Does home insurance cover you when hosting a party?

The liability portion of your home insurance policy will cover property damage or injuries to your guests when hosting a party, but you may need additional coverage to ensure you’re fully protected.

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Rachael BrennanSenior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance ExpertRachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

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Jennifer GimbelJennifer GimbelSenior Managing Editor & Home Insurance ExpertJennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

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Whether you have a ton of friends hanging out at your house or just a few people over for a quiet dinner party, your homeowners insurance covers both property damage and your personal liability if someone is injured at your party and you’re found legally responsible. But every homeowners insurance policy has limitations and exclusions, so there are some circumstances where you may need additional coverage.

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Does homeowners insurance cover property damage from a party?

Yes, homeowners insurance will cover property damage that happens during a party. If the oven catches fire or an inebriated guest accidentally shatters a window, your home insurance will cover the damage.

But remember you’ll need to meet your home insurance deductible before your insurance company will pay out your claim. So if you have a $500 deductible and your claim is for $600 in damage, your insurance company will only pay out $100. You’ll want to weigh the pros and cons, since your home insurance rate often increases after filing a claim.

Lost or stolen items

If you discover that valuable items like jewelry or collectibles have gone missing after a party, your homeowners insurance policy may pay to replace some of these items. However, there are some things that are not covered (or only have limited coverage amounts), unless you purchase scheduled personal property coverage. This includes:

Does homeowners insurance offer liability coverage during a party?

Yes, your homeowners insurance provides liability coverage if someone is injured at your party and you’re found legally responsible. It also covers your guests’ property. So if someone parks their car in your driveway and a tree in your yard falls on it, the liability portion of your homeowners insurance policy would cover the cost.

But you may need additional types of liability insurance to ensure you’re fully protected.

Liquor liability insurance 

Also known as “Dram Shop Liability,” 43 states have laws in place to hold someone who served alcohol accountable for damage or injuries that an inebriated person caused. 

These laws are mostly used to protect people who have been hit by a drunk driver, allowing them to sue the person who let someone drink too much and then get behind the wheel. In some cases, the server may also face criminal charges. [1]

While your homeowners insurance will likely offer some liability coverage in this scenario, you may be able to purchase additional liability insurance, either as an umbrella policy or as a short-term insurance policy like special event insurance, to make sure you’re protected if an inebriated guest causes damage or injury.

Umbrella insurance

Umbrella insurance offers additional liability coverage to protect you financially if a guest is badly injured or someone’s valuable property is damaged during your party. Offered in increments of $100,000, umbrella insurance kicks in when you’ve reached the limits of the personal liability portion of your standard home insurance policy. 

Where to get umbrella insurance

Many property insurance companies offer umbrella insurance policies. You can speak to your insurance company about purchasing umbrella insurance or you can compare multiple quotes with Policygenius to find the best rate for umbrella insurance.

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Special event insurance coverage

If you’re hosting a party someplace other than your home, special event liability insurance helps protect you from financial loss if there’s an accident that injures a guest or causes property damage. Some venues require you to have special event insurance to be able to host your party there. This type of insurance may even cover cancellation due to things like extreme weather or a global pandemic.

Where to get special event insurance

Most property insurance companies, including Geico, Travelers, The Hartford, and Progressive, offer some type of special event insurance. Contact your home insurance company about purchasing special event insurance.

How to host a party responsibly

Make sure to consider your responsibilities when hosting a party. Your choices can help prevent injuries, property damage, and drunk-driving incidents, so it’s vital that you take steps to protect your guests, yourself, and your property. 

Here are a few things you can do as a party host to help keep everyone safe:

  • Encourage partygoers to choose a designated driver

  • Call a cab or rideshare service for guests who don’t have a designated driver 

  • Hire a professional bartender so guests are less likely to be overserved

  • Choose to limit your alcohol intake (or not drink at all) so you can keep an eye on the party

  • Serve plenty of food and nonalcoholic drinks like soda, tea, and water

  • Don’t let minors drink alcohol at your party

  • Put away valuable, breakable, or dangerous items where partygoers won’t have access to them

  • Make sure upstairs windows are closed and locked for the duration of the party

  • Keep outdoor sidewalks, walkways, and public areas well-lit and clear of debris

Ready to shop home insurance & get personal liability coverage?

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does home insurance cover guests?

Yes, the liability portion of your homeowners insurance policy offers some liability coverage to protect guests who were injured on your property or had their personal belongings damaged.

Does homeowners insurance cover weddings?

Yes, if your wedding is at your house, it’s covered like any other party. If your wedding is held somewhere else, your home insurance may offer some general coverage, but purchasing separate special event coverage is the best way to make sure you’re covered.

Is there such a thing as one-day event liability insurance?

Yes, you can purchase special event coverage for things like weddings, retirement parties, graduation parties, and other large celebrations.

References

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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of oureditorial standards.

  1. Insurance Information Institute

    . "

    Social Host Liability

    ." Accessed November 29, 2023.

Author

Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

Editor

Jennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

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