Estate owners saying ‘I do’ to wedding venue opportunities

February 16th 2022

Britain’s breathtakingly beautiful landscapes, historic castles, country houses and romantic rural retreats have long made weddings outside of churches and register offices an attractive option. It is little wonder many land, estate and property owners are keen to capitalise on such revenue boosting opportunities.

Lockdown restrictions meant many couples postponed their big day until a time when it was possible to have the wedding they had dreamed of.

Now restrictions have eased, the backlog of postponed weddings means demand for venues is high, and no longer limited to the traditional summer months.

For estate owners who have already established a presence in the wedding venue market, now is a sensible time to review existing insurance cover.

And for those interested in following their diversification lead, there are several insurance factors that need to be considered.

There is a key differential between the insurance needed as a private homeowner and that of a commercial venue if you start allowing events in your home.

Whilst weddings are joyous occasions, accidents do happen. Public liability insurance will cover the legal cost of defending compensation claims brought against you and payments for damages, but this should not be confused with property owner’s liability as included on most standard household policies.

Key distinctions should also be drawn between labour only subcontractors employed by the venue and bona-fide sub-contractors. There may well be an Employers’ Liability exposure and further public liability implications when you consider the risk of contaminated food and allergies.

Having an insurer that understands the flexibility a successful venue has to show is key, however there are still several simple tasks that venues should undertake to protect themselves and make them a more attractive prospect to insurers. These range from the obvious, such as having valid electrical inspection certificates, to the more easily overlooked, like smoking controls and making sure there is adequate provision of firefighting equipment.

Cancellation has also become a hot topic and venues can cover themselves for weather related cancellations.

Whilst financial rewards can be had from establishing a wedding venue, there are risks, and we would urge you to always take advice before embarking on such an enterprise.

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