Your home holds many of your greatest memories, which may be why so many people are choosing to host events in their own homes instead of renting more traditional venues. From holidays to weddings, there is no better way to celebrate life’s greatest joys than by filling your home with love and laughter.
While your own property may seem like the simple solution for hosting an event, many people overlook the potential for property damage and liability issues to arise. At Eastern Insurance, we want all of your celebrations to remain full of joy, so we’ve prepared a few tips to help you prepare for your next event:
- Before your event, walk through your home with a skeptical eye. Visitors will not be familiar with the subtle nuances of your home like you are. Make sure rugs are secure, stairs are sturdy/slip-proof, and hallways are easily navigable.
- Remove valuable items or heirlooms and place them in a location that guests will not be able to access (a locked room, storage unit, etc.). This will help prevent your belongings from being damaged or stolen.
- Take a walk outside of your house and ensure that your stairs, railings, walkways, and lawn are level and safe to walk on. Keep an eye out for cracked concrete, low-hanging branches, or overgrown shrubbery.
- If you’ll be preparing food in the kitchen or on the grill, take the proper fire safety precautions. Do not allow guests to crowd the kitchen or grill while you’re cooking, and make sure to turn off everything when you’re finished.
- Follow the USDA food safety preparation guidelines for handling food safely found here: http://bit.ly/2v33TrE
- Have a safety plan in place - check your fire alarms and fire extinguishers before the event, and talk to your family about a safe place to direct guests to in an emergency.
- Be aware of alcohol consumption, by yourself and your guests. Keeping a clear head will help you identify potential issues before they arise and keep your guests safe. Have a designated driver on standby, or call a taxi service to provide a safe ride home to anybody who may have over indulged. Keep an especially close eye on underage guests to make sure they are not consuming alcohol. Massachusetts and other New England states have Social Host Laws specifically punishing those supplying alcohol to minors.
If you’re hosting a particularly large event, such as a wedding, you may want to talk to your agent about a liquor liability policy for your event. Or, if you hire a professional bartender, make sure they have this coverage. This insurance helps to protect whoever serves the alcohol against claims that occur when someone drinks too much and then injures himself or someone else.
- Several weeks before your event, check with your local government to find out information on noise restrictions, or if you need a permit parking along your street. For particularly large gatherings, consider a valet service or securing a nearby parking lot for safe parking.
- If you’re hiring vendors for your event, verify that they have their own liability insurance, and workers compensation insurance as well. If a vendor’s employee is injured on your property, and they are not properly insured, you could potentially be held responsible.
- You may want to consider a thorough review of your insurance policies prior to the event to make sure you have adequate coverage for any accidents that may occur. Talk to your agent about any recent additions or significant home improvements that you may have made in preparation for the event. You may find that your current policy is outdated, and would leave your underinsured against any damage to your home. This may also be the perfect time to add an umbrella policy to your insurance portfolio, which will provide additional coverage beyond your standard policies.
With these tips, you’re off to a strong start for hosting your next event in a way that is safe and enjoyable for all.
If you are getting ready to host a large event at your home, consult with one of our experienced Personal Lines agents to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage. You can call us at (800) 333-7234, email us at email@example.com, or visit our website to learn more about the insurance solutions that we can provide for you.