As a wedding planner, your job is to plan a fabulous event for your client and keep track of all the little details so the bride and groom can focus on enjoying their special day. You must also anticipate what can go wrong and do everything in your power to keep sudden changes in plans or unexpected mishaps from ruining the event.
But you can’t anticipate or prevent everything. Bad things happen – weather events, injuries, vendors who don’t show up – and you’ve probably experienced them all. One thing you can do to protect your business from the fallout of these unforeseen events is to purchase wedding planner insurance.
More than 50,000 event planners – including wedding planners – work in the United States. Wedding planners are typically single proprietors or small businesses that arrange weddings for other people. For any given wedding, the wedding planner may be responsible for arranging a variety of things:
- Ceremony and reception venues
- Travel for guests
- Bridal party attire
- Photography and videography
And everything in between. While you can take every precaution to ensure that each event is flawless, there are many things you cannot control, especially when there are so many moving parts and you must rely on others to get things done.
Do Wedding Planners Need Business Insurance?
Insurance is one of the best ways for businesses of all sizes to protect themselves from things that are out of their control. Wedding planner insurance consists of a variety of individual policies and policy endorsements that can be customized to your unique needs.
- Business property insurance: Wedding planners need business property insurance to protect office equipment, files, computers, tablets and smartphones. It covers you for property damage due to fire, smoke, theft, vandalism and certain weather events.
If you have a home office, you still need business property coverage because your homeowners insurance policy likely excludes coverage for business property in your home. In addition, you may need separate flood insurance or earthquake coverage if you live and work in an area that is prone to these events.
- Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance: Guests, vendors, delivery persons and others are potential victims of slips, trips, falls and other types of property damage or injury. While you may not be responsible for the safety of guests at a venue, that doesn’t mean someone won’t name you in a lawsuit if they trip on a rug during an event. Likewise, if you work out of your home and you host client meetings there, you can be held liable for business-related trips, falls and other injuries that take place at your home.
CGL insurance provides coverage for third-party bodily injury and property damage claims. It pays for court costs and legal fees if you are sued (even if the suit is unfounded, you have to defend yourself), as well as any settlements or judgments that you must pay. It also pays for medical expenses for injured parties and provides coverage if you are accused of advertising liability, slander or libel.
- Professional liability insurance: Wedding planners need customized professional liability insurance, or errors and omissions insurance. It protects you if a client claims that the services you provided (or failed to provide) were negligent and caused harm.
Simply put: Professional liability insurance covers mistakes, and everybody makes them. Clients can sue you because they are dissatisfied with your professional services whether or not the claim has merit. Some examples where professional liability insurance could come into play include reserving a venue for the wrong date, failing to correct mistakes on invitations or failing to secure vendors as promised.
Any one of these errors can cause emotional distress, embarrassment, aggravation and inconvenience for clients and their guests. You can be sued for this reason alone.
Other Types of Wedding Planner Insurance
Here are some other types of wedding planner insurance for you to consider in order to have comprehensive coverage:
- Inland marine insurance: Inland marine insurance is for businesses on the move, and as a wedding planner that certainly describes you. As you travel form venue to florist to caterer and back again, you may also transport your computer, tablet, invitations, candles, tablecloths and other samples with you. Inland marine insurance protects your business property when it is in transit – probably in your vehicle – and while it is at vendor locations or clients’ homes. If your laptop is stolen or destroyed at a venue or a meeting with a client, inland marine insurance provides property coverage so you can repair or replace your damaged, lost or destroyed item.
- Commercial auto insurance: Whether your business owns vehicles or you drive your personal vehicle for business purposes, you need some type of business auto insurance. If you are driving a vehicle owned by your business, you need standard commercial auto insurance.
- Business owners policy: Small businesses can qualify for a special package policy called a business owners policy (BOP). This convenient and advantageous policy provides property, liability and business interruption coverage (compensates you for lost income and operating expenses if you are unable to operate following a disaster) in one affordable package. Many low-risk businesses, like wedding planners, qualify if they meet certain criteria:
- The size of the business property
- The necessary liability limits
- The type of business
- The extent of the business’s off-site activity
- Business location
- Financial stability
- Type of building construction (where applicable)
- Security features
- Fire hazards
Business owners policies do not cover professional liability, commercial vehicles, workers’ compensation and many other types of business insurance. Separate policies are available to small-business owners who need additional coverage.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: If you have employees, your state requires you to carry workers' compensation insurance to protect your employees (and your business) from the cost of workplace illnesses and injuries.
Find Wedding Planner Insurance With All the Right Details
Unlike many other professionals, a wedding planner is expected to “sweat the small stuff.” Just don’t overlook your responsibility to yourself and your business, too. One mishap can ruin your reputation; one lawsuit can force you out of business.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent in the Trusted Choice® network about the type of exposures you have and the business insurance policies that will help you stay afloat even when something bad happens. Independent insurance agents can find quotes from multiple insurance companies to make sure you are getting the best mix of coverage and most affordable premiums.