Public liability insurance for events

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    Chris Godfrey

    Page written by Chris Godfrey. Last reviewed on June 4, 2024. Next review due April 6, 2025.

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    Everybody loves a good event, but if you’re the event organiser you face high business risk. Accidents can happen, errors can occur, and omissions can leave you promising more than you can deliver – all of which have the potential to create catastrophic financial impact for your business. Public liability insurance for events is designed to eliminate these worries, leaving you to stage a great event and the policy to take care of any problems.

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      What is public liability insurance UK?

      Public liability insurance is a type of business insurance that can protect organisations if someone is injured, or their property is damaged because of the services that you or your business provides. This type of cover, also known as PL or Liability Insurance, is designed to protect your company against third-party claims for injuries or property damage from a customer or client, passer-by, or a visitor to your business premises – whether you’re at fault or not.

      What is public liability insurance for events?

      Public liability insurance for events can protect event organisers, (and the event itself), against claims from members of the public for injury, illness or accidental damage. For example if your event causes property damage to nearby residents or landowners, or someone is injured by event participants or faulty equipment, you may be legally liable and vulnerable to compensation claims that could run into the tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds. 

      When should you get public liability insurance for an event?

      If you’re planning an event it’s never too soon to get public liability cover. The last thing you need during a very busy period is to be seeking insurance at the last minute, You may also find that venue owners and landowners will not let you stage or even advertise the event until you have this cover in place. If you intend to include cancellation cover in the policy, that should also be purchased as soon as you plan the event. That way you know you can publicise the show but know you will be covered if circumstances change and you are unable to stage the event. 

      Top tip: If you plan to stage events on a regular basis, it may be more economical to buy an annual PL policy, setting cover limits that will protect different types and size of event throughout the year.

      What other insurance do I need for an event?

      The other essential insurance you will need is employers’ liability insurance. This is a legal requirement for most UK employers. EL protects you and your employees, (including those who no longer work for you and part-time event workers), should they be injured or become unwell as a result of working for your business. EL typically covers the associated legal and compensation costs of any claim, but it can also cover accidental injury or damage caused by an employee to a third party, such as your event customers. 

      How does public liability insurance work?

      Public liability insurance is a defence against claims resulting from accidental personal injury or property damage incurred by third parties in the provision of the services your business provides. The PL claims process involves:

      Notifying your insurer of claims – in the event that a third party makes a financial claim against your business for personal injury or property damage, you should immediately notify your insurer and provide the following information:


      1. Your name and company details 
      2. Your insurance policy number and contact details
      3. Details of the event
      4. Details of the person or entity claiming against you
      5. Details of the incident including: the date, time and place it occurred, how it happened, details of damage, estimates of damage repairs (if possible)

      Negotiation of settlement – after receiving your information, your insurer will investigate the claim and if it has merit, calculate an initial offer of compensation. The claimant may accept this offer or make a counter-offer, resulting in settlement by mutual negotiation. Either way, you will not be responsible for paying the final compensation amount beyond any excess that you have agreed to pay.

      How much event public liability insurance cover will I need?

      It all depends on the event. Some carry more risk than others and some will attract more attendees than others. For example, a charity event might only be attended by a few dozen people, but a rock concert may bring in 100,000 or more. You can buy public liability event insurance up to £10million in cover, but the actual value you need will be determined by the unique characteristics of your show. If you are unsure how much cover you need, simply register with Swoop to discuss your options with an expert public liability insurance adviser.

      What does public liability insurance for events cover?

      Public liability insurance will protect you, your business and the event if someone other than an employee is injured or killed or suffers personal property damage caused by the event and the services and products your business provides. You need public liability insurance for:

      • Festivals and live music events
      • Sports events
      • Charity events – including fun runs
      • Theatre events
      • Screenings, openings, gala events
      • Parties, carnivals and fetes
      • Conferences and exhibitions
      • Weddings and other ceremonies
      • Company outings and off-site visits

      How much does event public liability insurance cost?

      Public liability event insurance can cost as little as £69 per event. However, the premium you pay will depend on a range of unique factors, such as the type of event you are staging, the risk levels included with the event, the event location and the estimated number of attendees.

      How Swoop can help

      All business involves risk, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer the consequences if things go wrong. Don’t let an accident, mishap or error put the dampers on your big event. Contact Swoop today to compare top-quality public liability event insurance from a range of providers and to discuss all your business insurance needs. 

      Written by

      Chris Godfrey

      Chris is a freelance copywriter and content creator. He has been active in the marketing, advertising, and publishing industries for more than twenty-five years. Writing for Barclays Bank, Metro Bank, Wells Fargo, ABN Amro, Quidco, Legal and General, Inshur Zego, AIG, Met Life, State Farm, Direct Line, insurers and pension funds, his words have appeared online and in print to inform, entertain and explain the complex world of consumer and business finance and insurance.

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