The phrase “if it can go wrong, it will go wrong” should be familiar with anyone who has ever done anything, anywhere, ever.

The odd thing is, if you stop and think about it: with proper planning and preparation, things actually go right far more often than they go wrong. But when it comes to your event, no matter how much you trust your ability to plan and prepare for every contingency, do you really want to take that risk?

At some point in your events career, it’s a possibility that something bad will happen and someone will sue you. My advice is to make sure that when it happens, you’re covered.

Types of insurance cover

The benefits of events insurance are quite far reaching – but obviously the most important benefit is the peace of mind it brings through risk mitigation. But what kind of risk mitigation is on offer?

Some examples of insurance include:
• Public and Employers Liability
• “Act of God”-style insurance
• Property Cover
• Specific Event Insurance

Public Liability Insurance covers any legal claims made against you as a result of injury to guests or damage to property arising from your event. Although many venues will have their own public liability insurance, it is always good practice to have your own – It’s far less hassle and you have peace of mind knowing exactly what your policy covers you for. Public liability insurance is generally optional (but it’s just not worth the risk).

Employer’s liability covers legal claims made against you as a result of injury to those who work the venue for you. If you are an employer, you are required to have a minimum level of employer’s liability cover. You can actually be fined for not having a current employer’s liability policy from an authorized insurer.

“Act of God” –style insurance covers situations where your event is cancelled, postponed, or otherwise doesn’t go to plan. It can cover the cost of unavoidable expenses or reimbursements (if appropriate), depending on the level of cover.

Property cover is a more comprehensive type of liability cover that intends to cover more property which you are liable for, including rented property.

Specific event insurance is insurance which caters for a specific kind of event – for example, you can find event insurance for charitable events, conferences, street parties, etc. Some of these types of insurance might cover risks that others don’t (due to the nature of the event), but might stop short in other areas.

This is the most important lesson of choosing event insurance, and why event insurance (indeed, any insurance) is quite odd: Always determine what’s covered and what’s not.

Example insurance cover exemptions

As a example, here is an example of a policy for public liability – It covers:

1. Liability for 200 participants
2. Cover for any staff or volunteers
3. A £5,000,000 limit of indemnity

But it does not cover:

1. Injury or damage arising from alcohol or drugs
2. Injury or damage arising from bouncy castles and other inflatables
3. Injury or damage arising from fireworks and bonfires
4. Property belonging to staff or volunteers, or property you are legally liable for

As you can see from this example, the exemptions are quite limiting if you wanted to put on a fireworks show or you want to rent a bouncy castle. These are the kinds of exemptions that you need to be aware of – the exemptions are not unusual to see at events!

Who’s offering insurance?

There are many insurance providers, but I would recommend that you stick to a well-known insurer. Here are a few examples of insurers offering policies relating to events, but there are others out there:

• Hiscox Event Insurance:
• Zurich Street Event Insurance:
• Endsleigh Charity Events Insurance:

Costs are entirely dependent upon the level of risk you wish to cover and you will need to contact individual providers in order to get a quote.

Take aways

1. Insurance offers peace of mind for when things go wrong – I am a firm believer of the phrase “expect the unexpected”.
2. There are many types of insurance, but the most important are public liability, employer’s liability, act of god insurance, and property cover. Each offers different levels of cover.
3. You should know exactly what you are covered for, including types of damage (fire, water, etc), and more importantly what you’re not covered for
4. There are some odd exemptions from insurance cover that you should be aware of – it’s not unusual to want to have a bouncy castle, but you might not be covered for any injury related to it.
5. There are many insurance providers, but I believe it’s best to stick with a reputable company. You should compare insurance to make sure you’re covered for everything you wish to do – don’t leave yourself open to be sued!


Craig Ineson is a law graduate of the University of Liverpool, current student of international business law at master’s level, a passionate restaurant reviewer, and experienced content writer.
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