Plan your event secure in the knowledge that whatever happens, it will be covered…

Friday, July 4. 2014
It’s summer! It’s that time of year when, traditionally, we hold summer fêtes, fairs and fun days, organise street parties and charity challenges, take part in sporting and community fundraisers and, of course, get married. All these functions and occasions take meticulous planning and, sadly, it only takes one hitch to put a dampener on – or even ruin – the day. It probably won’t happen. But if it does, it’s essential to have dedicated Event insurance in place.

It’s a fact that we live in an increasingly litigious society. People are more aware of their legal rights and more inclined to seek redress for injury, loss or damage caused by another party. So, every person who trips over and is injured at your event is a potential claimant; every item of equipment that is brought onto your site risks being damaged.

An Event insurance policy has two fundamental components. Firstly, Public Liability cover will protect the event – whether it is a one-off or part of a series – if someone is hurt and makes a claim against you or your organisation. In setting the premium, most insurers will look at the nature of the occasion and assess the likely level of danger. Hence, a village fete will probably warrant a fairly low premium (this could increase if sports or physical activities, for example tug-of-war, are involved). On the other hand, an all-weekend extravaganza likely to attract big crowds or a firework display will incur a significantly higher cost.

The second key feature is Employers’ Liability cover. This is statutory if you are going to employ someone (and that means pay them) to pick up litter, serve refreshments or set up stalls. Of course, if you only use volunteers this is not required and if you employ a bona fide sub-contractor to handle catering and clearing up that company should have their own insurance.

Naturally, an array of event-specific ‘extras’ can be added to your policy. Two of the most popular are cancellation due to adverse weather conditions (after all, we are talking about a British summer) and equipment cover. The latter will provide protection, for example, against any damage to a marquee or to the musical gear of a band or DJ.

Finally, a word about weddings. It’s the ‘happiest day of your life’ so do make sure the event is thoroughly insured. If you are holding the reception in a village hall or back garden you will need public liability cover and, among the ‘extras’ worth considering, are cover for cancellation due to circumstances beyond your control, for ceremonial attire (specifically, the wedding dress) for the video and photographs, for transport and even, would you believe it, for the cake and flowers!