Your Ten-Point Checklist for Event Insurance

by | Jun 27, 2024

Events are a fundamental activity for the charity sector and offer an exciting way to fundraise, educate and engage with your community. But they also come with a wide range of risks that you need to identify and address.

The right approach to risk management and insurance will help you avoid everything from minor hiccups to major catastrophes. At Keegan & Pennykid, we’ve created a ten-point insurance checklist to keep you on track when planning your next event.


Type of event

Our charity clients arrange everything from small street parties for a few neighbours to major firework displays with crowds running to thousands. We also see a lot of local galas – particularly in Scotland. Typically, these include a parade through a town and a range of associated celebrations and activities. No matter what type of event you have planned, make sure you’re also thinking about the risks these different types carry and whether you’re ready to take them on.

 

What insurance cover do you need?

Public Liability Insurance provides cover in the event that anyone is injured, or property gets damaged. You’ll also need Employer’s Liability cover to protect those running the event. A common misconception in the charity sector is that volunteers aren’t employees and so you don’t need Employers’ Liability insurance. This is incorrect and volunteers are classed as employees, and you’re obliged to have cover in place to protect them. Cancellation cover is also something to consider and there may be equipment that would be worth insuring.

 

Exclusions – what’s not included in standard policies?

The main thing to consider is the type of activities taking place at your event. In short, are they high-risk? This includes things such as fireworks, which can cause personal injury and property damage if not managed properly. Inflatables such as bouncy castles can also lead to injury – especially if not properly supervised. Talking through your plans with a broker will make sure your policy provides the cover needed.


Risk assessments

When assessing the risks attached to your event, you’ll need to think about how different circumstances will affect the event and whether you have the appropriate plans in place to deal with them. For example, in the event of extreme heat, will you provide shade and water stations? And in the event of a flood, how will you maintain visitor safety? If the wind picks up, what measures are in place to ensure signage and gazebos don’t take off and cause injury or damage? Will there be first-aid personnel on site, how will crowds be directed around the event, and who is dealing with traffic management? If a child goes missing, what response protocols are in place? What about fire evacuation procedures? Protocols for all these eventualities need to be clearly defined, and responsibility for individual actions clearly apportioned.


Policy l
imits

How much cover you need will depend on the size of the event, the number of people attending, the activities involved and the equipment being used. A broker will ensure you’ve got the right level of cover in place. You should also make sure you talk through the level of excess on your insurance policy. This is the amount that you would pay towards any claim made.


Single event/annual policy

It’s easy to think that you only need cover for the day of your event, but in most cases,there’ll be lots of meetings and associated activities that go into organising it. Whether that’s committee meetings or site visits, buying an annual policy ensures all the associated activity is covered. Similarly, if there’s audio visual and other equipment to insure, it’ll need cover for the whole year and not just during the event. Often, there’s not much difference between the premium charged for single event and an annual policy, so taking out cover for the whole year can be much better value. For shared events, which are mentioned in the final point of this guide, single event policies make the claims process easier in the event of a loss – so they’re worth considering in these situations.


H
ow long does it take to place cover?

Buying insurance doesn’t generally take long and for relatively small events it can be done in a matter of minutes or sometime hours, if the requirement is more complex. If there are activities that potentially fall into the high-risk category or anything else that’s unusual in terms of the location and scope of the event, it’ll take a few days for the insurer to assess the cover and premium offered. Although it doesn’t take long to buy your event insurance, it is best not to leave it until the last moment in case there are any unexpected surprises.


Information required to secure cover

Insurers need to know the time, date and type of event you’re organising, as well as the number of people attending on a daily basis, the location and the nature of the activities and entertainment. What is your previous experience of running events and have you suffered losses in the past? If third-party providers are there to run fare rides, bouncy castles, pony rides or discos, then they should have their own insurance in place and have the appropriate professional accreditations.


What happens if your event is cancelled
or postponed?

Your insurance will provide cover if your event is cancelled or postponed, but you must be very clear about what will actually trigger cover. For example, in terms of weather-relatedcancellations, you should understand what level of wind or rain is required for the insuranceto respond. Similarly, if the event is reliant on a guest appearance or a live entertainment act, take a bit of time to understand the exact terms and conditions of the policy and the protection it provides.


Who
is covered?

It’s really important to make your insurance arrangements as transparent as possible. In many cases, a group of different organisations will get together to host an event. For example, it’s common for two or three churches to come together and put on an event for their shared congregations and communities. But if each has their own insurance policy, negotiations overwhich policy should respond to a loss can become complex and protracted. In many instances it’s very difficult to pin down one person or organisation with sole responsibility for a loss and so the buck gets passed from one insurer to the other. To avoid this scenario, a single event policy, taken out jointly by the various organisers, means there’s only one insurer to deal with if things don’t go exactly as planned.

There is a lot to think about when arranging events, but the better you understand the potential risks, the easier it’ll be to avoid them and make sure things go smoothly. By taking time to focus on your risk management and insurance, you can be confident that you’ve got the cover needed if something does go awry.

If you’d like more detailed advice on any of the points mentioned here or about a specific event you’ve got planned, then please do get in touch with us here at Keegan & Pennykid. We’ve been supporting the charity sector in hosting events for over 50 years and we’d be delighted to help.

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