Party, Reception, or Dinner Insurance

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Dinner Reception


When holding a party, reception, or dinner, the risk profile of the event is not unlike a wedding with the main concerns focused around liquor liability issues and food consumption. Successful organizers ensure that adequate coverage has been purchased, and risk management best practices are adhered to. When coverage is not in place and the organizer does not pay attention to rudimentary practices such as checking for food allergies, planning for safe rides home, and proper alcohol service procedures, it would come as no surprise if an incident occurs.

Parties, receptions, and dinners are meant to be occasions for celebration. With a little advance planning and specific insurance coverages, there is no reason to believe they won’t be joyous events. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the things party, reception, or dinner insurance covers?

  • Bodily injury including sickness and slip and falls.
  • Property damage to third parties.
  • Liquor liability.
  • Medical payments.
  • Incidental medical malpractice.
  • Vendor extension available.
  • Use of reasonable force to protect people or property. 

What are some best practices for my party, reception, or dinner event?

  • When young adults/children are involved:
    • Be sure to have a sign-in page to be sure you keep track of all guests.
    • Ensure the ratio of adults to young adults/children remains manageable. 
    • If the event is going to include options such as bouncy castles/buskers/pony rides, etc., it is important to transfer the risk to the company providing the activity. Obtain a liability certificate, with a suggested coverage limit of $5,000,000 or more, including you as an additional insured — ensuring that the certificate also includes participant liability. Have the company run the entire activity including setup, takedown, and operation. You can also reach out to your insurance broker for a recommended list of safety measures. 
  • If alcohol is being served:
    • Be aware of guest ages and ensure only appropriate guests are served. 
    • Ensure all third party servers have appropriate certifications.
    • Obtain appropriate permitting (e.g. one-day liquor licensing) and follow the pursuant rules and regulations. 
    • Ticket and only allow liquor purchase for a short window of time.
    • Have and document safe ride options for patrons to get home. 
    • Consider professional security as they have experience in managing the risk of events. If you cannot obtain professional security, we suggest using volunteer security that stay sober and can be responsible for contacting the authorities, if required.
  • Take the weather into account for any activity:
    • If it is cold or snowing, then a slipping hazard becomes more likely. 
    • If it is hot, then it is important to provide access to enough drinking water for all guests. 
    • For forecasts including rain or thunder, it is important to have an alternative location to house guests to keep them safe. 
  • For any sporting activities:
    • Use of sport specific safety equipment such as helmets, masks, etc. is recommended.
    • Have an “iron-clad” liability waiver and ensure all participants sign it before being allowed to play.
    • Ensure your liability waiver is reviewed/approved by a lawyer and is separate from the registration form.
    • Document that you have outlined the risk of participation. 
    • For water activities, always ensure that lifeguards are present. 
  • Do a walkthrough to note any possible hazards such as loose wires or tripping hazards and document them or have the location correct them. 
  • Document any issues that occur for future reference in case of a claim.

What else should I know about party, reception, or dinner event insurance?

  • Event cancellation insurance is a different coverage from liability insurance for events and must be purchased separately, if desired.
  • Rates for liability insurance for events don’t vary by location across Canada, so whether your event is in Ontario, BC, or Alberta your cost will be the same.
  • Party, reception, or dinner insurance is available across Canada including  the provinces of BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. Please note that insurance documentation is currently only available in English for Quebec clients.
  • Reception insurance is certainly the main coverage requested in this family of events. However, other popular coverages include:
    • Party insurance
    • Dinner insurance
    • Disc jockey (DJ) event insurance
    • Busker insurance
    • Picnic insurance
    • Gazebo rental insurance
    • Family gathering insurance

Who is Marsh and why should I buy my liability insurance for events through them?

  • Marsh is the world’s leading insurance broker and risk advisor. With colleagues operating in more than 130 countries, Marsh serves commercial and individual clients with data driven risk solutions and advisory services. Marsh Canada Limited has more than 1,000 employees and offices in 13 cities across Canada.
  • Marsh helped 490 customers manage and protect community and family events in 2019. Join the many Canadian event organizers already benefiting from the ease of purchase and broad coverages available under the Marsh Event Liability Insurance Program.

Need to know more about party, reception, or dinner insurance?

Group of People


Please contact your Marsh Canada licensed insurance broker directly at:

1 888 755 5247 | Email: events.service@marsh.com

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Your event liability insurance coverages will be placed with a program administered by Marsh Canada Limited. Marsh Canada has engaged in a competitive marketing process to offer a competitive product. We have negotiated this Program on a group basis with the insurer but we have not acted as a broker for any individual participant. This Program may be for a term of several years and may not be negotiated annually.

Information on this website represents a synopsis of coverage and is provided as a reference only. The actual policy, including endorsements determines coverage. It contains exclusions, limitations and other provisions not referenced (or only briefly summarized) here and the policy should be consulted for full coverage terms, conditions and requirements. Deductibles may apply.  For exact terms, definitions, limitations, and exclusions, please speak with your licensed Marsh Canada Limited insurance broker, or refer to the policy wording.

This web page is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. The information contained herein is based on sources we believe reliable, but we make no representation or warranty as to its accuracy. Marsh shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any modelling, analytics, or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty, and the Marsh Analysis could be materially affected if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information, or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change. Marsh makes no representation or warranty concerning the application of policy wordings or the financial condition or solvency of insurers or re-insurers. Marsh makes no assurances regarding the availability, cost, or terms of insurance coverage.