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September 7, 2008

Martin Linfield:Forget the rain, consider the risks

This summer has been another successful festival season, seeing the return of Party in the Park, the open air concert held in Castle Park, Colchester along with a host of others across the UK and Europe. We worked with event management company Snake in the Grass on insuring Party in the Park, which incorporates numerous performers and onlookers in one of the most picturesque parts of the town.

Obtaining a public liability insurance policy is often a mandatory requirement when seeking permission to host any event, particularly on council-owned premises, such as Colchester’s Castle Park, although the local council will have their own insurances too.

A public liability policy protects the welfare of members of the public, delegates, clients or trade customers at an event, and covers the consequences of any third-party injury or property damage.

Should a visitor injure themselves while attending any event, they're within their rights to make a claim to the council, exhibitor, caterer, contractor, or the organiser, if there has been a proven failure in their duty of care.

With this in mind it is prudent for all commercial stallholders, exhibitors, caterers and contractors to have a liability policy, as the organiser is not necessarily responsible for an injury sustained on an exhibition stand. The good news is it is unlikely to cost the earth, with liability insurance for exhibitors available from around £100 – but it could cost you a whole lot more if you’re not adequately covered.

With more regulations and legal requirements for businesses to comply with, and claims regularly making news headlines, having cover is more important than ever. From our perspective, it's a real pleasure to be involved with these leading
Attractions, and brings a huge amount of satisfaction to our underwriting team.

Here are our tips to getting your event covered:

1 - Think carefully about all the insurance requirements of your event. You might already have public liability cover as most venues require it, but don't overlook the possibility of insuring property and event cancellation.

2 - Don't assume that any general business insurance you have in place will cover the events they run. Check with your insurance provider.

3 - Arranging insurance might not be at the top of your "to do" list, but don't leave it to the last moment.

4 - If you can demonstrate sound risk management procedures to an insurer, they will probably reduce the premium.

5 - Read the small print as not all insurance policies are alike. If in doubt, consult a specialist event insurer who will be able to advise on the options available to you.

Martin Linfield is underwriting centre manager at Hiscox Events Insurance in Colchester, Essex.

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