Holiday Office Party Insurance

Posted by David McLeish on Nov 12, 2018 5:33:51 PM


Planning This Year’s Holiday Office Party? Here’s Why You Need Event Insurance.

We’ve all had (or been...) that coworker who has a little too much fun and does something they fully regret the day after the annual holiday office party. If you’re on the event planning side of this year’s holiday party, you might want to consider special event insurance as you prepare for this year’s office shenanigans. After all, the holidays is about celebrating and relaxing, not worrying about all the unforseens that could go wrong if you don’t have insurance.

What is Special Event Insurance?

Short term event insurance is designed to protect your event - whether it’s a conference, business party, festival or something else (for a full list of covered events click here) from ALL of the possible circumstances that might occur during your event that are beyond your control. This includes potential lawsuits caused by damage to the location you are renting or lawsuits that arise if your guests are injured at the event.

Nobody plans an event with the intent of it going sideways, but any good event planner will tell you that they always have a backup plan in place in case things fall off the wagon. With affordable starting rates and policies that can be purchased online in just five minutes, what better reason do you need to make sure your next event is covered in the case that any accidents happen?

On the fence about whether or not your special event qualifies for insurance? Below are some tips to help you decide:

Location matters – If you’re planning a holiday office party, chances are you won’t be doing it at a park or outdoor venue in the dead of winter. However, if you’re hosting it at a third-party venue or on municipal property, event liability insurance is pretty much always required - especially where alcohol is involved. Think you’re in the clear if your boss is hosting it at her mega-mansion? Think again. You’ll want to double check her homeowner’s policy because parties of a certain size are often not covered - again, especially when alcohol is being served.

Equipment rentals – In the case that you’re renting tables, chairs, sound equipment or anything else you might need to throw the ‘holiday party of the decade’, consider what might happen if your vendor ends up being a no-show. You’ll want to be covered if that’s the case (hello, unpredictable winter weather) or if any damage occurs to the stuff you rent during the event. Accidents happen and sometimes you just can’t tell how much crazy fun your co-workers might have…

First-aid – Speaking of which, it’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt! Protect yourself against staff injuries or a staff member suing you in the case of a bad injury. Holiday party liability insurance will cover you if you are sued by an employee by providing a free lawyer to defend you and paying the judgement costs awarded to your injured guest.

Serving it right – Booze and the holidays usually go hand in hand. If you’re planning to serve alcohol at your office party, you’ll need to purchase one day liquor liability insurance. One way to get around this? Hire a caterer who will serve alcohol for you. But even then, make sure you have all your bases covered so that your liability is kept to a minimum.

Regardless of where, when, and how your next holiday party comes together, always keep your guests - or in this case, your staff - top of mind. Their safety is best managed with the proper special event insurance.

About the contributor: David Hamilton is President of Front Row Insurance, one of the world’s largest entertainment insurance brokers. Front Row offers event insurance with no need to talk to a broker. Policies start at $130 and certificates proving insurance coverage for your rented venue are provided immediately at no cost. To get a quote online, in under 5 minutes click here!

Tags: Special Event Insurance, event cancellation insurance, event insurance, event liability insurance, cheap event insurance, online event insurance, event liability, one day event liability, office party insurance

The Business Aftermath of An Artists Death: Key Man Insurance

Posted by Tom Corley on Apr 27, 2016 4:17:00 PM

I was, as millions of others, saddened by the news of Prince’s passing.  I mourn his passing.  He left a legacy few will ever match in the Music Industry.  Speaking with a friend yesterday, he told me that Prince was the best Tour he ever got to work with.  It is a truly sad and sudden loss.

iStock_000072037687_Medium.jpgAs the media covers this story with great tributes and well deserved praise for such a magnificent career; I was interested to read in The Wall Street Journal that “Warner Music Group co-owns the rights to all the unreleased music in Prince’s vault that was recorded between 1978 and 1996, when Prince was under contract there, and those songs can’t be released without permission from both the label and whoever takes control of Prince’s estate.  It isn’t clear who that will be since Prince wasn’t married, had no children and cycled through many business managers.”

