Say “I Do” to Wedding Barn Insurance

Imagine a charming century-old farmstead in the shadows of Rib Mountain, a renovated dairy barn tucked into the Driftless Region, or an apple orchard in the Door Peninsula.

Wisconsin farms have everything engaged couples are looking for in a non-traditional Midwest wedding venue – rustic charm, natural light, and a picturesque backdrop to remember their special day.

Not surprisingly, the wedding barn industry is booming in Wisconsin.

From a farm owner’s perspective, event barns are a way to diversify income by providing a meaningful experience from one family to another.

However, providing this unforgettable experience for newlyweds is not without risk. It requires unique insurance needs.

What insurance does a wedding barn need? 

Be prepared for the unexpected 

As an event host, you probably don’t envision a power outage or accident. However, the reality is unexpected problems can occur at any time. What if a power outage spoils the food? What if the heater goes out during a winter wedding? What if someone gets hurt leaving the wedding?

There are a lot of ‘what-if’s’ that could happen. That’s why it’s important to have the right insurance coverage to go into the big day with peace of mind.  

event insurance for a wedding barn 

Farm insurance does not cover weddings or events. If the farm is an operating farm, you’ll still need farm insurance but if you use part of the property as an event venue, you’ll need business insurance too. 

  • Business insurance: If you’re booking events multiple times a month or weekly throughout the year, it’s recommended you provide the coverage yourself through a business policy or an agritainment endorsement on your farm policy. 
  • Event insurance: If events are not frequent, you only host an event a few times a year, an event day policy can be useful. The wedding party should also consider event insurance to protect their personal belongings. 
  • Liquor liability coverage: If you’re providing alcohol, liquor liability coverage is highly recommended. If you’re running a business, and your guests provide their own liquor liability insurance, ask for a copy of their event policy so you can review the coverage and make sure the policy has adequate protection. 
  • Workers’ compensation coverage: If you have multiple employees, such as a bartender, event coordinator, or maintenance, make sure you have workers’ compensation insurance in case someone gets injured on the job. An added benefit of having your workers’ compensation coverage through Rural Mutual is access to a 24/7 nurse hotline that helps reduce the number of emergency room or urgent care claims filed, while still providing expert medical advice. 

Review the property with your agent 

Each wedding venue is unique. It’s important to meet with your agent about your specific property. Invite your Rural Mutual Insurance agent to your farm to walk around the venue with you. They’ll take pictures for underwriting, take inventory of your personal property, and get details on how alcohol is being served if it’s provided by the venue or brought in by a third party. Insurers also need to know the value of the building and any renovations that have been made to make sure it’s insured to the correct value. 

Your agent will also review safety concerns around your property. Some farms may open the barn doors to a wedding party without making any remodeling updates to transition it to an event space, which can lead to safety concerns for guests who are unfamiliar with the venue. A clean, up-to-date facility that has taken safety precautions seriously is important when running an event venue.  

Follow up with annual insurance reviews to inform your agent of any changes to the property to ensure your coverage remains up to date.  

ensure their wedding rings are insured 

Wedding rings are a valuable piece of jewelry – sentimentally and financially. During your first meeting with the couple, ask them if they plan to ensure the rings. If they say “no,” kindly remind them it’s important to have the rings insured in case they are lost, stolen, or damaged in an unforeseen accident.

This small display of courtesy could go a long way toward you landing the event booking.

Make sure your event venue is properly insured to protect you and your guests. Reach out to a Rural Mutual agent to get started.