Your organization or association needs the protection insurance offers, for all of its events, even if you believe “there is no way that we could be at fault.”

There are several varieties of insurance – read on to find out which (and possibly all) are right for your event.

Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance

“A CGL policy will pay for legal defence costs (e.g. lawyer fees, court costs, etc.) and this is very important to note as many lawsuits alleging responsibility for bodily injury, property damage or personal injury are frivolous in nature.”

If your organization is planning an event, then make certain that your existing CGL insurance will provide the coverage you need by contacting your insurance agent, in writing, notifying him/her about the event, its date, location, and the number of people expected.

You also need to inform your broker if liquor is going to be served as this may result in an additional premium.

Suppliers and Certificate of Insurance

You need to ensure that your suppliers are also insured.

Ask each supplier to provide you with a Certificate of Insurance (COI) and ensure that you are listed as an additional insured on the COI. This means that your organization will have the same benefits of being insured under your supplier’s insurance policy, in addition to your own insurance policy.

A COI certifies that “an insurance policy has been bought and shows an abstract of the most important provisions of the insurance contract.” A sample COI appears at the end of this article.

There is no cost to your supplier for this certificate, so if a potential supplier is unwilling to provide, then find one who is insured.

Our office requires suppliers have a minimum of $2 million dollars of insurance; $5 million of coverage is becoming the norm.

Private Event Insurance—Host Liquor Liability

If your event, even if it is a small reception or meeting, is going to take place in a private home, then ask your insurance broker about obtaining one-time special event coverage.

Hole-In-One Insurance

You can add to the perceived value and/or fun of a golf tournament by offering a large value prize for a hole-in-one. Some insurance companies include this coverage in their standard CGL coverage for associations and not-for-profit organizations, if not you can obtain it for under $150.

Event Cancellation Insurance

Event cancellation insurance is designed to minimize possible event cancellation losses. It provides comprehensive coverage for any of the additional expenses or lost revenue—including sponsorships—resulting from an unforeseen event cancellation and/or circumstance beyond your control.


As event managers and as an association management services company, we present the above article for informational purposes only. It constitutes general information and does not constitute legal, insurance, or other professional advice.