Special events don’t just happen; they result from meticulous planning that often takes place months or even years before the big day.
A key ingredient of a successful event is taking out special event insurance that gives organisers peace of mind, whatever happens.
The first step in planning is setting the date and location of the event. Almost everything else is worked back from then.
From this point, you and the team can set measurable goals to determine if the event is successful.
These goals should be easy to measure, like how much you need to raise or how many people you want to attract.
You should easily hit your goals, which means you should have a Plan B or even a Plan C.
Your Plan B tweaks the special event on the day, while Plan C is what happens if disaster strikes, like a storm on the day of an outdoor event.
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Why Do Special Events Need A Risk Assessment?
Planning shows you and your team have thought through the potential good and harmful factors that can impact the day.
An important part of planning a special event is risk assessment. The assessment does not have to be an event spoiler, but it’s vital if the event is to run smoothly.
Special event insurance is easier to find and probably cheaper if you can convince the provider that your team is professionally managing the event and have a plan for the day. Many insurers will expect the organisers to complete a risk assessment before they give a quote.
Here are some basic questions:
- If the event is outside, do you have somewhere to go if the weather turns bad?
- Is the venue suitable for the event?
- How many people are attending, and is the venue large enough to cope?
- Is the venue away from roads and other hazards if organising games and sports for children?
- Do you have a trained first aider attending? If not, is a first aid kit available and someone designated to treat anyone hurt?
- Will people drink alcohol at the event? Are there any potential risks for excessive drinking? Do you have a licence to sell alcohol?
- Are fire escape routes marked and exit doors free from obstruction if the event is indoors?
- How will you deal with children or those with restricted mobility in an emergency evacuation?
Other basics to consider include parking for guests, toilets, seating, lighting and sound systems, safekeeping of any money collected on the day and whether entertainers need a green room.
Why Do You Need Special Event Insurance?
Event organisers are not obliged by any law to buy insurance.
However, if the worst happens and someone makes a compensation claim, the event’s organisers must find the money to settle the case and this could run into tens of thousands for the smallest of claims.
If the event is in someone’s garden, they may be covered by the public liability section of their home insurance policy.
If renting a venue, the owners should have public liability insurance, but check if your event is covered.
If you are paying entertainers or contractors, like musicians or hiring a bouncy castle, they should have insurance but check the cover is inforce for your event.
Public Liability Cover For Special Events
Special event insurance is another name for public liability cover.
The insurance protects the organisers from blame or the cost of being sued for someone’s injury or loss or damage to property.
The cost of cover is relatively cheap. Expect to pay from around £75 for an event with 20,000 people attending for a single day. The cost is based on the number of people attending and any potential risks relating to the event.
If you have pulled off a successful special event before, tell the insurer because that experience will help keep the price down.
Frequently Asked Question
Special event insurance is another name for public liability cover. Public liability cover is often bundled with home or business insurance, but for one-off special events, the standalone cover is available.
No. There is no legal requirement to take out special event cover. However, if there is no insurance and a compensation claim is received, any settlement – including legal costs and professional fees – is met from the organisers’ pockets.
A special event is a one-off occasion, such as a business seminar, a street party, a festival in a park or a race night in a community hall.
Some insurers include cancellation cover as standard, while others include cover as an add-on for an extra premium.
How much cover depends on the size of the event. A standard policy covers between £1 million and £10 million, although brokers and insurers can arrange higher amounts.
Yes, charities and voluntary groups should consider special event cover like any other group.
Wedding insurance has various features from special events cover, such as loss or damage to rings or outfits, cancellation, and cover for marquees and ceremonial swords.
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