Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Damage from a Party?

Damage caused by a party is usually covered, but if you plan a big event or will serve alcohol, you may need extra coverage.

Alani Asis
Written byAlani Asis
Alani Asis
Alani Asis
  • 3 years of content writing

  • Bylines with leading financial publications

Alani is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. She aims to make complex topics more approachable through fun, digestible content.

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Danny Smith
Edited byDanny Smith
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Danny Smith
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 4+ years in content creation and marketing

As Insurify’s home and pet insurance editor, Danny also specializes in auto insurance. His goal is to help consumers navigate the complex world of insurance buying.

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Updated March 28, 2023

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Hosting a party can be stressful, and any number of things can go wrong. Fortunately, adequate insurance can protect your assets if your event goes awry.

Homeowners insurance offers financial protection for unexpected events on your property. For instance, if a guest slips and hurts themselves on your property, your personal liability coverage will typically pay the medical expenses up to your policy’s limits. Or, if a guest accidentally damages your property, your dwelling coverage will usually cover the repair costs.

However, you may need additional coverage to protect yourself financially if you decide to host a large event or serve alcohol at a party. Additional liquor liability coverage can offset the cost of lawsuits and repairs if an intoxicated guest causes property damage or physical harm to someone else.

Does homeowners insurance cover a party at your home?

It depends. Homeowners insurance typically covers most damages and injuries that occur on your property during a party as long as they’re caused by a covered peril in your insurance policy. But you may need to supplement your existing home insurance with event liability or liquor liability insurance if you plan on hosting a large event.

Read More: What Does Home Insurance Cover and What Does It Exclude?

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Does homeowners insurance cover a party you host outside your home?

Your homeowners insurance liability coverage may also cover injuries that occur away from your property.[1] For example, if your dog bites a guest at your party or your guests accidentally cause damage at the venue, your personal liability insurance may cover the damages.

If you host a party outside your home, the venue may require additional insurance to supplement their own. Some venues will only let you rent their property for your party if you purchase special event liability coverage.

Keep in Mind

Homeowners insurance policies have exclusions and coverage limits. It’s a good idea to check with the venue to clarify how much protection you need and how much their policy will provide.

What does homeowners insurance protect when you host a party?

You can rely on your homeowners insurance to cover your dwelling, personal property, and guest injuries on or off your property when you host a party.

  • Dwelling coverage: Your homeowners insurance will cover the cost to replace or repair the dwelling and foundation of your property if damaged during your party.

  • Personal property coverage: Your homeowners insurance will compensate you for repairs or replacements of your personal belongings if damaged or stolen during your party.

  • Personal liability coverage: Your insurance company will reimburse your guest for medical expenses resulting from injuries on your property.

What doesn’t homeowners insurance protect?

Whether you throw a party at home or at another venue, your homeowners insurance will have exclusions.

Standard homeowners insurance excludes damage from flooding, earthquakes, wear and tear, and various water-related perils.[2] For instance, if your guest clogs the toilet at your event, basic homeowners insurance policies won’t cover sewer backup.

Homeowners insurance also won’t cover damages that exceed your liability and damage coverage limits. Suppose your guest slips next to your pool, and your liability limits don’t cover the entirety of their medical bills. In that case, you may have to pay out of pocket to cover the difference.

Learn More: Do I Need Flood Insurance?

When do you need more insurance for a party?

While your homeowners insurance covers a range of damages caused on and off your property, you may need more coverage for a special event.

You may need additional insurance if:

  • You’ll be hosting a large number of guests in your home

  • You’ll be serving alcohol

  • You’ll be hosting a large party away from your property and you’re not sure if the venue or co-host has enough insurance

  • You’re hosting a party at an expensive venue where the cost of any damages caused by your guests could exceed your policy limits.

Event liability insurance

Venue owners usually have dwelling coverage to protect the property. They may also offer liability coverage to guests for any injuries incurred on their property. However, some venues may require hosts to purchase separate special event insurance before renting the venue.

