United Kingdom

local authorities - Is your event covered?

From Spring fairs to Christmas markets, local authorities arrange thousands of events every year. Ruth Murray, Client Director at Aon, explains how event insurance can save the day if the unexpected happens.

Whether you’re planning a music festival, a kids’ fun day or a Remembrance Sunday parade, event insurance should be a key part of your preparations. Understanding what’s available and how it would respond will help you ensure you’re covered.

Cancellation cover

Given the unpredictability of the Great British weather, event cancellation cover is a key area of cover, with both indoor and outdoor events potentially postponed or cancelled due to storms, heavy rain and snow.

But the weather isn’t the only thing local authorities need to be prepared for, with the following risks also worth considering as part of the preparations and cover:

  • Venue availability - an event may have to be cancelled if the venue becomes unavailable as a result of a fire, flood, vandalism and so on.
  • Terrorism – a terror attack, or the threat of one, is another potential risk that may need to be factored into cover.
  • Celebrity no-show - some events will be dependent on a particular person or celebrity turning up. Having a suitable substitute lined up is one option, but it’s also possible to include cover for a no-show in your insurance.
  • Death of the monarch – it’s also possible to insure for cancellation due to the death of the monarch. Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the country will go into a period of national mourning. During this time many events will be cancelled as a mark of respect. Cover only applies to the monarch, not other members of the royal family, and while standard cover has an age limit of 70, it is possible to extend this.

Financial implications

As well as considering what could stop an event taking place, it’s also important to assess the financial implications of a cancellation.

Where the local authority will incur expenses as a result of having to cancel, and in some instances rearrange an event, these costs need to be factored into the cover limits. Some events are also income generating, for example, a ticketed festival or film screening, and this lost revenue can also be insured.

Liability issues

Public and employers’ liability are also important considerations when running events. If any accidents happen, the local authority can find itself liable for compensation so adequate cover is essential.

For some activities, cover may already be in place through the authority’s standard insurance programme. This is the case where the event is considered a normal part of its activities, for example a fun day for carers. However, when arranging the insurance for any event, it is prudent to check whether this is the case or additional cover is required.

Another important consideration from a liability perspective is ensuring that subcontractors have appropriate insurance. This is particularly important where the risk is high, for example suppliers of tiered seating, food and bouncy castles. As a result, it is standard practice to make liability insurance part of the terms and conditions for suppliers attending an event.

Event insurance market

Given the variety of events that take place, event insurance is a specialist market. However, it is also a competitive one so affordable cover that is tailored to a local authority’s needs is readily available.

More information

Planning an event? For more information on how to insure it, contact Ruth Murray