Events at the Five Colleges

A Word on Insurance for Events

Insurance is for the benefit of the facility user as much as it is for the College. Facility users must sign an agreement which has an indemnity agreement that requires the Event Holder to indemnify and defend the College for any loss or damage caused by the Event Holder or anyone in their party. The insurance gives them the financial wherewithal to meet that obligation. It also gives them the financial means to meet other personal risks. For example, if someone tripped over an electric extension cord that the Event Holder brought to the event to run a slide projector, a person who tripped over the cord might sue the Event Holder as well as the College. If someone has a wedding or party, and leaves while intoxicated, the Event Holder is at risk for host liquor liability (automatically covered under the TULIP* for non-sales service). If they purchase third party property damage, they will be covered up to the purchased limits if someone in their party breaks furniture or damages other College property. The medical payments coverage (also a small additional premium) will give the facility user emergency payments money to help someone who trips and falls to get emergency medical care. This kind of payment can often stay a more serious claim, as the injured person's out-of-pocket expenses are met.

There are obvious reasons for the College to require insurance. The College uses a contract for facility use that includes both an insurance requirement and an indemnity clause. This gives the College protection for risks that are not associated with its core business (e.g., a seminar presenter runs a cord across an isle to plug in a projector, and someone trips and falls, injures himself, then sues the College; a person leaves an event while intoxicated, causing a serious accident, and the College is sued for host liquor liability by the injured parties). Even if the claims are not successful, defense costs can be very high. The College also has a guarantee of protection for property damage done to its facilities by the facility users if it requires property damage insurance (an additional premium under the TULIP*).

*The URMIA TULIP is an insurance option for College facility users. Businesses are likely to already have insurance that covers these exposures. Individuals may be able to get this coverage under their homeowner's policies. Facility users can also check with their personal insurance agent for alternatives.

Further resources

Mount Holyoke Contracting Procedures
Mount Holyoke Event Services
Hampshire College Contracts, Policies, and Tools
Amherst College Event Planning
Smith College Events Management