Certificate of Insurance for Events

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Planning a major event can have your head spinning. Will the caterer accommodate an increase in attendees? And why hasn’t the venue confirmed your booking?

Then the venue owners tell you that they need a Certificate of Insurance (COI) for your event policy. What does that even mean, and how do you get it? We have you covered.

What is a Certificate of Insurance for events?

Special event insurance
protects you from third-party claims of non-employee bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury that occur during your event. You can also purchase liquor liability coverage for claims that arise because you served liquor at the event. However, the venue typically won’t want to see a copy of the policy, written in legalese, to ensure that you are properly insured.

You’ll likely need a Certificate of Insurance (COI) for events, which is a form you can get when you buy your event insurance. Short and sweet, a COI for events is your proof of a valid, active insurance policy that lists:

  • Coverage limits
  • Policy term dates
  • Your information as the Named Insured and, if applicable, it will show that the Certificate Holder is an Additional Insured on the policy.

The COI may be on an ACORD 25 Certificate of Liability form, which is a template designed by the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD). If someone asks you for an ACORD certificate instead of a COI, know that they are referring to the same proof of insurance.

What is included in an event COI?

The Certificate of Insurance has all the pertinent details about the event insurance coverage. It is important to understand that your COI is not your policy but a summary of the coverages in your policy.

At the top of the form, you can find the names of the producer, insurer, and insured.
The main body of the COI lists the coverages, such as general liability, and limits for third-party bodily injury and property damage. The COI may specify limits for:

  • Each occurrence of damage to rented premises
  • Each occurrence of bodily injury and property damage
  • Medical expense coverage to any one person
  • Each occurrence of personal and advertising injury
  • General aggregate (the most your insurer will pay for all losses incurred during the policy period)
  • Aggregate for products and completed operations

Below the coverage is a section that describes any specifics about your event or details regarding the coverage that may deviate from the norm. Any Additional Insureds will be listed in this section with their legal name and contact details.

Why do you need a COI for events?

It’s common to need a COI when planning an event. Venues often require hosts to have insurance and may contractually require the host to name the venue as an Additional Insured. A COI provided to the venue contains the information they need to confirm that you are properly insured. For example, the venue owners will want to know that your general liability insurance is likely to cover damages if your guest does an electric slide into their wall.

Make sure that you get insurance for a period that covers event set-up and breakdown, even if you only have a one-day event. Many things can go wrong during these times, and you need to be covered from the moment you step foot in the venue until you leave.

Thimble’s special event insurance is designed for short-term needs. Policies through Thimble will cover your event for one day up to two weeks (including set-up and breakdown time). Cancel your policy any time before the event to get a refund.

Should event vendors get a COI?

You aren’t the only one with liability exposure during an event, and you should make sure that your vendors all have the proper insurance. You should request a COI from every vendor, such as caterers, DJs, and entertainers.

When you request the COI, make sure that they add you as an Additional Insured to their policy. This way you have coverage if their actions lead to a liability loss or if you are named in a lawsuit arising from their actions.

How to share a COI for events

If you can share a photo from your phone, you already know how to share a COI from the Thimble app. We’ve made it easy to share your COIs through the app, email, or text using your phone’s sharing functions. Once you have paid for your insurance coverage, we’ll send your policy and COI(s) instantly to your inbox. You can request more COIs at no additional charge.

Before you send a COI, you’ll want to check the details for accuracy, including typos, spelling or legal name errors. Make sure the coverage is properly listed with the right policy limits. Take a close look at the effective and expiration dates to make sure that you have the coverage you need when you need it.

The proof that you’re ready for your party

Before you get the party started, make sure to obtain your insurance policy and a Certificate of Insurance for events that includes your coverage, limits, your contact information, and the names of Additional Insureds.

With Thimble, you’ll receive your event policy and a COI in your inbox and on your app as soon as you purchase your policy. Enter your email and get notified when Thimble’s event insurance is available in your area.

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