This outside the musical legacy will become a business legacy unto itself as time passes.  This is the reality as we move forward.

To those of you in the Entertainment Industry: Are you prepared for such sudden news concerning your main income streams? 

There are some ways to minimize these risk exposures to that income we ALL rely on as we work within our respective roles within the Music Business and Film Industry.  One type of insurance is Key person insurance.

Key person insurance, also commonly called key man insurance, is a policy taken out by a Talent Management Company to compensate the Company for losses that would arise from the death or extended incapacity of the artist. Keyman Insurance is a type of life insurance that is used by the Talent Company for business protection purposes. The policy's term does not typically extend beyond the period of the Artist’s contract with the company. Keyman Insurance policies are usually owned by the Talent Management company and the aim is to compensate the Company for losses incurred with the loss of  income from the Artist. Key person insurance compensates the Company that holds the policy with a fixed monetary sum as specified on the insurance policy.

By Tom Corley:

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent  insurance broker that works on behalf of the Canadian arts and entertainment industry to provide insurance for the lowest possible cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row ensures that clients receive the money they are owed per the insurance policy, as quickly as possible. Front Row has offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Nashville and Los Angeles.


Tags: event cancellation insurance, Key Person Insurance, key man insurance, keyman insurance, prince tour cancellation, prince death, cancelled prince tour

Whether to buy Weather Insurance: Some tips for insuring your show against Mother Nature

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jul 3, 2015 1:06:00 PM

It’s outdoor performance seasonWeather Insurance – Shakespeare in a park, concerts, festivals, and all sorts of other great art is being created under the sun and stars. All of us have cherished memories of outdoor shows, but we also know what it’s like when Mother Nature reminds us she is a powerful force.

The majority of show and festival producers have ‘rain or shine’ policies and will not refund tickets if a few rainy days mean people have to huddle under their umbrella or cover up with a poncho.

For US based customers:  CLICK HERE to obtain a quote & purchase coverage online

But what happens if dangerous weather conditions prevent your crew from setting up for the show or make it impossible for your talent to make it to the stage? As a show producer, you need to be able to deliver on your promise to present the show – but if you have no stage, or no performers, or if you are forced to cancel the show, ticket refunds are a reality you need to face.

There are different forms of Performance or Event Cancellation insurance available from domestic & foreign insurance companies. Many will automatically exclude weather-related cancellations, postponements or interruptions; never assume that the cancellation insurance you’ve purchased includes cancellations caused by weather. You need to read the policy exclusions in your policy to be sure.

The thing you need to clearly understand when buying weather insurance is what type of weather ‘event’ will trigger your policy and allow you to submit a claim to your insurance policy. Is it only adverse weather that poses a serious safety threat to your audience, crew and talent? Does it cover your set-up period, or just the performance time? Will a cancellation be insured if you decide to cancel the show or does some other authority need to mandate or order the cancellation?

Understanding the scope of coverage offered by your policy is important. But equally important is having clear lines of communication with your production team, your insurance broker and your insurance company in advance of the weather day.

Here are some things to think in advance of your show or event:

  • Buy insurance early. When you decide that weather insurance is something you’d like to purchase talk to your broker early so you have your quotes well before your show or event. Most insurance companies will not bind insurance on events unless you are at least 10 to 14 days from your event dates. And remember, buying an umbrella on a rainy day always seems impossible and more expensive!
  • Who will monitor and document the weather? When you are close to city centres, it’s much easier to document what the weather conditions were at your venue at the time when you called your show.
  • Consider hiring a Weather Monitor to be on-site; your own meteorologist. There is a cost of course, but if you are concerned about the distance between your venue or site and the nearest weather station, a weather monitor will be a valuable part of your production team. They can document the amount of rain fall, wind speeds and lightening conditions. Some insurance companies mandate that you use an approved Weather Monitor.
  • If you don’t have a Weather Monitor in the budget, ask your insurance company what documentation they will require to substantiate your insurance claim. They might ask for photos, local or regional weather report and warnings, wind speed readings. Consider renting or buying wind speed monitoring equipment.
  • Learn about lightening and understand standard safe operating protocols when dealing with it. I often say to clients, if you can see it then you need to consider it a risk. A helpful resource that I like to reference is If you have a tent or other temporary structures including lighting grids, stages, tents or canopies, know what wind speeds or weight loads will compromise these structures. Tent manufacturers or suppliers should be able to provide you with all of the safety specifications you need. If they can’t then perhaps you need to use a different vendor. During periods of unsettled weather you need to monitor & document what stresses or loads were being experienced at that time.
  • Establish a Management ‘chain of command’ and designate the ultimate decision-maker. Where safety is an issue there is no time for wasted time. It needs to be clear with all members of your team who will be making this decision to cancel the show.

