grove and dean

Who needs event liability cover?

If you are involved in any way with the organising and hosting of events on a regular basis, the answer is most probably yes, you do need to insure yourself against the numerous potential liabilities you might one day face.

Various interrelated businesses involved with events might all consider purchasing suitable public liability policies. Whilst events are largely enjoyable occasions, the amounts and types of things that can go wrong with them due to a variety of contributory factors are limitless.

The impacts of events going awry can often also be deeply emotional. Event types such as weddings, other personal celebrations and business events, in to which care, money and resources are ploughed are prime examples.

You might run an event management company where your services are enlisted by clients to organise and run their events on their behalves. If so, you probably need no reminding about all the various elements of events that you have seamlessly pull together whist endeavouring to make it look easy to impress your clients.

You might use your own staff, sub-contractors, a range of event related suppliers and venues to help you to translate your clients’ visions in to the events of their dreams. If so, you should not need telling what potential pitfalls can be encountered and why liability insurance is advisable.

If you are an hotelier or manage any other type of venue where events are hosted, you may already be an old hand when it comes to knowing what can unexpectedly go wrong by way of damages to property, event cancellations, personal injuries and a plethora of other unforeseen circumstances. You might have already had the misfortune to have experienced events from hell, for which you may have been thankful that you were insured or sorry that you were not.

Even if you hold a marketing or PA position within a corporate organisation that involves the organisation of conferences, meetings, seminars and business events, you are not exempt from the multitude of malfunctioning event components that might blight your hard work. Equally, events that are more light-hearted by nature, such as awards dinners or Christmas parties still share the same potentials for disastrous outcomes.

Are elements of event insurance not covered by your other policies?

It might, at first glance, appear that many risks involved with holding events are covered by other insurance policies you might already hold, such as employers liability and public liability. This is not the case, as event insurance policies are sold to event managers like you on a needs must basis. Your employers liability and public liability policies cover you against risks both inside and outside your business premises involving members of the public and your staff during the course of your daily business.

Events, however, pose threats of very different complexities and natures. Event liability cover does incorporate aspects of employers liability and public liability. It generalises that you employ staff directly or indirectly for event delivery and have members of the public in attendance at your events. Event policies can be tailor made for small or large events. They cover a series of events that are of very different natures, from outdoor festivals to indoor exhibitions, sporting events to weddings.

Most standard event cover is based on indemnity levels between £2million to £5million, although this can naturally increase when expected attendances are particularly high and exceed over 20,000.

Its ‘event-centricity’ picks up where employers liability and public liability leave off, as it factors in cover for the likes of:

  • Adverse weather conditions
  • Door monies and ticket sales
  • Enforced cancellation and / or reduced attendance
  • No shows of key entertainers or speakers
  • Technical failures of audio visual equipment
  • Terrorist threats
  • Plus many other extenuating circumstances

What types of events should you consider having event insurance for?

You need to think about purchasing either one off or more long term event liability cover if you are responsible for arranging any the following types of events:-

  • Celebration parties – for personal and business purposes – including after parties, anniversaries, awards ceremonies, Bar Mitzvahs, birthdays, dinners and dinner dances, engagements, staff events, weddings
  • Concerts – indoor and outdoor
  • Conferences – including all manner of business meetings and seminars
  • Corporate Activity or Outbound Days
  • Exhibitions
  • Festivals
  • Shows – including musicals, plays, theatrical productions – both indoor and outdoor
  • Sporting Events – including air shows, athletics meetings, boxing, cricket matches, darts competitions, football games, golf challenges, motor sport rallies, sailing regattas, snooker tournaments, tennis, wrestling exhibitions – both indoor and outdoor
    Village Fetes of Fayres

Between the broad range of events that take place that you have a hand in organising, it would probably take you more than a month of Sundays to list every adverse eventuality that could backfire. Damages to equipment and property… Injuries and illnesses to entertainers, exhibitors, members of the public, staff, sub-contractors, suppliers, volunteers… Enforced reduced attendance due to a bomb scare… Last minute Christmas party cancellation resulting from snow storms…

Minor incidents, such as trips and falls, or accidental minimal damages to equipment or furniture might be expected as part and parcel of the events business. However, events professionals just like you did not bargain for the enforced attendance reductions and cancellations they experienced as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York.

As recently as January and December 2018, many organisers were faced with similar situations due to unprecedented weather conditions in the UK that they were unprepared for and uninsured against.

The responsibilities you shoulder when putting on events are immense and unenviable during the good times, but incomprehensible during the bad. Whilst event insurance policies cannot exempt you from the burdens that go with the territory, they can offer you peace of mind that far outstrips their monetary costs.