Tips For Hosting A Safe Prom or Graduation Party

Earlier this month, word of a mansion party in an upper class neighbourhood in Brampton, Ontario spread like wildfire on social media, turning what was intended to be a relatively small gathering into a bash that amassed thousands of people.

Attendees described the scene as chaotic and out of control. With so many people, it became an overcrowded hotbed that lead to partygoers breaking windows just to escape. The house was still in the construction phase and nobody occupied it at the time, but the damages were estimated to be in the tens of thousands of dollars, enough to warrant extensive media coverage. As unfortunate as this is, the event can offer insight into what to look for when planning your own party and how to make sure your property is protected.

With prom and graduation around the corner, many parents will take this opportunity to host a congratulatory gathering for their children at their home. But before you do, it’s important to take a few steps to make sure you’re protected and insured. These tips will help you host a safe prom or graduation party for your child and their friends, while also protecting you from liability.

If you’re serving alcohol:

The legal drinking age in Canada varies from 18 to 19 depending on which province you live in. Providing alcohol to minors is not only illegal, but you could be held criminally liable if anything was to happen to one of the attendees either on your property or after they leave. No insurance can protect you in this case, so your only recourse is to not serve alcohol to minors.

But what if they bring their own alcohol? When it comes to liability, simply providing the venue may be enough to convict you in the event of a lawsuit.

If you are hosting a party with attendees that are of age, you may want to look into Party Alcohol Liability insurance. This should protect you in the event of a lawsuit should anything happen to one of your guests either on your property or after they leave. This also provides additional property coverage, which is especially helpful if you are holding the event at a venue other than your home. In order to have this insurance you may require a permit or licence for serving alcohol.

Remember to always be a responsible host. When serving alcohol, also serve snacks, limit consumption, and ensure guests have a safe way to get home.

If something gets broken on your property:

Prevention is always the best method. Prior to hosting the party, remove any precious items that are at risk of being broken or damaged.

If a party-goer damages something on your property, the damages would likely be covered under their property insurance. Property insurance protects the policy holder from liability if they break something on another property. If your guest is a teenager, they would generally be covered under their parents’ home insurance policy.

If someone causes extreme damage, for example they cause a fire or smash windows, this may also be covered under your home insurance policy.

If someone gets injured on your property:

The personal liability section of your home insurance should protect you if anyone is accidentally injured on your property. It is recommended you check in with your insurance provider prior to the party to confirm coverage.

Mitigate any potential threats to personal safety from your property before the party starts. If you have branches scattered on your property, for example, remove them to avoid a tripping hazard and potential liability.

If you won’t be home:

If you have granted permission for your child to host a party in your home while you are not present, many of these insurance policies still apply. If you can‘t be home, ask a neighbour to keep an eye or ear open and contact you if things appear to be getting out of control.

Social Media:

Ask you child and their guests not to post the event on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which is exactly what happened in the case of the Brampton mansion party. A small gathering can quickly get out of control when uninvited guests show up.

Always plan ahead and double check your coverage

Speak with your insurance provider to learn what exactly you’re covered for and to understand what is not covered under your insurance policy. You may have to purchase extra insurance for the specific party to be on the safe side and to ensure you’re protected. You want to make sure you’re covered for any possible situation—as much as you can be. Remember to mitigate risks and plan ahead. A successful party is one where everyone has a good time, nothing gets broken, no one gets hurt, and everyone gets home safe. Proper planning can prevent problems, while proper insurance can protect you if things don’t go according to plan.

By having protection you can rest assured knowing you and your guests are covered, so you can sit back and enjoy the celebration.