Should You Require Vendor Insurance?

December 17, 2023

Vendor Insurance - Are You Requiring It?

As a venue you have probably thought of everything.  You have your own insurance…….you require your clients to obtain event insurance….but what about all of those vendors running around your property and interacting with guests?  Are they covered?    If you are not requiring vendors to provide proof of insurance then you are missing a major piece of the puzzle and you could be left holding the bag in the event something goes wrong. 

As the venue,  you don’t want to be held financially responsible if something happens the day of the event.  Even if you take every possible precaution, there are always those instances that are plain and simply out of your control. What happens if the wind blows one of the photographer’s lights over and injures a guest?  What if the caterer forgets to leave the drain plug in a cooler and your hardwood floors are ruined? You can use your imagination about countless other scenarios that have and will happen in the future, the outcome of which is never pretty.  And the consequence could be a staggering lawsuit. 

What do these policies cover?

  • Bodily Injury to Guests - If someone at the event happens to be injured as a result of the vendor’s services and/or equipment (i.e. someone trips over the electrical cord powering the fog machine or a hanging decoration somehow comes loose and hits a guest), a liability insurance policy will cover medical expenses and/or other damages that result from the injury and lawsuit.
  • Property Damage  - If a vendor causes damage to the property in the course of their normal work (i.e. food spills and stains an antique rug, a caterer scrapes up your floors while moving tables, etc.), a liability insurance policy will cover the cost of the required repairs.

* The vendor’s employees are also covered by their policy. Anyone employed by the vendor, to work the wedding or special event on the business’s behalf is covered under a vendor liability policy.

One of the most common misconceptions is that the event hosts will be held responsible for and cover anything that happens at their event. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Event insurance policies are designed to offer protection for the insured for claims made against them specifically. In order for an event insurance policy to apply, negligence is required.  The actions of a vendor will not be determined to be the negligence of a wedding couple. If a vendor is the one responsible for injury to a guest or property damage to the venue, they need a policy of their own.  

If a vendor doesn’t have a policy in place, or the assets to cover an injury caused to a guest, then an attorney is almost certainly going to come after you as the venue as the next best thing. If an accident occurs and the vendor is found to be responsible, a liability policy ensures that they are protected and pays out any damages resulting from lawsuits related to injuries or property damage. By requiring a simple vendor liability insurance policy, you can protect yourself from situations where you and your business might otherwise be left vulnerable.  

The best part…..these policies are incredibly cheap in the grand scheme of things!  So if you have avoided making it a requirement because you didn’t want to saddle vendors with an additional expense…don’t.  Do what’s best for you and your business!