You’ve booked your caterer, chosen your dress, and have a deposit down on your wedding venue. Some of your vendors, or perhaps even your friends, have mentioned insurance to you. A quick search, and you’re looking at public liability insurance. Do you need it? Well, I am going to be covering everything you need to know here today.
So, do I need public liability insurance at a wedding? You may need public liability insurance, but it depends on your venue. If they already have public liability insurance, you likely do not need to purchase your own policy. However, some venues will require couples to take out this policy themselves, so it is always advised to check. If you are hosting your wedding on private land, perhaps a family property, then public liability insurance is recommended.
It’s not the prettiest side of wedding planning, and many of us don’t realize it’s something we even have to consider, but this article is going to break down what public liability insurance is, whether you might need to get some, and when you should actually get a public liability insurance policy.
Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. Everlasting Occasion takes no responsibility for decisions you make off the back of it. Contact a legal professional should you have any questions relating to public liability insurance.
What Does Public Liability Insurance Cover?
Public liability insurance is an insurance policy that protects you against any accidents or malfunctions to third-party property or a third party – such as the staff of your chosen venue – that could lead to being sued.
For example, if a guest has a fall and they decide to take legal action, your public liability policy will cover any possible payout.
Or a drunken guest severely damages some of the venue property. In short, you won’t lose any money if the worst should happen on your big day.
Although this kind of insurance policy is more commonly sought after by business owners that come into face-to-face contact with customers, guests, and clients, it is slowly becoming something required for wedding days.
Public liability insurance coverage includes bodily injuries, property damage, and legal expenses.
That last one can be a lifesaver, as your insurance will help cover all the costs of hiring a legal team.
However, this kind of insurance will only cover the property or premises stated in the coverage and for the specific days chosen for the coverage.
So, if a guest has an accident on site or a vendor experiences damage to their equipment before they arrive, you won’t be covered by the policy, but it’s also likely you won’t be liable for any incidents.
However, should something happen outside of the specific day you have on your public liability insurance policy, but it still occurs during what would be considered your wedding festivities, you may still be held liable for any injuries or damages.
Who Needs Public Liability Insurance At A Wedding?
Both the venue and the wedding couple may need public liability insurance.
If you are holding your wedding in a privately owned venue, such as a parents’ property or even your own, then you will definitely need public liability insurance.
Nowadays, many wedding insurance packages include public liability insurance, as well as policies that cover cancellations, etc., or you could just purchase public liability insurance separately without all the bells and whistles.
This option will definitely save you a lot of money, which may be just what you are looking for if you are on a pretty tight budget.
If your wedding is being held in a designated wedding venue, nine times out of ten, the venue will already have its own public liability insurance, but this policy protects the business, venue, and business owners, not the wedding couple.
So, many venues will now require the couple to still have their own public liability policy for their wedding.
Most weddings will have ample booze flowing and lots of people, and although this is a recipe for a good party, it can also be a recipe for disaster.
Alcohol can sometimes be abused, even if the couple themselves are responsible, and damage to property, people, and dangerous accidents can happen.
Do Wedding Venues Have Public Liability Insurance?
Most wedding venues will have public liability insurance. It is a legal requirement when it comes to running a business that welcomes guests or customers onto the premises.
Now, I say most wedding venues because there are always the odd ones that try to get away without spending those extra dollars on insurance protection, but really they should all have public liability insurance.
Even your vendors, such as your photographer, videographer, and caters, will have public liability insurance.
It is just part and parcel of running a customer-facing business. However, regardless of whether the venue and your vendors hold their own insurance, it is a good idea to also have your own.
Plus, most wedding venues will expect you to have some form of wedding cover regardless.
The last thing you want to worry about after your expensive wedding has passed is forking out more money on something that happened, such as damages or accidents, even if it was no fault of your own.
Is Public Liability Insurance Compulsory For A Wedding?
In most cases, yes, public liability insurance is pretty compulsory for a wedding.
If you have your wedding booked at a wedding venue and have professionals coming in, they will have public liability insurance, and you will probably be required to hold insurance for your wedding as well.
However, private weddings that are hosted at home or on a family member’s property can get away without having public liability insurance.
To put it plainly, there is no one watching what you are doing or cracking the whip to ensure you are insured.
But just because you can get away without having to get public liability insurance at your private wedding doesn’t mean you should.
Although the likelihood of something bad happening or the property experiencing damage is slim to none, in most cases, there’s nothing quite like not having to worry about it by covering yourself with an insurance policy.
When You May Want To Get Public Liability Insurance For Your Wedding
You’ll want to have your public liability insurance policy bought before your wedding, and definitely not the day before.
Why? Because you want to give yourself the chance to shop around.
There are plenty of reliable and responsible insurance providers out there, but there are also many who just want to prey on a wedding couple’s fears and will blow the roof off of your wedding budget.
You also don’t want to leave yourself stuck without public liability insurance for your wedding day, so getting on with the business end of your wedding as early as possible leaves all the time in the world to plan the fun parts – like your bachelorette party and wedding dress shopping.
Make sure you have a conversation with your venue during your negotiations to see if they already have public liability insurance; their insurance may even cover any incidents that could occur with your vendors.
You will also want to find out whether they require you to cover yourself.
You may not see the point in having insurance cover for your wedding, but your venue may force your hand before you even have the chance to make that decision yourself.
You will also want to decide whether you are just covering the actual day of your wedding or whether it may be smart to cover the day before and the day after.
Most weddings aren’t like cinderella, clocking out at midnight and can run into the smaller hours of the morning.
Should something happen outside of your covered day, you may still be liable for any injuries or damage, and your policy will be worthless.
Are You Getting Public Liability Insurance For Your Wedding?
If I have convinced you so far that public liability insurance for your wedding is where it is at, you are welcome.
It honestly is the most boring part about planning a wedding; it is like planning your will when you are only 23; it feels morbid and sometimes like you’re tempting fate.
Yet, it is a very necessary part of planning your special day.
Honestly, though, you will thank yourself should the worst happen if you had the forethought to keep yourself and your new spouse financially protected.
Thankfully public liability insurance isn’t overly expensive, although many wedding insurance packages can come in over a good couple of grand.
That’s not to say they aren’t worth it for the level of cover you get, but they can be out of budget for many couples.
At a minimum, public liability insurance will keep you protected from most 3rd party incidents that could happen on your wedding day.
Hey, I’m Allison – a recent bride, an expectant mother and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I accumulated while researching and planning my dream wedding and ahead of our new baby. Here, I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding, while equally, helping expectant parents ahead of their new arrival!