Outdoor Events – are you insured?

Whilst Britain is famed for four seasons in one day, it is safe to say that we have been experiencing some sunshine throughout the country over the past couple of weeks – and with the sun comes outdoor events. We Brits are renowned for any excuse to throw an impromptu BBQ, beer/food festival or kid’s day.

But does your insurance cover such an event? Are you even aware of your insurance responsibilities? Club Insure offer some valued advice on outdoor events:


All entertainment events are classed as work, as are most activities, so they are subject to the Health and Safety at Work Act and the various other regulations passed under it. Also it is virtually certain that any volunteers working at the event will be classed as employees for the purposes of Employers Liability and Health & Safety legislation.

An event organiser has a duty to ensure that any premises, open spaces, means of access and egress, and any plant, equipment and substances are safe and without risk to the health of any employees, volunteers or visitors.

As you want to hold a safe event, make sure you carry out a risk assessment and act upon its findings to eliminate and mitigate risk to your employees and volunteers and the members of the public who attend.

Make sure that you know whether you need a Temporary Event Notice from the local licensing authority.


If you are planning any event which includes activities of a hazardous nature, then you must contact Club Insure as soon as possible because liability insurance may not be in place unless specifically agreed by your insurer.

Hazardous events might include, but not be limited to: Archery, Assault course, Bouncy castles Bungee jumping, Clay pigeon shooting and Firework Displays & Bonfires.

If outside contractors are employed to provide attractions, the event organiser should check that each attraction provider holds adequate public liability insurance with an indemnity.

If you allow people who are not employed by you to run stalls, displays, rides, sideshows etc., you should ensure that they have their own public liability insurance to cover both property damage and accident or injury to members of the public. Despite the Unfair Contract Terms Act, some conditions observed recently have endeavoured to place onerous responsibilities upon the event organiser, which should have been catered for by the suppliers’ own liability insurance.

Planning the Venue

Organisers need to consider the suitability of the proposed venue. Whilst the owners of any buildings and land that are used have a responsibility to ensure that their property is safe, it is the organisers who have a primary responsibility.

Points to consider:

  • Has the local Fire Prevention Officer been contacted to ensure that the proposed use is acceptable and that there is no breach of any fire regulations?
  • Are buildings large enough with sufficient entrances and exits for the numbers anticipated?
  • Are fire exits clearly marked?
  • Are sufficient fire extinguishers provided?
  • Do exhibitors or stallholders need to bring in equipment?
  • Are doorways wide enough to accommodate such equipment?
  • Are there awkward steps or corridors to negotiate?
  • Are there sufficient numbers of people to help unload?
  • Will vehicles need to be brought close to entrances and what are the traffic implications?

Lighting and Electrical installations

The erection of temporary staging and lighting gantries must only be undertaken by trained professionals. All electrical installations must comply with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and must be installed by a recognised authorised and qualified electrical contractor in accordance with BS 7671:1992 Requirements for electrical installations (IEE Wiring Regulations).

Only approved electrical contractors (see your policy wordings for acceptable accreditations) should be employed. Persons bringing portable electrical appliances on to the site must be able to show that the equipment is correctly maintained and has been subject to routine inspection and testing.

First Aid

A risk assessment must be undertaken to determine the extent of First Aid provision required, this will be based on the numbers attending and the nature of the activities. Provision may range from a simple First Aid box to a number of trained First Aiders. An emergency plan must also be in place in the event of someone having to be taken to hospital or needing to receive emergency treatment.

Manual handling

A risk assessment must be carried out in respect of all manual handling tasks. Manual handling must be avoided if at all possible or mechanical handling aids such as trolleys used for moving heavy equipment. There should be sufficient numbers of able bodied people to assist.

Cash handling

Consideration must be given before the event to the handling of cash and the security of those involved in collecting and banking money.

Every stall or attraction should be provided with a cash box of some kind in which to collect entry charges and payments. Takings must be removed on a regular basis during the course of the event so that large sums of cash do not build up. Selling tickets in advance will reduce the amount of cash you have to handle on the day itself.

A safe should be used to keep cash in overnight before banking the next day. Check with Club Insure that your safe is suitable for the amount you wish to keep.