While this Blog Post is about weather insurance, you need to be aware that failing to act swiftly and decisively when people’s safety is at risk creates a big liability exposure for you and your company. You can face lawsuits, penalties, or even criminal charges if you allow your crew, talent or your audience to be exposed to unsafe conditions by failing to make a decision and take action.

As a final thought on weather insurance, you need to think about how much money you expect when making your claim with the insurance company. At the time of purchasing your policy you will generally have 2 choices of loss settlements:

  1. Gross Event Revenue: Your insurance claim will include gross box office revenue from all ticket sales. When your event has a high volume of pre-sales, it’s easier to show the insurance company your ticket revenue; however, if you rely on ‘day-of’ sales or have surges in ticket sales the week of the event, then this variable may pose a challenge when making your claim for lost revenue.  Remember it’s not only Producers and insurance companies who watch the weather, so do your ticket buyers. And don’t forget ancillary revenues like merchandising or your food and beverage sales;
  2. Production Expenses: This is probably the more common approach to insuring event cancellations. There are less variables as your claim will be based on the production budget that you submitted with your insurance application. Be sure to update your insurance company if you make any significant changes to your budget so the amount of insurance can be adjusted. The policy will pay your fixed expenses and any expenses that you are contractually obligated to pay. You may want to make allowances for variable expenses that may not be incurred if you cancel your show.

To sum it up, read your policy and understand it. If you have questions, ask them. Work with your broker to determine the amount of insurance you need to cover your potential financial loss and be sure that the policy matches your expectations.

So, here’s to a great season of making memories under the sun and stars.


Tags: Rain Insurance, Weather Insurance, Special Event Insurance, event cancellation insurance, concert insurance, Festival Insurance, Ticket Refund Policy, Performance Cancellation Insurance

Why Even YOUR Band Should Carry Liability Insurance

Posted by Monica Cervantes on Dec 12, 2011 2:38:00 PM

There are a number of reasons why a Cover band or Tribute band would benefit from purchasing liability insurance, but perhaps the most compelling reason is because without this cover, the very livelihood of the musician/band is at stake in the event that they are sued.  While no one plans on accidents, the chance of such incidents occurring increases at public places and venues where large numbers of people are gathered. When alcohol is consumed, the risk increases even more.


  • Why risk the loss of your assets, both personal and the band’s?
  • Liability policies are a safeguard against mistakes that your band might make in which they would be held liable.

So, what is liability insurance?

This type of insurance is designed to offer protection against third party (the public) bodily injury or property damage as a result of one’s operations or products.

The relevance to cover/tribute bands is that in the event that bands are held responsible for the injuries and property damage sustained by an audience member or staff member at the venue, the liability insurance would potentially pay for the medical treatment required by the injured party, and can cover settlement claims resulting from lawsuits.


An example of a scenario where a band’s liability policy would be of value include if a member of the audience was invited onto the stage while band members were performing and ended up tripping on loose cords and slamming their face into some audio equipment. The coverage afforded under a liability policy would protect the band (policy holder) in the event that they are then sued by any third parties for unintentional damage. A lawsuit can name a band, its manager, an establishment and it’s landlord in a lawsuit. Liability Insurance protection will not shorten criminal sentences, but it will take care of the resulting injuries and rehabilitation and potentially legal costs as well.

