The Ultimate Guide to Public Liability Insurance for Events

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Getting the right insurance for your event can be difficult when there is insurance jargon everywhere you turn. Ensuring you’ve got the cover you need whilst also planning the event at the same time can be stressful and overwhelming at times.

We’ve created a straightforward but comprehensive guide to cover everything you need to know, in a way that you can understand.

Public Liability Insurance Definition

Public liability insurance covers the cost of legal action and compensation claims that are made against your business.

So what does this mean? Well, a third party (member of the public) may take legal action if they are injured or experience damage to their property because of your business, event or service. Public liability insurance will cover the legal expenses and claim that occur with those unfortunate events.

What is Public Liability?

Public liability insurance simply provides protection for businesses, event holders and the self-employed. Public Liability cover is taken out to meet the requirements of many event organisers, venues, and local authorities, although it may not always be essential.

What does Public Liability Insurance Cover?

  • Accidents

    HSE define an accident as a separate, identifiable and unintended incident which causes physical injury. If there is an identifiable external event that causes the injury such as a falling object or exposed live wire this would be classed as an accident.

  • Damage

    Property damage is defined and broken down into two parts:

    1. Physical injury to tangible property, including lost use of the property
    2. Lost use of tangible property that is not physically injured.

What does Public Liability Insurance not Cover?

There are some things public liability won’t cover you on. These incidents are usually occurrences that don’t involve a member of the public.

Say you were to slip and injure yourself on business premises or your employee had an accident, the public liability wouldn’t cover you for these incidents.

The good news is there are different types of cover such as employer’s liability that include protection from those types of claims.

What is the Difference between Public Liability and Employer’s Liability?

Well as we know, public liability insurance covers claims made by members of the public. Employer’s liability insurance covers you against employees that have experienced accidents or injury at your business.

Of course if you are self employed and work alone, this type of insurance isn’t something you need to consider. If however you employ one or more employees, act 1969 requires you to at least have a minimum level of insurance in affect.

Do I need Public Liability Insurance?

At this point you’re most likely thinking about your own situation and whether you should have insurance in place.

Is it Compulsory?

It is not a legal requirement to have public liability insurance.

However, it is definitely worth seriously considering if you’re having members of the public come onto business premises or if you’re operating your business in public.

If you’re holding an event such as a music festival or exhibition at a venue, they may require proof of public liability insurance before they allow you to go forth with the booking.

Why Public Liability Insurance is Important?

As a business owner you’re responsible for both your business and the members of public that come into contact with your business or services.

Having public liability insurance in place gives your business the financial protection it needs to still operate, should you be hit by a large claim. Paying legal and hospital fee’s can be the breaking point that puts you out of business, especially if you’re a small business.

Some of these fatal incidents included members of the public falling from height, coming into contact with machinery and being trapped by something collapsing.

How much is Public Liability Insurance?

The cost of public liability insurance will vary depending on things like:

  • The nature of your business
  • How much cover you want to take out
  • The risk to the general public
  • The size and type of event

Once you speak to an insurance provider they’ll be able to give you a specific quote based on the specification of your business.

How much Public Liability Insurance do I need?

There is no definitive answer for all businesses, as the nature and risk of each business is different.

Public liability insurers will cover from 1 Million pounds minimum. However, it is not always suitable to take out the minimum requirement. Cover can be extended to 2, 5 or 10 million and more, depending on the protection required to cover exposed risk.

Although the figure may be surprising at first glance, it’s important to understand that insurance claims will often start from the million mark due to the high disposition of the claim.

The amount of cover you need will also vary on the size of your business & the perceived risk to members of the public.

For example, if you’re hosting a music festival it may be wise to take out a larger amount of cover due to the many risk factors that could cause injury such as alcohol, electrics and weather. Ultimately, it’s best to get as much cover as you can afford- it’s always better to be over than under insured.

What Types of Event Insurance are Available?

Public liability insurance is an essential part to ensuring the smooth running’s of your event. There are other add on insurance options to protect you from the more specific scenarios your event may face. Below are general tailored insurance packages for common events.

Getting a bespoke insurance package ensures all elements of your event are insured and gives you that extra sense of security and peace of mind.

