Exhibition and event insurance is a type of insurance coverage designed specifically to protect against the risks associated with displaying items and putting on events. This can include art exhibitions, trade shows, museum displays, and any event where items are presented publicly. The purpose of exhibition and event insurance is to provide financial protection for the organisers, exhibitors, or owners of the items against potential losses or damages that might occur before, during, or after the event.

In this edition of our blog, we look at whether you need event insurance, what it covers and what the difference between exhibition and exhibitor insurance is.

What is exhibition insurance?

Exhibition insurance is a form of insurance coverage that is specifically created for events where the focus of the gathering is displaying items. This, as we mentioned above, could include trade shows or art exhibitions. This particular form of insurance is to cover those running the event rather than those simply attending. So, if you are displaying at an event, but not the event host, exhibition insurance will not apply. Instead, you will need exhibitors’ insurance, more of which we will cover later.

If the event is solely yours though, exhibition insurance will be necessary as it can protect you from quite costly payouts.

Do I need exhibition insurance?

Exhibition insurance is designed to cover the events you will be hosting and as such is an important thing to consider before booking a venue or planning your event.

Regardless of the venue size, an insurance policy can be a valuable asset to protect you from unexpected surprises. Venue hire doesn’t come cheap, and a sudden cancellation could see you out of pocket. The insurance policy will protect you from this.

Some venues and vendors require event insurance as part of their terms of service. Having exhibition insurance can often be a legal or contractual requirement to host an event at certain locations

This isn’t all though, a comprehensive exhibition insurance policy could cover you against a wealth of costs you may not have expected to encounter.

What does exhibition insurance cover?

Exhibition insurance covers a host of things, some, you may not have considered when planning your exhibition.  Common policies may cover the following.

Damage or Loss of Exhibited Items

Covers repair or replacement costs for artworks or items that are damaged, destroyed, or lost during the exhibition. This could include during transit to and from the venue. This cover could range from your exhibition display stands to the products you are showcasing for example.

Public Liability

Exhibition insurance will protect against claims made by third parties for injury or property damage sustained due to the exhibition. This is crucial for both organisers and exhibitors, as it covers legal fees and compensation costs.


An exhibition insurance policy should also protect against the theft of items on display or in storage related to the exhibition.


Covers the items while they are being transported to and from the exhibition venue. This is particularly important for international exhibitions where items are shipped over long distances.

General Liability

Beyond public liability, this broader exhibition insurance coverage can protect against various legal and financial risks associated with hosting or organising an exhibition.

Cancellation Coverage

Events can be cancelled for various reasons, including bad weather, natural disasters, or unforeseen circumstances like a global pandemic. Cancellation coverage can reimburse the expenses incurred, such as venue booking fees, catering, and other non-refundable costs.

Vendor Failure

If a key vendor fails to deliver as promised—for instance, if the caterer or the venue cancels at the last minute—event insurance can cover the costs associated with finding a last-minute replacement or the financial losses incurred due to the failure.

Property Damage

Event insurance can cover damages to the venue caused by the event or its participants. This is especially important if the venue is rented, as the organiser might be held liable for repairs or replacements.

Legal Defence Costs

If a lawsuit is filed against the event organisers, insurance can help cover the legal defence costs, which can be substantial even if the organisers are found not liable.

What is the difference between exhibition insurance and exhibitor insurance?

Exhibition insurance will cover the entire exhibition. Ideal if you are the sole organiser and the event is focused on your business. Exhibitor insurance covers those bringing displays to the event. This is where things get a little more confusing as you could in fact benefit from a policy for both the exhibition and for being an exhibitor. Putting it simply, exhibition insurance covers those running the exhibition and the exhibition itself, exhibitors insurance protects those showing off their products.

In summary, event insurance is crucial for mitigating the financial risks associated with hosting events. It provides a safety net that allows organisers to plan and execute events with confidence, knowing they are protected against a wide range of potential issues.

When arranging exhibition insurance, it’s important for the insured party to carefully assess the value of the items being exhibited and consider all potential risks to ensure the chosen policy provides adequate coverage. It’s also advisable to work with an insurance provider or broker experienced in this specialised field to tailor the coverage to the specific needs of the exhibition.

Should you be on the cusp of organising an event but require some assistance, speak to our team at Starlight Exhibitions. We are the official supplier of Nomadic Display products and can help you create event displays with impact! Our free exhibition stand design service helps you convert an idea into reality and our modular exhibition stands bring your event to life with their versatile adaptability. We can even help with outdoor exhibition stands to help those summer events have a little added colour! Contact our team of industry experts today.