Public liability for events covers claims made by event-goers who have been injured or had their property damaged. If these situations are blamed on the event, and its organisers, public liability insurance for events can provide financial assistance and legal guidance. Policies cover both legal costs (e.g. paying solicitors to help defend against a claim) as well as any compensation owed to the injured parties.
In addition to public liability, many event organisers also buy employers’ liability insurance (which is legally required to protect workers, employees and even volunteers), insurance to protect against damage to event equipment and insurance to cancel the event, including adverse weather conditions. Note, post-pandemic, and it is now much more difficult to find and buy event insurance, including cancellation cover. Or, if it is offered, it will likely exclude cancellation due to pandemics.
How to get event public liability insurance
There are many ways to get public liability insurance for an event.
1) Insurance companies like Hiscox and AXA can be contacted directly to request quotes and purchase a policy, often via their websites, or policies can be bought in person and over the phone.
2) Specialist providers like Event Insurance Services might not underwrite their own policies, but they offer niche insurance just for events. They have in-depth knowledge about the different risks faced by events and offer cover to suit.
3) Finally, brokers are another source for getting public liability insurance for an event. In particular, brokers can be useful for someone having difficulty finding insurance elsewhere.
4) While purchasing insurance online using an insurance comparison site is often a popular method for many types of insurance, they’re not as well equipped to offer comparison services for events. Where available, comparison search engines can save time as details are entered once and shared with multiple insurance providers. Sometimes, quotes can be gotten online, but in many cases, an insurer will want more details before they provide a quote. In those cases, the insurance providers might contact you for more information about the event before they can price a policy.
Whichever method you select, some factors will need to be taken into consideration to ensure the correct level of coverage is purchased for the event. While the company’s size is not paramount, risk exposure will be an important factor in determining correct coverage levels. The higher the perceived risk, the higher the policy limits will need to be to ensure adequate protection. The limits can be significantly affected by the nature of the event and the amount of risk involved.
- How many people will be attending the event?
- What activities are taking place
- How long will the event last?
Public liability policies typically range from £1 million to £10 million, and the amount needed to protect your event will have to be carefully assessed. Many small events with a limited risk factor can acquire a policy for under £100, but the cost will increase exposure to potential claims. However, large events and events hosting riskier activities will require much higher coverage limits to provide the protection they need.
Do I need public liability insurance for a charity event?
Any event that brings members of the public together needs public liability insurance, including charity events. Anytime the public is gathered, there is a risk someone will be injured, so proper coverage must be purchased. If a member of the public was injured at a charity event, they could still take legal action against the charity. Charities are not immune from prosecution. Without insurance, the charity would have to cover all costs related to the legal defence and any compensation paid to the injured person.
Here are some examples of events that need public liability insurance:
- Charity events
- Sports competition
- Street party