Street party insurance
Streets Alive has found that many small residents-only street parties do not take out Public Liability Insurance. But, some councils require it and some residents may choose to take it out to cover liability of the 'organisers' at a low level of cover such as only £1million.
In 2012 for the Jubilee about 2 million people took part in street parties. Some of them had insurance cover but there were no claims at all made in the country, according to the insurance companies.
Although such insurance can be useful for larger street parties, Streets Alive has found that raising the funds for the £50+ premium is a total show stopper for less well-off communities, and can dampen the goodwill of better off communities. £5m PLI cover commonly demanded can rarely be justified as it might cover 2 deaths and resurfacing of the road, which is very unlikely! Larger public events where the risk of liability is higher would, however, need full insurance cover – buy it here.
The risks at most street parties are usually very low and so the risk of liability to organisers and councils is low. This is because they are self-organised by residents right outside their door and activities are usually very modest.
Planning a safe event is the best way of reducing risks and so it is important to suggest to residents to consider and minimise all risks. Demanding to complete a risk assessment Streets Alive believes is unnecessarily complex and residents are unlikely to be skilled to carry out such paper work.
Otherwise Councils can use an Indemnity Clause if they feel they need to protect their liability, and Streets Alive has good examples of this.
Residents should be aware of potential questions about the validity of such insurance in loosely arranged events, where often there is no constituted organisation, formal group or records involved.
Residents should read the Policy in advance as it may have exclusions such as:
- Inflatables / bouncy castles - policies often exclude injury to users. Also, supplier's own insurance usually only covers the equipment, not the user.
- Other contractors such as entertainers need their own insurance.
- The 'excess' first £250 - 500 of a claim.
- Setting up and taking down.
- Damage to or loss of property belonging to the 'insured'.
- Acts of vandalism or anything as a result of alcohol etc.
- Taking part in more risky sports etc.
If residents are being required by councils to take out insurance but you don't want it, please contact Streets Alive for free advice and ask us to help you question your council about it.
Detailed advice for councils is here - residents can send this link to them. It may be that they are just asking for this automatically for all events and not thinking about small street parties.
Larger, more public events certainly would require insurance.
Important note: This advice is to help in planning an event, but it is not intended to constitute a complete list of organisational arrangements, responsibilities or liabilities for the planning of a street party or event. Streets Alive Ltd. recommends that professional advice is sought if organisers are in any doubt.
If you still have to or want to buy insurance here are companies you may want to try, though we do not recommend any one company or policy.