Public Liability Insurance for Events and What it Covers

Hosting an event can be a big moment for your business. And of course, you will try your best to make sure nothing goes wrong. However, accidents can, and do, happen. Public liability insurance for events can help protect you financially if such a situation were to arise. Find out more below.

Connor Campbell Last updated on 31 May 2022.
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Public Liability Insurance for Events and What it Covers

While you might decide that your business doesn’t need to have continuous public liability cover as part of your insurance policy, there might be one-off situations where you feel like it is necessary.

For example, you could be running a conference, arranging a gig, putting on a charity sports event, or even just holding a business dinner.

Whether you are the host, or merely attending as a business, you may need to look into public liability insurance for events.

» COMPARE: Public liability insurance

What is public liability insurance for events?

As with a more generic policy, public liability insurance for events is designed to cover legal fees and compensation costs if a third party is injured or dies, or their property is lost or damaged, due to your business activities.

In this case, ‘business activities’ would be as varied as the different kinds of events you could put on, covering everything from someone slipping on a wet floor at a concert hall to an injury during a sports event.

And don’t be confused by the word ‘public’. Public liability insurance is just as applicable if your event is solely hosting other businesses, as it is at a gig or football game where the general public are in attendance.

» MORE: Everything you need to know about public liability insurance

Do I need public liability insurance for an event?

Public liability insurance for events isn’t a legal requirement, but it would still be advisable to at least look into taking out a policy. Even the most carefully organised event, following the strictest of health and safety guidelines, can carry the risk of injury or property damage.

Public liability insurance could at least give you the peace of mind that, if something were to go wrong, the injured party could be properly compensated without you or your business suffering financially.

There may also be times when it might become compulsory for you to take out a policy. For example:

  • The venue may insist upon it as a part of its hiring conditions.
  • The client you are working for may demand it as part of their contract.
  • You may need to have a policy in place to be considered for government or local authority events.

If you already have public liability insurance, you cannot assume you are covered. You will need to make sure its terms cover either hosting, or attending, an event.

» MORE: Do I need public liability insurance?

Do I need public liability insurance to exhibit at an event?

If you are a stallholder, or exhibitor, at an event someone else has organised, you may still need your own public liability insurance. You should make sure to check with the organiser ahead of time.

This would then cover you if your specific business activities caused an injury or property damage, say a cup of coffee spilt and scalded someone browsing your craft stall.

Does public liability insurance cover employees at events?

No. You would need employers’ liability insurance to make sure your employees, including temporary staff, volunteers, marshalls and referees, are covered if they are injured or fall ill due to the work they are carrying out as part of their role.

» MORE: Employers’ liability explained

When should I get public liability insurance for an event?

The work that goes into hosting an event starts long before the event itself and so too do the risks attached.

While you might think you just need public liability insurance on the date of the event, it may be worth considering securing it as early as possible. This is so you can also be covered for the planning and organisation stages as well.

Can I get public liability insurance for one day?

You don’t have to be saddled with long-term public liability cover for a one-day event. Instead, you can secure one-off public liability insurance for events, as well as short-term policies if you want to cover a series of occasions.

How much does public liability insurance for events cost?

As with every type of business insurance, the cost of public liability insurance for events will vary depending on a variety of factors, including:

  • the level of cover you require (this could be dictated by the venue or client)
  • how long you want the policy to last
  • the type of event you are looking to organise
  • the size of the event, and how many people will be attending
  • the location of the event

» MORE: How much is public liability insurance?

To get the best deal for your business, you should carefully compare the premiums on offer from a range of insurance providers.

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Image source: Getty Images

About the author:

Connor is a writer and spokesperson for NerdWallet. Previously at Spreadex, his market commentary has been quoted in the likes of the BBC, The Guardian, Evening Standard, Reuters and The Independent. Read more

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