General liability insurance can protect your business and any corporate events that you may host.
You are generally not legally required to buy general liability insurance when hosting a corporate event. However, you might not be able to get around it.
Almost anyone from whom you rent a venue is probably going to require that you carry insurance. They may have their own general liability insurance plan in place. But, with all the additional risk that you are bringing onto their property — hosting dozens, hundreds, even thousands of guests — it stands to reason that they'll want you to be the one covering your end.
Even if a venue-owner does not require that you carry general liability coverage, any lawsuits arising from injuries and damages at the event are likely to fall at your feet, not theirs. Without general liability coverage, you're going to be paying for that out of company funds.
Your existing general liability coverage may protect you for certain corporate events, but you shouldn't assume this to be the case without calling your insurer and telling them precisely what the event will entail. For instance, if you are serving alcohol and you do not inform your insurer, then they are unlikely to cover the claims.
Can I Get General Liability Insurance Just for an Event?
Even if your existing policy may offer coverage for the event, it may be wise to invest in a one-time special event policy all the same. This can help you manage the limits of your existing policy.
So, the short answer is: Yes, you do need general liability for your event. You might not be required to carry general liability for your special event, but you absolutely should. In fact, it may be impossible, or at least impractical, to find a venue-owner that will allow you to host your event on their property without this coverage in place. General liability at an event, where you may have hundreds of people — not all of them employees — in a casual environment is very different from general liability at work, where you only need to worry about customers and employees.
Before setting a date for a corporate event, speak with your business insurance agent about the coverage available under your general liability insurance. This insurance is crucial for protecting everyone involved in your event as well as protecting your business in case of an accident.