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Guide to Event Insurance
If you organise or manage events in the UK, liability insurance is critical no matter the size of your business, or the event. Below we explain what the two most common types of event liability insurance are, and how they work, as well as some additional forms of protection you might need depending on your situation.
What is Event Insurance?
Events insurance protects you in case something goes wrong with an event you or your business has planned, such as someone being injured or their property being damaged. There are two primary types of insurance you'll need if you're planning an event, plus some supplemental coverage options you might want to consider. Here we explain what they are and how they work.
Click on the blue links to the guides in each description below if you'd like to learn more about any particular product.
What is public liability insurance for an event?
Public liability insurance for an event protects the organiser if an event goer or other third party is injured while attending your event, or someone's property is damaged. Read our full guide to public liability insurance here.
- Public Liability Event Example. An intoxicated event goer slips on a wet floor after someone spilled a drink. They hit their head, suffer a concussion and sue you for damages. Public liability insurance covers your legal fees and the settlement.
What is employers' liability insurance for an event?
Employers' liability insurance protects against being sued if an employee is injured or falls ill due to work. Read our full guide to public liability insurance here.
- Employers’ Liability Event Example. A member of your team suffers a back injury while carrying heavy equipment during setup. He sues you, claiming he wasn't properly trained and that you didn't provide safety equipment. Employers' liability covers legal expenses and compensation you're required to pay your employee as a result.
What is property insurance for an event?
Property insurance protects property you bring to an event—such as AV equipment—against loss, damage or theft. Read our full guide to commercial property insurance here.
- Property insurance example. During cleanup it is discovered that an expensive speaker was stolen during an event. Insurance can cover the replacement cost.
What is event cancellation insurance?
Event cancellation insurance, also called contingency insurance, protects an organiser financially against certain losses if an event does not take place or is curtailed.
- Event cancellation insurance example. A severe flood washes out the only road leading to an outdoor concert you have organised, causing the event to be cancelled at the last minute. Event cancellation insurance covers costs you're unable to recoup elsewhere.
Average cost of event insurance
While event insurance starts from as little as £30 - £60 for events without high-risk activities and a small footfall, quotes can be significantly higher. For example, £10 million of public liability insurance for a four-day event with 15,000 attendees will probably cost over £1,000.
The main factors affecting the premium will be the activities taking place, the number of attendees and the length of the event.
Ultimately, the insurer will price event coverage based on the risk of the event. As a result, they'll ask plenty of questions about the event before giving you a quote. For example, they'll want to know what types of activities will take place. Certain activities can increase the risk and therefore the insurance rate, such as:
- Trampolines, acrobatics, gymnastics, etc.
- Shooting or archery
- Motorised displays or races
- Aerial displays
- Fire (e.g. torches, bonfires, fireworks, beacons or fire pits, etc.)
- Water-based activities
What insurance does an event organiser need most?
Well, the only type of insurance you'll be required to have by law is Employers' Liability Insurance—this is required even if your staff is temporary, part time or paid in cash.
Every event should also be covered by a Public Liability Insurance policy—it will most likely be a requirement of any venue you hire out, and even if not, it is absolutely essential to have. PL insurance protect against liability claims of accidental injury or damage while third parties like event goers are on site. Property Insurance is also a must if you bring expensive equipment, and if you'd face a difficult financial situation if an event was cancelled or postponed then Event Cancellation Insurance is also very important.
Who needs event insurance?
All event organisers need some form of event insurance—the types you need and the cover limits depend on what type and size event you're managing.
How much event insurance do I need?
This will depend on the size of the event, the size of your business, and other factors. The venue you have contracted with may stipulate a minimum amount of cover, so be sure to check your contracts. When you speak to a specialist advisor through the quote process, they can guide your further.
Do I need a certificate of insurance for an event?
Yes, you should have your certificate of event insurance with you as you may need to show it, for example to the venue operator.
What types of events are covered?
Event insurance can cover a wide variety of events, such as:
- street party
- sports competition
As with all insurance policies,event insurance won't cover everything and each policy will be subject to its own set of terms and conditions. For example, insurance policies will not cover damage due to wear and tear. While conditions will vary, here are some common exclusions to be aware of with event insurance:
- Adverse weather may be excluded, unless you pay an additional premium
- Deliberate acts
- Wear and tear
- War or terrorism
- Secondary Losses (also known as 'Consequential Losses'), for example a loss of earnings following a damaged venue
- Unexplained damage, for instance where an item is damaged at a venue but neither you nor the venue are unable to prove when, how, or why the damage occurred, or who caused the damage.
- Recoverable losses, for example if an event is cancelled but you're able to get a refund on unused rental furniture
What to look for in a policy
Features and perks will vary by insurer, so if you're currently getting event insurance quotes then be aware that the following features are desirable and can be found on policies in the UK marketplace:
- Legal advice helpline
- Emergency helpline
Also, be sure to check your excess to make sure it is affordable given your financial situation.
Absolutely, charity events also need to be protected by event insurance. Accidents can still happen and even charities can be sued.
Weddings are expensive events, and they involve many people. Wedding insurance can include a liability aspect of cover (e.g., to protect against accidental injury or damage to a third party) as well as protection for financial losses if a wedding is cancelled by extreme weather, problems with the venue or vendors, etc.