insurance coverage for your daily operations, your insurance agent can often arrange for coverage  to extend to the venue for the period of your event. Typically a venue will ask to be named as additionally insured on the certificate of insurance.

Fractured Atlas has good basic explanation of the insurance and requirements. Essentially, liability insurance:

“protects you (and the spaces in which you work) against lawsuits from the public resulting from accidents, injuries, insults etc. Note: this insurance does NOT cover you or your employees.”  (Source: National Performance Network)

What's Up With Event Liability Insurance

If you are holding an event as something of a one-off and don’t have an existing policy covering your activities, you may be able to buy into the venue’s TULIP (Tenant/Users Liability Insurance Protection) plan as noted in the Fractured Atlas article. More likely than not, you will have to shop around for insurance on your own.

Venues with government affiliations may not be able to suggest companies to buy from lest they be viewed as unduly directing business to certain companies.

In addition to just calling around to agents in your local area, there are groups that specialize in insurance for arts events. Fractured Atlas offers event insurance to its members and can provide quotes.

Progressive Insurance also provides event insurance quotes online.  I am providing the link as a point of information that provides a fairly comprehensive list of the types of events for which one can get coverage. I am not sure about the accuracy of the quotes provided given that it cites a higher price for a ping pong event involving 500 people than for rugby, hockey and martial arts tournaments involving 500 people.

If you are a performing artist, you may also find that the organization which has contracted you also requires that you carry liability insurance to protect against injury or property damage by you or your group.

You may think that as a classical musician, there is little chance of your performance posing a threat to people or property. You aren’t going to be smashing your violin.

If the movie Kung Fu Hustle taught us anything, it is about the deadly prowess possessed by masters of classical instruments.

YouTube video

This entertaining aside aside, there is nothing preventing you as an artist likewise including in your contract that a venue or promoter carry general liability insurance protecting your group, its equipment and the life and property of attendees.

Joe Patti
Joe Patti
In addition to writing for ArtHacker, I have been writing the blog, Butts in the Seats (buttsseats.com) since 2004. I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (https://www.creatingconnection.org/about/) I am currently the Theater Manager for the Rialto Theater in Loveland, CO. Across my career I have worked as the Executive Director at The Grand Opera House in Macon, GA, at University of Hawaii-Leeward Community College, University of Central Florida, Asolo Theater, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Appel Farm Arts and Music Center and numerous other places both defunct and funky.
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