Does your insurance cover outdoor events?

Is your business planning to make the most of the weather?

British weather is famed for its ability to produce four seasons in one day. The fluctuating climate has seen temperatures higher than Spain dropping to lower than Iceland – indeed, the past few weeks have had it all. Beer gardens up and down the country have been flooded with customers trying to make most of the good bout of weather.

Activities and booked entertainers are an excellent way of taking advantage of the good weather and getting a little extra money in the bank. Businesses need to be aware of their insurance responsibilities when preparing their venue, whatever the weather, whatever the event. NDML have listed some of the key points to be aware of:

6 points businesses need to know before running an event

1. Legislation

All venues will be subject to the Health and Safety at Work Act. This lays out the compliance required from employers, including the standards of the premises and the maintenance of equipment. Employees and volunteers will be included within the Act, stipulating mandatory insurance and appropriate training. Event organisers and business owners have a duty to ensure they carry out a thorough risk assessment, this will help mitigate risk and could save a lot of money and time in the long run.

The legislation stipulates businesses must provide proper facilities, and this includes facilities for outdoor areas. Walkways and entrances should be clear, heating and air conditioning needs to be in place, and cleaning should be performed regularly. Employees have their part to play in taking responsibility for the health and safety of the premises. Appointing a competent person to ensure employee duties are being carried out properly is essential.

2. Insurance

If you are opening up a new space, unused space or planning an outdoor event, you must contact your broker immediately. NDML will ensure you have the correct insurance in place, confirming you are protected in the event of a claim.

Popular hazardous events which venues undertake that need to be signed off by your broker include: Assault courses, Bouncy castles, Fireworks and Bonfires, large-scale DJ sets and many more sources of entertainment. Increasing your offering and services increases your potential risk, therefore  this will need to be specifically agreed by your insurer.

Businesses will need to ensure outside contractors as has adequate public liability insurance with an indemnity. They need to have cover for both property damage and accident or injury t members of the public and employees. At NDML, we have paid witness to situations where the event organisers have been laid the blame when conditions should have been handled by the supplier’s own liability insurance. Safeguard your finances with the correct insurance; at NDML, it’s our business to know marry up the correct insurance with your specific needs.

3. Planning

Organisers and businesses managers need to consider the suitability of the space for its desired purpose. Points to consider include:

  • 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?
  • Do entertainers need to bring in equipment?
  • Are doorways wide enough to accommodate such equipment?
  • Are there awkward steps or corridors to negotiate?
  • Are fire exits clearly marked?
  • Are sufficient fire extinguishers provided?
  • Are there sufficient numbers of people to help unload?
  • Will vehicles need to be brought close to entrances and what are the traffic implications?

These points would be very important to consider should you propose an event or opening up space for entertainment. Not having any of these points in place could open you up to serious ramifications where an unprecedented incident take place.

4. Electrical installations

Depending on the needs of your space, you may need to set up suitable lighting via a lighting gantry. The erection of temporary staging and lighting gantries must only be undertaken by rained 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.

Persons bringing electrical appliances to the venue must be able to show that the equipment is correctly maintained and has been subject to routine inspection and testing. They should also possess event equipment insurance in case of theft or damages at the event.

5. First Aid

Necessary health and safety equipment will depend upon the space. A risk assessment carried out to determine the extent of the First Aid provision required. Necessary provisions include:

  • First Aid box
  • First Aid trained colleagues
  • First Aid signage as to what to do in the event of an emergency; i.e. what to tell emergency services and CPR instructions
  • An emergency plan needs to be in place

6. Cash and Manual Handling

Consideration must be given before the handling of cash or the moving of equipment. The security of those collecting and banking money, as well as the safe storage of the money. More customers due to more space or an event will undoubtably bring in more cash, therefore takings must be arranged to be removed and resolved on a regular basis. A safe should be in place to keep cash overnight before banking the next morning. More cash expected on the premises will increase the risk and must be discussed with your broker.

Manual handling tasks such as moving furniture and large equipment should be avoided at all costs. Damage is an extremely common occurrence during big removals and renovations. Ensure you have plenty of able bodies as well as trolleys and aids.

NDML will help you arrange your insurance to cater for outdoor space use and outdoor events. Activities and entertainment are an excellent way of making the most of the weather and getting a little extra money in the bank. Contact us today to ensure you are covered for any extra special activities you have planned.