Special event insurance offers additional liability coverage that pays for expenses from damages and injuries at the venue. It also provides cancellation coverage, which returns lost deposits and other expenses when circumstances out of your control result in an event cancellation or postponement.[3]

Liquor liability insurance

Forty-three states have social host liability laws, meaning hosts may be liable if adults or minors get injured as a result of getting intoxicated at a party.[4] Although business professionals like bartenders and food vendors usually have liquor liability policies, hosts can also purchase social liquor liability insurance.

Social liquor liability insurance is a short-term policy for hosts of special occasions like weddings or birthday parties. While your homeowners insurance policy may provide some liquor liability, you’ll likely need more. Consider purchasing liquor liability protection if you’re hosting a party with liquor.[4]

Umbrella insurance

Consider umbrella liability coverage if you suspect the cost of damages or injuries at your party could exceed your liability limits. Most homeowners insurance will offer up to $500,000 in liability coverage. However, you may need more coverage, so you can buy umbrella insurance to increase your liability coverage limits.

Umbrella insurance can be helpful if you frequently host parties with lots of activity, such as pool parties. Insurance companies usually sell umbrella coverage in increments of $1 million. And you may have to purchase $300,000 in liability insurance before you qualify for an umbrella policy.[5]

See More: Types of Homeowners Insurance: Which One Do You Need?

How to buy insurance for a party

  1. Check your homeowners insurance coverage. Your homeowners insurance policy typically includes liability protection for special events. However, you may want to purchase more insurance, depending on your coverage limits and the type of party you’re hosting.

  2. Gather information. It’s essential to know your party’s specifics before purchasing insurance so you can get an accurate quote. You should know when your party is occurring, the number of guests attending, if liquor will be served, etc.

  3. Shop around for party or event liability insurance providers. Explore online reviews and third-party rating agencies to determine the quality and reliability of each provider.

  4. Compare quotes. Once you’ve narrowed your options, you may have to fill out a short questionnaire to get an event insurance quote. Ensure that your party’s coverage amounts and details are the same across each quote so you can make an accurate comparison.

  5. Choose a provider. Comparison shopping is essential if you want to find the best rates. If you don’t feel like a provider gives quality service or provides adequate coverage at a reasonable cost, keep shopping for an insurance company that works for you.

Keep Reading: 5 Best Home Insurance Companies

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Party insurance FAQs

If something goes awry at your party, you’ll want to know you have adequate insurance coverage to pay for any damages or injuries. Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about insurance and how it works when you’re hosting an event.

  • What does homeowners insurance usually exclude?

    A standard homeowners insurance policy usually excludes damages from floods, earthquakes, and wear and tear. You’ll need additional insurance coverage or a warranty to cover those exclusions.

  • Does homeowners insurance cover a guest’s belongings?

    Personal property coverage typically covers repairs or replacement of a guest’s belongings if they’re stolen or damaged at your home.

  • Does homeowners insurance cover damage to a guest’s car?

    Most homeowners insurance policies will not cover damage to someone else’s car. However, if a guest parks their car on your driveway and you’re found liable, your homeowners insurance liability coverage may cover the damage.

  • What are some insurance risks when you host a party?

    Some risks associated with hosting a party include damages or injuries caused by an intoxicated person, a guest getting hurt on your property, and a guest damaging your or the venue’s property.

Sources

  1. Allstate. "What does personal liability insurance cover?."
  2. Insurance Information Institute. "Homeowners Insurance Basics."
  3. Allstate. "Event Insurance."
  4. Insurance Information Institute. "Social host liability."
  5. Insurance Information Institute. "Should I purchase an umbrella liability policy?."
Alani Asis
Alani Asis

Alani Asis is a personal finance freelance writer with nearly three years of experience in content creation. She has landed bylines with leading publications and brands like Insider, Fortune, LendingTree, and more. Alani aims to make personal finance approachable through fun, relatable, and digestible content.

Danny Smith
Edited byDanny Smith
Photo of an Insurify author
Danny Smith
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 4+ years in content creation and marketing

As Insurify’s home and pet insurance editor, Danny also specializes in auto insurance. His goal is to help consumers navigate the complex world of insurance buying.

Featured in

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Compare Home Insurance Quotes Instantly

Secure. Free. Easy-to-use.
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