While Liability Insurance should be in place by the owners of the venue where a band will be performing, more frequently the musicians themselves must have liability insurance in place in order to perform at a venue. A band can be sued for it’s own direct actions, however other situations where a band and it’s members could be held liable include if a piece of equipment drops from the stage and injures an audience member, or if someone were to trip over the microphone cord. In many cases, the owner of a venue requires that performers show proof of their own liability coverage so that their own liability insurance is covered in the event that the performers are negligent.


Pricing is based on revenue and annual premiums start at US/CDN $500 for $1M in coverage. Compare this to the potential costs arising from a lawsuit and the coverage is priceless.



Tags: Entertainment Insurance, Entertainment Insurance Broker, event cancellation insurance, wedding band, wedding band insurance, cover band, cover band insurance, Tribute band, tribute band insurance, performers insurance, performers liability, venue insurance, concert insurance, tour liability, tour insurance, Band Should Carry Liability

Event Cancellation Insurance - Who Needs It?

Posted by David Hamilton on Oct 21, 2011 3:16:00 PM

Event Cancellation Insurance is purchased for one off events as a protection against loss of revenue or extra expenses that result from uncontrollable circumstances such as unforeseen weather conditions, power failure, terrorism, cancellation, abandonment, postponement, interruption or relocation of an event.

This type of insurance can also cover public liability, such as a serious injury to one of your patrons, if property is damaged, there is theft of expensive equipment or if you face a claim for actual or alleged bodily injury, and it is found to be your fault.

For US based customers:  CLICK HERE to obtain a quote & purchase coverage online

Why it’s needed

Event preparation can take years of planning, and with businesses incurring multiple expenses on the lead up to the event, most can not afford the costs associated with postponement, cancellation or relocation of an event. An organization’s physical assets impact the functionality of a business, therefore with risks to the bottom line being substantial, event cancellation insurance is needed to protect against the loss of costs, expenses or revenues associated with this exposure.

Obtain a no obligation Event Cancellation Insurance Quote Here: Event Cancellation

Some examples of situations that would have benefited from having event cancellation include the following: 

  • In July of 2011 a stage collapsed at the Ottawa Bluesfest as the likely result of a strong downdraft of air from a thunderstorm. There were multiple injuries involved with including possible spinal injuries.
  • During the Big Valley Jamboree in the summer of 2009, a powerful windstorm swept through the area causing the main stage to collapse. A total of 33 charges were laid against the three companies involved in this Alberta Stage Collapse. Each of the charges carries a maximum fine of $500,000 and possible jail time. There were more than a dozen injuries and one death.
  • Stage collapse at a Christian rock concert in April of 2008 where an auditorium floor collapsed at a church inAbbotsford,BC. Sound and Lighting scaffolds collapsed onto the front section of the stage and mosh pit with more than 40 injuries.

Who needs it:

Event coordinators responsible for special events such as film shoots, concerts, trade shows & exhibitions, entertainment & sporting events, corporate events such as product launches, and conventions to name just a few. Circumstances such as extreme weather conditions, civil, social and political unrest, strikes by employees at the venues to non appearance of key personnel are all coverages that can be purchased.

  • A recent example of the importance for promoters in obtaining event cancellation insurance can be seen after Michael Jackson’s unexpected death and the outlays and expenses that resulted from his projected 50 concerts atLondon’s O2 Arena.

 There are two types of coverages, the costs and expenses of putting on the event, such as rental promotion and fees charged by service providers, and secondly, the anticipated profits that the event is expected to generate.

How it’s obtained:

By contacting your broker and/or completing an online application form and providing the relevant financial worksheets.

How long it takes to obtain:

Generally 48 hours is needed as a minimum in order to obtain coverage 

What the cost is:

The cost is generally calculated according to the gross revenue or costs/expenses, premiums therefore vary widely. Premiums are also dependent on such factors as whether the event is indoor/outdoor, and if outdoor, what type of protection is in place to negate the effects of the elements. Additional factors that affect the premium include whether an event is dependant on particular cast members or performers and if so, the age and health issues of the performer will need to be known. Premiums are generally higher for this type of coverage as usually a “one time” event that doesn’t occur is a total loss.

Click here to obtain a quotation: Event Cancellation

Our service is friendly and knowledgeable: please contact us, we would love to hear from you!

