Special Events Insurance

BEWARE the fine print and frauds


In the vast majority of cases, special events insurance is bought shortly before the actual event, and policies arrive (if at all) sometime after the short-term insurance has run its course & expired. (Many programs operate using only certificates with reference to a master policy, and individual event policies aren't issued at all.)  It is therefore extremely important to get documentation of what insurance you're buying in advance.

You must also choose the days you're covering very carefully. Policies usually take effect at 12:01 A.M. on the indicated date, and expire at 12:01 A.M. on the indicated date. Claims for anything occurring outside the dates are simply not insured. If you have some pre-event set-up or other activities taking place, or takedown or other closedown activities, those dates must be included. If your social event is expected to end at 10 or 11 PM, but guests linger past midnight or will be traveling home past midnight, your insurance must include the following day or you risk having no insurance for what might be the most likely claims. If you are renting equipment, props, etc & the rental company requires insurance, you'll have to start coverage on the day you pick it up & continue it until the day after it's returned.

Fraud & misrepresentation may be very difficult to spot. One recently-arrested California broker reportedly has issued more than 2,700 - yes that's 2700 - fake policies to various entertainment, special events and sports clients since early 2001. (The wheels of the insurance department can crank very slowly indeed.)   He reportedly pocketed more than $3.8 Million in the first two years.

While the internet is a convenient & useful tool, it is also an insurance fraudster's dream come true. The fancy website that processes your quote may be run by some guy in his underwear at his bedroom computer in Bangladesh whose sole motivation is to obtain your credit card or bank routing number.  There are also more sophisticated schemes at work in the U.S. on a regular basis. Anyone who offers you insurance for $100 or so is highly suspect.   (Doesn't mean the policy is worthless, but likely to offer little-to-nothing in coverage.) Buying from an Internet-based program is often the best method, but you simply must establish some basic identifying information before you pay:

A) Find out the physical location address of the broker-agent & his/her state of residence and state license number.
B) Look up the license on your state insurance department and see if it's active.
C) Ask for the name of the insurance company (Not the agency name), financial letter rating and whether licensed in your state. (This should also be verified on your state insurance department website.)
D) Obtain a written, detailed quote & coverage description listing your event by title & location, exclusions, deductibles (if any), policy limits, the name of the insurance carrier, effective and expiration dates, total cost including fees, & payment terms.


Specialeventins.com is sponsored by Western Sentry Insurance Brokers.

We offer special events insurance in California-Nevada-New York only. For our online quote request form please click here.