Bank holidays are always a hectic time for any nightclub, bar or pub, and a great time for business as people go out to celebrate the Bank Holiday season. But with this increase in footfall along with adverse weather conditions, make sure you don’t receive any unwanted presents this year by taking some advice from NDML insurance.
Injuries in your venue
As the weather warms up patrons may well be utilising patio areas, smoking areas etc that have so far gone relatively unused this year. Do you have risk assessments for all areas of your venue including car parks, patios etc? Do you regularly check the car park/patio/smoking terrace for pot hole, broken flags or areas that may become slippery due to the weather conditions. If you do you are half way there. What is really important is that you document these checks and retain these checklists.
Checklists can also be extremely useful in monitoring things like glass collection, toilet cleaning and spillages, they can be used as evidence against spurious claims, so try to make sure that these checklists are completed at least every half an hour.
A claimant has three years in which to pursue a claim, so please ensure that you retain your checklists securely for at least three years. Insurance companies are likely to make sure you have followed the relevant procedures to try and defend the claim if an injury does take place.
Overly Busy Venues
While it’s always good to be busy, there could be the risk of your establishment going over capacity if it is not closely monitored.
To help make sure that your venue does not get overly busy, ensure that each area in the club has a posted occupancy limit sign. These signs should be easily visible and should be effectively enforced by door staff and management.
If you receive a complaint about overcrowding, be sure to follow it up immediately. You are very likely to receive an unannounced inspection from the Fire Service if a patron was to raise concerns to them if their concerns were not taken seriously. Overcrowding can be extremely dangerous and an incident at a university this year has already ended in tragedy. It is always better to turn away business by denying entry, than to risk permanent closure due to an accident.
At this time of year if you are dealing with additional functions your takings may well be higher than normal. In addition to this you may not be able to bank the money as regularly as normal. Now is a good time to review your policy to check what the limit is in respect of the money you keep in your safe and what you are permitted to have on your premises. Your money should be locked in an Insurance Company recognised safe when the premises is closed for business otherwise your cover could be limited to typically £500. Locked filing cabinets, tills, offices and cupboards would not be regarded as a safe and money in excess of £500 kept in any of these would not be covered.
Are the current policy limits adequate? If not you may need to consider banking your takings more regularly or contact our office to see if your safe limit can be increased. Please remember that the keys to the safe must be removed from the premises when it is closed for business or the keys locked securely in another safe. If you are not complying with this warranty then in the event of a claim you could find that you have no cover.
Security and Alarms
With extra people in the venue, many of which may be new patrons it is important to remain vigilant. Please ensure that when the premises are closed for business that the alarm is set and if you have any doubt that the alarm is not working properly then do not leave the premises until the issue is resolved. We have come across instances where a patron has tampered with the alarm contacts during the course of a trading day unbeknown to the club. When the alarm is then set at the end of the day the alarm does not set properly. This might show as a fault on the alarm panel or simply mean that the sound that is usually emitted when you are leaving the premises does not cease as it should. Always check that this exit noise has ceased as you would expect.
If you are aware of any issues with your alarm even if it has been reported to the alarm company and is being fixed we must know about this as soon as possible and the venue must not be left unattended if the alarm is not in full working order
Entertainment Extras: Foam Parties and Bucking Broncos
As part of your Bank Holiday weekend, you may be thinking about including a little something extra in the events calendar. If you are considering a foam party, adding a bucking broncos or other extras like confetti cannons to your venue, make sure you inform your insurance specialist before the event. It is always better to speak to one of our many trained advisors who can establish what is covered by your policy.
This is because policies typically exclude this type of activity, so if you are intent on using any attractions like these then be sure to have your cover extended so you are protected if an incident occurs.
Every policy is specific to your venue so it is vital that you check the individual wording for your premises to ensure that the cover that you have is adequate and that you are complying with the various conditions and warranties.
If you are bringing in an outside sub-contractor to run your event please make sure that you check that they have their own valid Public Liability Insurance with a limit of indemnity that is at least as high as your own. Public Liability certificates are not issued by insurers as a matter of course however you can ask the sub-contractor for a ‘to whom it may concern letter’ which their insurer will supply. This should give you the name, policy number, period of insurance and indemnity limit and allow you to satisfy yourself that adequate cover is in place.
If you would like to know more about how to protect yourself this holiday season, or to arrange a bespoke insurance policy for your nightclub, bar, pub or nightlife venue, contact NDML insurance brokers on 0844 488 9205 or use our contact form.