If calling from Canada, please contact David Hamilton:   604-684-3456 or e-mail

If  from the United States:

CLICK HERE to obtain a quote and purchase coverage online!


Tags: Film Insurance, Weather Insurances, Insurance for weather, Snow Insurance, Rain Insurance, Weather Insurance, Special Event Insurance, event cancellation insurance, venue insurance

New Entertainment Insurance Broker in Canada

Posted by David Hamilton on Jan 5, 2010 6:21:00 PM

We are pleased to announce that  Focus Entertainment Insurance Brokers Inc. will merge with the Entertainment Division of Jones Brown Inc. to form Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc.  Front Row is an independent insurance brokerage focusing on the needs of the entertainment industry. Our contact information is as follows:


Vancouver Office                                                          Toronto Office


604 - 1200 Burrard Street                                              480 University Avenue, Ste. 1100

Vancouver, BC V6Z 2C7                                                Toronto, Ontario  M5G 1V2

Tel: 604-684-3456                                                          Tel: 416-408-1920

Fax: 604-684-3437                                                         Fax: 416-408-4517


Montreal Office


331 boulevard Saint-Luc

Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec J2W 2A3

Tel: 450-359-6620

Fax: 450-359-8132


The merger will make Front Row one of the largest entertainment Insurance brokers in Canada, and will provide us with additional leverage when negotiating premiums, coverages and claims settlements for our clients.  The combined companies, which insured over one billion dollars in production budgets over the last 12 months, give us unmatched entertainment insurance brokering experience and negotiating strength in Canada.

Front Row arranges: feature film insurance, TV Series Insurance, Documentary insurance, film equipment insurance, webisode insurance, E&O insurance for films New Media Insurance, Fairs and Festivals Insurance, Art Gallery Insurance, musical instrument insurance, music insurance, and more entertainment related insurances.

Front Row employs 20 insurance professionals across our three offices, and is licensed in all ten Canadian provinces.

Should you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact one of our offices.

Tags: musical instrument insurance, music insurance, Film Production Insurance, Film Insurance, Film insurance broker, E&O insurance for Films, E&O Insurance, Errors and Omissions coverage for films, Fairs and Festivals insurance, Film Production Equipment, Annual Film Insuruance, Commercial Production Insurance, Documentary Insurance, Producers Errors & Omissions Liability Insurance, Producers E&O Insurance, HD E&O, Special Event Insurance, event cancellation insurance

H1N1 and the effect on Film Production, Fairs and Festivals

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 3, 2009 11:11:00 AM

The fall flu season is here and no one has any idea how bad the H1N1 Virus will affect film production sets, special event planners and operators of Fairs and Festivals. Transferring the risk to insurance is one solution but it will not solve all the potential H1N1 scenarios.

Potential impacts are as follows:

1. Film/Television production companies could have cast/crew get sick or be quarantined.  If an individual is insured under  Cast coverage with no exclusion then coverage would be afforded if they get sick.  However, if they (or the crew) are quarantined without illness there would be no coverage.

2. If a production company  are filming an event and the event gets cancelled due to H1N1, there would be no coverage unless cancellation of event coverage is arranged the event cancellation coverage included cancellation due to H1N1.

3. If crew members or production company personal are scheduled to travel and they can't due to H1N1 there would be no coverage.

4. If the production company is hosting a special events and they have event cancellation coverage they need to look at the specific insurance policy wording to see whether coverage would be provided for an H1N1 outbreak, or a government cancellation of the public event due to H1N1.

5. If normal business operations ie post house, art gallery etc. can not operate due to staff sickness there is no coverage.

6. If fairs and festivals are cancelled due to H1N1 outbreak there is no coverage unless cancellation of event coverage is arranged that included cancellation due to H1N1.


I think you can get the picture that there are a lot of scenarios where: production companies, special event planners and operators of Fairs and Festivals could be affected that would not be insured. 

Tags: Film Insurance, Film Production, Fairs and Festivals, Fairs and Festivals insurance, DICE Policy, Annual Film Insuruance, Commercial Production Insurance, Documentary Insurance, H1N1, Special Event Insurance, Film crew, event cancellation insurance

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