Is your floral business covered for weddings?

Added June 4, 2021

Weddings provide you an ideal opportunity to show off your creativity and talent for crafting beautiful arrangements and displays for your customers.

The rise in popularity of flowers and plants has corresponded with increased demand to have these products featured in wedding plans. And that could mean more business for you.

Weddings can be an excellent additional revenue stream for you, but these events can also present additional risks you may not encounter in your normal business operations. Let's review some of those risks and the insurance coverages that could help protect you should those risks turn into losses.

Litigation from wedding customers

For some couples, a wedding is a pinnacle moment of their lives and they want everything exactly as requested. If plans go astray, customers could choose to pursue legal action against you.

Here are some possible scenarios that could lead to litigation against your business.

You can't fulfill the order as planned

Wedding flowers and plants are often key elements in celebrations and couples can be specific about their selections. They might be the bride's favorite flower or hold a special meaning for the family. If you use the wrong flowers or you add flowers to displays that aren't what your customer requested, there could be problems.

At times, delivering the requested flowers and plants might be out of your control due to:

  • Industry supply shortages: You may not be able to get the flowers—or the correct color of flowers—your customers requested.

  • Inventory damage: Severe weather, equipment malfunction, or extreme temperatures could damage your flowers and plants.

  • Wedding delays change availability: A wedding may be delayed due to the pandemic or other reasons, and now you can't get the flowers and plants as originally planned.

  • Delivery delays: You might have everything ready to go as planned, but your vehicle doesn't make the delivery due to mechanical failures, or your driver gets lost and shows up late for the event.

Communicate these possible roadblocks up front with your customers when planning for their weddings. Identify wholesale floral suppliers that could be your supply backup and discuss alternatives with your customers just in case you can't fulfill their original requests.

The chosen flowers/plants lead to health issues for guests or pets

Weddings bring together people—and possibly pets—of all ages and health histories. A beautiful-smelling flower to some might be a health concern for others, due to allergies or other medical conditions.

Or a routine practice could impact your customers. For example, your leaf shine spray could cause an allergic reaction.

These situations might not be top of mind, but even if just one person has a medical issue due to the flowers and plants or chemicals you use at a wedding, it could lead to a loss for your business.

Don't forget about pets, either. Featuring dogs, cats, and other animals as part of weddings is quite popular. However, certain plant species are toxic to pets.

The most common flower/pet pairing that shouldn't interact is Easter lilies and cats. There are other types of plants that shouldn't be exposed to pets, as well, including:

  • Amaryllis

  • Holly

  • Mistletoe

  • Poinsettia

  • Pine

For reference, the ASPCA features a list of poisonous substances for pets. Be familiar with plant species that could pose problems for pets, and share this information with your customers if they plan to include pets in their celebrations.

Customer or employee injuries

Consider the following scenario: As part of your wedding contract, you're commissioned to build an elaborate display that includes floating florals, flower walls, immersive installations, and votive chandeliers hung from trees. It's beautiful and all the guests love it—until one of the displays breaks free and falls on a guest.

This is one possible instance where injuries could occur as a result of your displays. Other instances include:

  • The wedding couple or their guests trip on potted arrangements positioned along church pews or aisleways.

  • Your workers fall from ladders when installing or taking down displays.

  • Someone gets cut from wires embedded in your displays.

  • Your customers, their guests, or your employees suffer head injuries from overhead displays.

Always keep safety in mind and use strategic placement, education, and reminders to help reduce hazards.

Property damage

No matter where you set up for a wedding—such as a backyard, wedding hall, or church—a loss due to property damage could occur. You might spike a sprinkler system when installing an archway. You could hammer through a wall when pounding in a nail. You might accidently knock over an expensive item when setting up a display.

You can't predict everything that could happen when working a wedding. But you can help protect yourself and your business from the unexpected with the right insurance coverages.

Coverages to help protect you and your business

Having the proper insurance coverage in place to help protect you in case those risks become losses can provide you with additional peace of mind.

Here are important business insurance coverages you should consider if you provide wedding services:

  • Professional liability: This coverage helps protect you from claims of negligence, errors, or mistakes related to your work. You may be familiar with errors and omissions, which is a type of professional liability coverage.

  • General liability: This coverage helps protect you from third-party claims such as bodily injury, personal and advertising injury, and property damage.

  • Product liability: An option as part of your general liability, product liability can help protect you in the case of an illness or injury caused by your products.

  • Workers' compensation: This coverage helps you pay for medical expenses and lost wages when a worker is injured in the scope of their employment. Workers' compensation insurance is required in most states if a company's number of employees reaches a certain level.

As Maria Shepherd, an account manager with Hortica®, points out, you may also need additional coverages, depending on the wedding venue. “A critical issue with weddings and other special events is carrying high enough commercial general liability limits to comply with venue requirements,” Shepherd explains. “In addition to general liability, we routinely see evidence of coverage requests from large venues for auto, umbrella, and workers' compensation.”

Our representatives can help you plan for possible hazards and recommend the right coverages for your business. For more than 130 years, we've been dedicated to this industry, and we understand many of the risks you encounter every day. Contact us, and let's talk about your business to help ensure you're protected now and in the future.

Related links:

No matter what safety procedures you have in place, accidents can still happen. Umbrella insurance provides an extra layer of protection for your business.

Learn about three critical types of business insurance coverage that play major roles in helping protect your horticultural company.

Cyber criminals don’t just go after big businesses—small and medium-sized companies can be attacked, too. Learn about common cybercrimes, how to avoid them, and how cyber liability insurance can help.

Wedding flowers on a table

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