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.
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. 
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 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.
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