“Special” Events Are Actually Pretty Common
More than any other type of business organization, churches and schools hold special events.
Special events provide an opportunity for an institution to raise money, cultivate interaction amongst members / students, and serve the community. But they also needs to be understood from a risk-management perspective.
The biggest risk-exposure is ‘premises liability’ which is covered on the GL policy. This would be the church or school’s liability for a young person falling and breaking a collarbone, an elderly person slipping and hurting their hip, or a third-party vehicle getting damaged by event festivities.
There’s also risk-exposure for ‘abuse and molestation liability’. Special events attract hundreds of strangers you cannot pre-screen or control. Suspicious persons and limited security personnel can lead to an abuse or harassment situation for which a church is held liable.
Church Package Policy – Some Coverage for Special Events
Most carriers that insure churches or schools understand these ‘event’ risks and the package policy is designed to cover normal church / school events such as….
- Sports activities
- Youth retreats
- Men’s / Women’s conference
- Fundraising events
Stand-alone “Special Events Policy”
A Special Event Insurance Policy is a good idea when the event is particularly large or unique.
- Example – For a denomination-wide youth conference, if the denomination organization doesn’t its own coverage, the host church may want to buy a special events policy.
Final Tip – Obtain COI from Vendors
When it comes to events that have unique features, such as a petting zoo or bounce house, I recommend churches or schools obtain a ‘certificate of liability insurance’ from the vendor and include the church/school organization as additional insured.
That way, if a young person is injured from that activity, the vendor’s policy will be the first line of defense.