Insurance isn’t enough. Festival and Event Producers both large and small often fall under the misconception that if they have Event Insurance then they will be protected if someone is hurt or they get sued or there is some type of property damage. I could rattle on here about appropriate limits, the correct coverages, etc., etc. But along with your insurance coverage you need to employ various risk management strategies.
The one in particular I want to address today are exhibitor and vendor contracts. Liability Insurance coverage is not a black and white proposition. Not every conceivable situation can be specifically addressed in your insurance policy and some of the language is quite vague and/or open ended. When it’s unclear what the coverage is and who is responsible then the lawyers and the courts go to the contracts you have in place to determine who pays the claim.
I know this seems a bit counter intuitive because the bottom line is that when you buy Event or Festival Insurance you are really buying peace of mind that your insurance company will pay if things go wrong. Sure, in some situations it’s really clear who is at fault and which policy needs to pay the claim but in others this is not the case. This is particularly true when there are multiple people/companies/vendors, etc. involved in the “bad thing” that happened. So, it is vital that you have contracts in place with everyone involved in your event from exhibitors to vendors to independent contractors and that the contracts contemplate your particular relationships with these people and the risks associated with each.
Here are 5 things to consider when creating and executing your contracts:
- Do you have your Lawyer and our Insurance Broker review your contracts for compliance?
- Are the various contracts that you have in place coordinated? In other words, do the various clauses have similar language and restrictions?
- Are the necessary indemnification and cross indemnification clauses in place?
- Are the insurance limits required in line with the risk presented? (I.e. the stage vendor should carry higher limits than your craft exhibitors)
- Do you understand what you are agreeing to be responsible for? (This is a big one…you wouldn’t believe how many clients we have that agree to something that they never really intended to)
I know that this is just another item in a long “to do” list but a little work up front on this can save many headaches and hardships in the future. And, having strong contracts in place can supplement your Event Insurance and help in mitigating losses if you have a claim.