Insurance for Event Organisers – What do I need to know?

  1. Screen_Shot_2013-10-14_at_2.49.41_PMPublic Liability cover is always needed – The main insurance you will need is public liability insurance. There may be a requirement placed on you by a county/town council to have a certain level of cover if you are using public land for your event but the standard “limit of indemnity” is €6,500,000 which covers you for all accidents arising from a single event which affect members of the public. The cost of this insurance will largely be dictated by your turnover or the number of people attending and for how long, as well as your claims record. This figure should always be accurately declared as under-stating it may jeopardise your insurance cover.
  2. Employer’s Liability, double check if it’s required – If you have any employees you will need employer’s liability insurance. Even if you are not paying the people working on your behalf Irish insurance law may dictate that you have the same responsibilities towards them. You should discuss this with your insurance broker if you are unsure. The cost of this insurance would be based on the wageroll or number of people working for you, as well as your claims record, and should always be accurately declared.
  3. High risk activities may not be covered – If you have any activities which are particularly high risk such as mechanical rides, horse-riding, bouncing castles or fireworks these may not be covered by your insurance policy. These should be operated by responsible third party contractors and you should ensure the contractor has appropriate insurances in place and that an indemnity is provided by their policy.
  4. Conditions and exclusions read your policy! – All policies are issued with conditions and exclusions. You should be able to recognise these stated on your policy schedule or within your policy document. Ask your broker to highlight anything they feel is particularly relevant to you as if you do not comply with conditions your cover may be invalid and if you are unaware of exclusions you may allow activities to proceed which your insurance will not cover you for.
  5. Information – send as much as possible – Your insurance cover can often by jeopardised by failing to declare accurate information to your insurers. When arranging cover provide as much information as possible, event management plans, safety statements etc as the information will then be with your insurer and the onus is on them to advise you if they have an issue with anything proposed.
  6. Hiring equipment can be more expensive than you think! – Hired in equipment, stands or other high value items may only be lent to you on the condition you arrange appropriate insurance for them. Discuss what you are looking to hire and the terms of the contract you may have to sign before agreeing to do this as some requirements it may not be possible to insure leaving your festival liable.
  7. Limit your liability – Where possible incorporate your organisation so as to limit your liability. If a group has simply come together to organise an event and do not form a limited company if a claim against the group is not covered by the insurance policy arranged then the individuals involved could be found personally liable.
  8. Ensure people know what they’re doing – The largest single cause of claims is that people are made responsible for activities that they do not fully understand and as a result mismanage them. If qualifications are needed or recommended for running certain elements of your event then bring in people with the appropriate expertise. Do not accept half measures as ultimately this is not just about insurance and finances but about ensuring the safety of the people attending or involved in your event.


imagesGareth Ball – ODON Insurance


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