Your insurance policy and things to know when planning a backyard wedding.
We often get calls from our customers asking, “Will our homeowners policy cover us if we have a backyard wedding?”
The short answer is, yes and no. We know that all policies are different and there will always be follow up questions that will help us to provide you with an answer. Some questions we will ask are; how many people are coming; is alcohol being served; are you hiring a caterer; are you getting a big tent? Your answers will help us guide you in the right direction.
While your homeowners policy does provide you with coverage for events at your home, it is always best to double-check and to make sure you have the proper limits. You should also make sure anyone you are hiring that will be on your property providing a service, has insurance as well. Professionals like the caterer, DJ, rental company, etc. should all provide you with a valid certificate of insurance.
Tanya Costigan in our Easthampton office, has been in the wedding planning business for over nine years. Tanya has provided us with the three things to know for backyard weddings or parties if you want to avoid homeowners policy claims.
- Tent stakes get driven about 3+ feet into the ground and could cause some serious damage! Always have the tent company do a site visit so they can be aware of power lines, dig safe situations, sprinkler systems and septic/well systems. Markers should be placed in any of these areas so they can be avoided when staking the tent.
- There is a lot of liability taken on when having a large amount people leaving the property after consuming alcohol. Event insurance policies or certain homeowners insurance endorsements should be put in place before event day.
- Can the home handle the power needed to run such an event? Lights, band/DJ equipment, and catering equipment take a significant amount of power. You may want to consult an electrician or rent a generator from the tent rental company to avoid headaches.
In addition to your homeowners policy we often recommend a “Special Event Policy”. This policy typically covers liability at your home or at another location. Using this type of policy helps reduce the possibility of a claim, which can affect your homeowners policy status in the future. This type of short term policy can cost as little as $175.