One off Event Insurance

Event planning can be stressful but organising an event for one day only, even more so. This gives you one chance to get it right and one off event insurance can help take some of that pressure off.

This type of insurance will be best suited for situation like a one off charity event, birthday parties & carnivals. One off event insurance isn’t usually a costly expenditure, as it’s only for one day. This can however be different for each event.

If your one off event involves anything that can be perceived as dangerous such as a charity bungee jump, you may need a more tailored insurance cover, due to the high risk factor.

Festival Insurance

As a festival organiser you’ve got a million things to do and consider. Getting the right insurance for your festival is crucial. Festival insurance will generally cover you for public liability, employer’s liability, event equipment and event cancellation insurance.

Public Liability

Larger music festivals can be hard to insure because they typically attract the use of alcohol and drugs which will of course increase risk and cost. However, if you’re hosting a small cake festival the risk is much lower and therefore makes it much easier to completely cover your event. Public liability will protect you if your festival goers make a claim because of injury or damage.

Cancellation or Abandonment

If you’re hosting the festival outside, you have the added stress of unpredictable weather. Even if you’re hosting a small festival in the UK, you should still consider the risk that adverse weather could have on your event. You can have peace of mind knowing that with festival insurance you’ll be covered should your festival be cancelled or abandoned due to weather.

Despite weather conditions, there can be 100 other reasons why your event needs to be cancelled or postponed. As long as it’s a reason out of your control, you’ll likely be covered.

Event Equipment

You’ll most probably be using hired, leased or owned event equipment to carry out your festival. Event equipment insurance protects your equipment from loss, damage or theft for the duration of the event – whether it’s hired or yours.

Band Insurance

Preparing, rehearsing and ensuring everything is exactly where it should be for a big performance is an extremely stressful process. Even with all of this going to plan, if a member of the public is injured or the property at the performance is damaged – You’d be left with a large claim and the great performance, now something of a nightmare.

Even if you’re a solo musician you should still consider getting public liability band insurance. Especially if you’re teaching a member of the public to play music either in public, or in their own home. You don’t need to be playing in a venue to think about protecting yourself from accidental claims.

You may also wish to protect your equipment. Business equipment insurance can be taken as an optional extra with your main business insurance, such as Public Liability. This form of insurance will cover your equipment if it’s damaged or stolen. It’s no secret that music equipment can be expensive but also crucial for musicians to perform. This type of protection can be invaluable to minimising down time.

Event Cancellation Insurance

Cancellation and abandonment insurance will cover lost expenses should the event you’re holding not be able to proceed. If you’re hosting an indoor gin festival but the venue you’ve booked flooded due to a burst pipe, your event will either be postponed or cancelled. In this case, even with a postponed event some guests may want their money back.

Alongside event cancellation it can be worth considering non-appearance insurance if you’re relying on a famous or well known person to appear at the event.

The insurance will come into effect when the event is dependent on one or more individuals that do not turn up. This may be because your guest appearance is unable to make it or two of your musicians aren’t well enough to perform.

Paying guests can claim for at least their money back, should a key person used to attract and generate ticket sales not appear at the event. In this instance you’ll need event cancellation insurance to cover you.

Multiple Event Insurance

Multiple event insurance can help streamline the stressful process of organising multiple events into a one very simple package. They usually come at a discounted price which is great for saving money.

The cover will include public liability, employer’s liability and the choice to add any extra insurance types you need for your event. Multiple events insurance will protect from 15 to 45 different UK events within the same year- as long as they are no longer than 3 days at a time and the same event repeated.

Multiple event insurance is the most cost effective option if you’re holding various events and is also the timeliest option for busy event planners.

How do I get public liability cover?

We’re specialists within the event insurance industry and experts at providing all round insurance protection for businesses across the UK. Whatever the event and size, we’ll be able to tailor an insurance package to fit.

You can submit an online form if you’d like to receive a quote on your event. Alternatively, if you’d like to discuss things in more detail you can call us on 0844 488 9207.

We hope that our ultimate guide has been useful in directing you through the need-to-knows of public liability insurance.

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

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