Nonprofit Insurance Program

The Importance of Liability Insurance at Your Event

By Alexa Connelly
June 02, 2017

Planning fundraiser events is an important part of any successful nonprofit organization. You need to raise funds to serve your community and complete your nonprofit mission. Disastrous event incidents are the last things you want to worry about. If you sat down to make a list of everything that can go wrong, it would probably change your mind about hosting an event for your nonprofit.

Why Do I Need Special Event Insurance?

Besides potential disasters, you have a lot of money on the line. Special events, depending on the size and type, can cost a lot of money to plan and schedule. How do you protect your nonprofit from a total loss? Many insurance companies exclude big events on general liability policies, but they do offer nonprofit special event insurance which every nonprofit should purchase to protect their funds, reputation, and organization.

What does Special Event Insurance Cover?

Special event insurance policies provide protection for your nonprofit when you are held liable for an incident at the event. Most policies include coverage for the following scenarios:

  • What happens if an attendee falls, injures themselves, and is rushed to the hospital?
  • What happens if the venue has to unexpectedly close leaving you with nowhere to host the event and hundreds of upset ticket holders?
  • What happens if an attendee files a lawsuit for their injury at an event?
  • Who pays if the venue’s property is damaged during your special event?
  • What happens if an attendee drinks too much, leaves, and causes a car accident?

What type of special event insurance do I need?

There are two ways to protect your nonprofit for special events.

One-Day Event Insurance

A one-day event insurance policy protects your nonprofit for one-time events like dinners, auctions, or vendor events.

Multiple Events

If your nonprofit hosts or attends multiple events throughout the year, it might make more financial sense to have your insurance agent provide a multiple event quote or add it to your general liability policy.

Where can I buy special event insurance for my nonprofit?

Most insurance agencies have access to special event insurance, but not every insurance agency is the right choice for your nonprofit. There are three critical things to keep in mind while you shop for special event insurance for your nonprofit.

  • Be honest.


Be open and honest with your agent about your event. It may be tempting to hide details, but not being honest only hurts your nonprofit organization. Create a list of items and activities you are planning for the event and talk with your insurance agent about various safeguards you have in place or can add to the planning to minimize potential incidents.

  • Look for a specialist.


Insurance agents or special event insurance websites that offer a one-size fits all policy is risky. How can they provide the best protection for your nonprofit if they never have a conversation with you? Look for an insurance agency that specializes in working with nonprofit and social service organizations like yours.

  • It’s not about immediate costs.


As a nonprofit, one of your goals is to serve your mission. To do that, you have to think outside the box on a lot of expense items. Skipping special event insurance to save a few dollars is risky. Think about how not having the right insurance in place can impact your nonprofit. Can you afford to defend a lawsuit? Most nonprofits cannot and having special event insurance can keep your doors open when a lawsuit occurs.

Start planning today to find the right special event insurance for your next fundraising event.

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