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An essential guide to understanding public liability insurance for events

Public liability insurance isn’t a legal requirement for events businesses, but it’s vitally important for companies looking to protect themselves from the financial impact of a wide range of different event-related risks. 

In essence, public liability insurance provides cover for any claims that might arise due to damage to third party property, or injuries to third party persons. This form of insurance is particularly appropriate for companies working in the events industry, as the risks associated with events can be incredibly costly.

Events companies can easily find themselves liable for third party damage and injury claims, and it goes without saying that the price of defending a business against such claims can be truly eye-watering. If a company chooses to mediate and settle, or is eventually found liable, it may well be required to pay out a substantial amount of compensation to the third parties in question. 

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So, how can companies protect themselves from this fate? The answer lies in comprehensive public liability insurance. Here’s how it works. 

 Getting public liability insurance for events

The process of obtaining public liability coverage for an event ranges in complexity, depending on the scale of the event and the risks that might be associated with it.

Some businesses choose to include public liability insurance in their overall policies, without looking for specific insurance for particular events. The coverage can also be purchased for specific events, and written with the particular details of an event in mind. 

When weighing up the options, businesses need to consider the amount of public liability they feel they need to be covered for. For large scale events attracting huge numbers of guests, public liability coverage can go into the tens of millions. But most events won’t require such a high limit. 

Talk to your insurer about your public liability requirements to ascertain the level of cover that is most appropriate for your needs.

 What does public liability insurance cover?

The key risks covered by public liability insurance are damages and injuries to third parties. Both of these situations can easily occur during events, particularly if a venue is open to members of the public.

Members of the public might claim compensation for accidental injuries at an event, or an accidental death due to negligence on the part of the event organisers. Claims can also revolve around the loss of property, or damage to attendees’ property. 

The costs of defending claims such as these, and paying any required compensation, are all covered by specialist public liability insurance policies. 

 Who needs public liability coverage for events?

If you’re an event organiser, or an events business, and you have members of the public attending your events, then we would advise that you consider public liability coverage. Because while it might be unlikely that a person injures themselves at your event, or expensive damages occur during the occasion, it’s entirely possible. 

Should this unfortunate situation arise, the last thing you’ll want to have to think about is the financial impact of defending claims and paying compensation. If you’re fully covered by public liability insurance, you won’t have to. 

Your insurer will be able to provide specialist support, to help you navigate the world of compensation claims with minimal fuss. Experienced advisors will be on hand to discuss defending your claim, and of course any potential compensation payouts will be covered by your insurer.

 How much does public liability insurance cost?

Event organisers are often faced with very strict budgets, so every cost must be carefully considered. But the cost of not having public liability insurance when it does prove necessary can quickly tower over any premiums that would have been due.

The costs of public liability insurance vary, depending on the scale of the event being insured. Costs are also influenced by the riskiness of the event, with risk assessments sometimes used to give a clearer picture of the level of risk involved. 

If you’re considering whether or not you might need public liability insurance for your event, it’s a good idea to discuss the event with your chosen insurer, weighing up the cost of your chosen policies against the likelihood of compensation claims and the potential expense of these. With this information at hand, you may well find that your public liability insurance premium seems by far the most cost-effective option.  

Events are becoming increasingly complex, with many organisers now having to juggle a vast number of different suppliers to create a show-stopping occasion. Budgets are strict, time is tight and organisers are having to make difficult decisions on the services that they really need. But insurance is one area in which companies should never compromise.

Public liability insurance provides fantastic peace of mind for events businesses, protecting companies from the incredibly costly claims that can arise as a result of damage, and injuries to third parties. To learn more about how public liability insurance for events works, and what coverage you might need, take a look at Eggar Forrester Creative.


By Kris Barnfather, senior account executive at Eggar Forrester Creative

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