Special event insurance

Our special event insurance helps to manage the risks of throwing one-off events, such as losing your investment or exposure to liability.  

You might need festival insurance for an outdoor show or party insurance for a village fete. No matter how large or small the occasion, how tried-and-tested or unconventional your plans, things can go wrong in a heartbeat. When you’re setting up a business meeting or attaching bunting to a marquee, it’s good to know your insurance can help prevent slip-ups costing more than you bargained for. 

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Why choose Hiscox for your special event insurance?


Liability cover up to £10 million

When you run a special event, there's always a risk someone could be injured, so it's good to know our insurance provides generous public liability and employers' cover


Cancellation cover as standard

Your party, festival, meeting or outdoor event is covered for cancellation with Hiscox special event insurance


A range of extensions

Tailored insurance is part of the Hiscox philosophy, so we let you add extras to match your needs - such as reduced attendance cover

Brilliant. Very easy to set up
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What is special event insurance?

Special events insurance is a portfolio of events cover, designed to cover short-term and one-off events of various kinds, working to protect your investment and your exposure to liability.

This product covers a range of events – it’s festival insurance, outdoor event insurance and business seminar insurance all in one.  

Hiscox special events insurance protects those organising events where a black-tie dress code is the norm to a summer event in sandals… or maybe wellington boots!  – it can cover barn dances to casino nights, flower shows to product launches, we can even cover street party organisers too. Our special event insurance currently doesn't provide cover for weddings or private parties.

Special events insurance brings together the key types of cover for such events and celebrations, including the hospitality efforts they often require.

This includes insurance for:

  • Cancellation
  • Property liabilities
  • Public liability
  • Employers’ liability
  • Loss of money (e.g. theft of cash)
  • Crisis containment

Do I need special event insurance?

You could need special event insurance if you or your business are organising a one-off or occasional event. Insurance for such events isn’t a legal requirement in the UK, but it can provide important protection since event organisers can be held liable for accidental injuries and property damage guests might face.

It’s therefore worth considering special event insurance if your gathering could bring about such a scenario – in other words, if it’s more than just a small, private meeting of friends.

Besides defending your liabilities, the major benefit of taking out special event insurance is to protect your pockets, so you might find you need cover if there are high costs involved in organising your event. The threshold for this will differ for everyone.

You may also need insurance if there’ll be high-value technical equipment, a marquee or large sums of cash on site.

Key features of Hiscox special event insurance include:

  • Cover for high-budget events
  • Quotes in a choice of currencies
  • International event coverage – available almost everywhere

When should I get special event insurance?

It could be a good idea to purchase special event insurance as soon as your plans materialise and before you make any bookings, since cancellation could happen at any time from this point.

Insurance can benefit anyone concerned about the risk of cancellation – for some, the cost of hiring a village hall and DJ might be enough to consider cover.

If cancellation is not your priority, then special event insurance should be taken out prior to all forms of setup.

This policy does not include retrospective public liability cover, so purchasing cover in good time helps to secure protection.

How much special event cover will I need?

How much special event insurance cover you’ll need depends on the type and scale of the event you’re hosting, as well as any factors that might make it particularly high-risk.

A small business seminar or corporate event hosted at a local hotel might require a lower policy limit than a three-day festival where thousands of guests and high sums of money are at stake. That said, even small events can come with significant liability risks and it’s important to select a high enough limit for a range of eventualities.

What’s included in special event cover?

Special event cancellation and disruption

If your festival, seminar or music event is cancelled, postponed, rearranged or relocated because of something out of your hands, Hiscox special event insurance can help to recover expenses that would otherwise be lost. This cover can also be tailored to include cover for loss of profits, based on your projections, if an event is cancelled.

Hiscox special event cancellation insurance features:

  • Cancellation, abandonment, curtailment, or rearrangement including to another time or place
  • Cover available on a full revenue basis, which protects your projected profit
  • Expenses-only basis of cover also available where this is more relevant or to keep costs down
  • Terrorism extensions available
  • National mourning cover is included for events where the death or funeral occurs in that country and coincides with the dates of the event (persons under 70)

You can also choose to add the following options:

  • Adverse weather cover for events outdoors or in temporary structures or marquees
  • Reduced attendance
  • Non-appearance (key featured persons)
  • National mourning beyond the standard cover

Special event property cover

Organising an event almost always involves specialist equipment, so there’s a risk this could be damaged or lost in transit to the event or on the big day. Whether this is owned by you, hired or borrowed for the special event, this insurance can help with repairs, replacements and rebuilding costs.

Hiscox special event property insurance includes:

  • Furniture, audio-visual equipment and marquee insurance as standard
  • Automatic cover for damage to the event venue, including fixtures, fittings and machinery – worth £50,000
  • Continuing hire charges cover for hired equipment

Special events public liability insurance

A street party, corporate event and large outdoor event such as a festival attract members of the public, which often brings a need for public liability insurance. Any event organiser could face a claim if someone is injured when a speaker falls from a stage, for instance, or due to trailing wires.

Hiscox special event public liability insurance covers:

  • if you’re accused of damaging a venue
  • Alleged injury or property damage affecting guests
  • Defence costs and damages worth up to £10 million

Special events money insurance

Hiscox special event insurance can be tailored to include cover for loss of cash at the event. Whether it’s an outdoor event such as a festival or a small community centre fundraising evening, where money changes hands, theft is a possibility.

Hiscox special events money insurance covers:

  • Loss of your money or cash you’re legally liable for
  • Theft at the event or in transit to the bank
  • Disappearance of money from a night safe

Special event employers’ liability insurance

Employers’ liability insurance – a legal requirement (external link) for most who employ staff – is a key form of cover for many special event organisers. When you’re in charge of hosting a music event, including booking a band and setting up bar and food tents, there’s plenty of scope for your temporary catering staff to become injured in the process.

Hiscox special event employers’ liability insurance covers:

  • Defence costs and damages worth up to £10 million
  • Work-related bodily injury, illness, disease
  • Permanent employees, temporary staff and volunteers

Special event crisis containment insurance

Events and reputation go hand in hand, so when things go wrong, reputations can be tarnished. Our crisis containment insurance is designed to protect your image after a claim – for instance, if a festival cancellation is widely publicised or news spreads about an injury.

Hiscox special event crisis containment insurance covers:

  • Access to a crisis containment provider at our discretion
  • Mitigation work to limit the damage
  • Crises relating to claims that fall under any aspect of your Hiscox policy

Special event insurance FAQs

How much is special events insurance for a one-off event?

The cost of insurance for a one-off event depends on the scale and type of event, as well as any extras you choose to add. It’s likely that special event insurance for a large-scale international event will cost more than that for a village fete – we’ll factor in the nature of your plans in relation to each of our policy areas, including the likely cost of cancellation, plus how much cash might be on site, and high-value equipment in use.

Does special event insurance cover private parties and/or weddings?

Hiscox special event insurance does not currently provide cover for private parties or weddings. 

Is my outdoor event insured against bad weather?

Yes, outdoor events can be insured against bad weather with Hiscox special event insurance if you add this to your policy – it’s an optional extra. Adverse weather cover can be taken out for outdoor events such as festivals, which may be forced to cancel due to a severe storm, as well as for events held in marquees.

Read more with our event insurance FAQs.