Hoping to piece together a perfect day for an anxious couple, wedding planners have a lot on their plates. Renting space and hiring caterers and florists all present significant challenges. While you may have a prime list of vendors with excellent reputations, their dependability is far beyond your control. With so many responsibilities, all may not go according to plan. You’ve heard the horror stories: Bands cancel, dinner disappoints, and someone breaks a bone on the dance floor. Expect the best, but be certain to protect your event planning business from financial disaster in case of the worst.
Purchasing Liability Insurance
Your clients put up a lot of money to ensure that their wedding day is pleasantly memorable. Depending on the size of the guest list and quality of the fare, the big day can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to a couple hundred thousand. With those numbers at stake, financial liabilities for wedding planners loom large. You may not be able to control the temperature at which the entrees are cooked, but you certainly will bear some blame if a case of foodborne illness strikes. Protect yourself from most potential hazards by obtaining liability insurance from a quality commercial carrier. Business owner policies promise to indemnify you in case clients seek financial damages from your organization. Insurance policies for wedding planners have two major components. They insure the value of any property the business owns, such as computers, props or office equipment. These items fall under the umbrella of business property; many financial losses, event-related or not, can be recovered if that property gets stolen or destroyed. Liability insurance exists to protect the company from a lawsuit brought on by your dissatisfied clients who may seek compensation from you if their day becomes a nightmare. Liability insurance amounts range from $300,000 to $1 million or more, and you should base coverage amounts on the approximate total cost of the planned events.
Requesting Certificates of Insurance
Unless you have a ton of cash, don’t risk financial ruin by remaining uninsured or allowing a policy to lapse. In addition, require that vendors you work with maintain liability insurance for themselves. You may not be directly responsible for another party’s mistakes, but you may be the first party to a lawsuit if a contracted vendor has no insurance. Unless there is a severe occurrence, it is unlikely that damages will be large enough to exceed the liability coverage of a vendor’s policy. Before hiring any deejay or renting a reception space, demand a certificate of liability insurance from that entity. Refuse to sign any deal without that evidence, and make no exceptions. For pennies on the dollar, wedding planners can purchase liability policies to keep the business afloat when things go wrong. Don’t leave your life’s work to chance by going without insurance. Most clients will look back fondly on their weddings, but over time, one or two couples may blame you for a day gone sour.