There is an element of risk involved in organising events. Many insurers offer policies to cover event organisers in the case of unavoidable or unforeseen circumstances.

Understanding what you may be liable for and what any potential insurance policy will cover is essential when considering different event insurers and policies. Your insurance requirements will vary with the scale of your event, the setting, different types of attendance (i.e. public or private) and the activities involved.

Different insurers offer a range of solutions to protect risks related to event hosting, therefore it is important to do your homework on the terms and conditions of their policies before deciding on a provider. The descriptions provided below are a general overview.

Types of insurance applicable to event organisers include:

  • Public liability insurance – protects you against third party damage and covers costs arising from accidental injury or property damage caused by your event or associated activities.
  • Statutory liability insurance – covers legal defence and reparation costs if you are investigated or prosecuted for unintentional breaches of certain New Zealand legislation.
  • Event cancellation insurance (or ‘contingency’) – provides financial protection for revenue or expenses against cancellation, abandonment, postponement, interruption, curtailment or relocation of an event for reasons beyond the control of the event organiser.
  • Non-appearance cover – provides cover if a key performer or speaker is unable to fulfil their obligations which in turn leads to the event being cancelled, abandoned, postponed, interrupted or relocated. Circumstances can include death, accident, serious illness or unavoidable travel delay.
  • Pluvious insurance (weather cover) – usually an add-on to event cancellation insurance to cover adverse weather disruptions causing cancellation, postponement, relocation etc.
  • Commercial vehicle insurance – covers damage, loss or liability for vehicles used for business purposes which can include vehicles owned, hired or leased by the policy holder.
  • Travel insurance – can include different aspects of travel cover for your event staff, guests or performers (e.g. medical assistance, loss or damaged luggage etc).
  • Equipment and office insurance – covers physical loss or damage to equipment (cameras, sound gear, electrical equipment etc) that is owned, hired or on loan. 
  • Props, sets and wardrobe insurance – insures against loss or damage to props, sets and wardrobe items owned, hired or on loan.
  • Prize indemnity (Hole-in-One insurance) – covers high-stake/low-odds prizes for competitions in the case of a significant winner.
  • Ticket Refund Insurance – this is a service provided to ticket buyers to cover them in case of needing to cancel their tickets. There are multiple providers who can add this service to your ticket purchasing system as an optional add-on.

Do Your Homework and Shop Around

There are many different insurers that offer policies to cover various aspects of events. Each will have their own terms and conditions, therefore, ensure you understand your policy (what is included and what is not covered).

  • Get multiple insurance quotes – often insurers will match or beat competitor quotes, however price is not the only factor to account for in the value of the policy. E.g. What is your policy excess and inclusions within the policy?
  • Engaging an insurance broker may be the best way to get the cover your event needs at a reasonable price.

Pandemic-related Issues

  • It is important to understand whether your insurance policy covers pandemic-related causes of disruption.
  • Since COVID-19 it has become standard for this to not be covered, however can be added onto some policies with increased premiums to account for the associated risk.
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Have you considered?
  • Does the scale and activity of your event warrant insurance?
  • What insurance requirements does the venue you are hosting an event at require?