While bouncy castles are usually a great deal of fun, they are also risky for both bouncers and bouncy castle business owners. In fact, the Telegraph reported that there are over 10,000 bouncy castle injuries in the UK each year. In light of this, public liability insurance is critical for bouncy castle businesses, and you may need other business insurance coverages as well. Here's what you need to know.
- What kind of insurance does a bouncy castle business need?
- How much is insurance for a bouncy castle business?
Types of Bouncy Castle Business Insurance
While not yet required by law, inflatable equipment businesses absolutely need public liability insurance—and there are other coverages you might need as well. We discuss them below and also provide some simple examples to help show how the different types of cover can offer protection.
Public Liability for a Bouncy Castle Business
Public Liability and product liability insurance is critical for a bouncy castle business to protect financially against the biggest risk faced by this type of business: injury to a member of the public (e.g., children using a bouncy castle).
Bouncy castles can collapse or be blown away in windy conditions, leading to broken bones, broken necks, serious head injuries and even death. Even if the bouncy castle remains stable, injuries can occur when children bounce into each other or fall dangerously.
Public liability insurance can pay for legal defence costs and compensation claims if you're sued for injury or damage to a third party. But in addition to insurance you'll need to ensure that your business operates safely. In fact, commercial bouncy castles are bound by health and safety laws in the UK. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) details recommendations on their website to help avoid serious bouncy castle incidents, which are critical to read if you're starting or running a bouncy castle business.
Due to the risks involved, not all insurers will offer public liability cover for an inflatables business (e.g., bouncy castle) and when you are sold cover it will likely come with a policy endorsement that specifies processes and precautions you must follow.
- Bodily Injury Example: A child falls from a bouncy castle and is seriously injured. You are sued as a result.
- Property Damage Example: A bouncy castle blows away during setup and damages a nearby car. The car owner sues you for the damages.
Note: In addition to bouncy castle business owners, those running an event that includes a bouncy castle need public liability cover for this risk as well (e.g., a children's party, charity event, school fair or county show).
Employers' Liability for a Bouncy Castle Business
Employers' Liability insurance is required by law if you hire any employees, including part-time workers. Employers' Liability insurance can cover legal defence costs and claims settlements in the event that an employee becomes ill or is injured due to their work for you and sues you.
- Employers' Liability Example: An employee trips on a loose power cord, falling and seriously injuring their back. They blame you and sue for damages.
Equipment Cover for a Bouncy Castle Business
Equipment Cover is also important for a bouncy castle company to consider, since a professional bouncy castle typically costs in the range of £1,000 to £2,700 to buy. The right equipment insurance can protect you financially against theft of or accidental damage to a bouncy castle.
You can't operate without your inflatables, so this cover will keep your business running even after a theft or damage, by providing funds to replace your equipment. Some cover will offer new-for-old cover, but it's more common for an insurer to consider the age and condition of your bouncy castle in the event of a claim.
- Equipment Cover Example: A bouncy castle is stolen from a client's premises at night. You are able to claim for the replacement cost of your inflatable so you can buy another one and stay in business.
Public liability insurance is not required by law for a bouncy castle, but it is deemed essential. There is a certain risk of injury to members of the public with an inflatables business, and liability insurance helps protect against related claims.
The minimum amount of public liability cover sold in the UK market is usually £1 million, but bouncy castle businesses really do need more. When deciding how much you need, consider the minimum liability requirements imposed by local governments. For example, Dover District Council requires a safety certificate and proof of at least £5 million of public liability insurance and Burnley states a minimum of £10 million of public and product liability insurance.