Most of us can’t wait for the summer months to take advantage of the warm weather and the many fun events taking place every weekend. From outdoor parades to festivals and concerts, these and other types of events have become part of the fabric of our communities. It’s a time for people to come together for a shared experience. With these events also come risks, including liability exposures that can quickly turn a sweet time sour without the right insurance and risk management programs in place.
Event organizers face potential claims from spectators, vendors, entertainers, and even contractors. Slip-and-fall accidents are the most common mishaps that can result in claims, with some events, such as those with fireworks, liquor sales, and large amusement rides posing a higher probability of loss.
It’s important that the right mix of insurance policies are procured: from General Liability that includes a host of specific coverages such as Liquor Liability, Spectator Liability, Volunteer Accident, Fireworks Liability, and Vendor/Exhibitor Coverage, among others; to Commercial Property that includes Equipment Breakdown; to Inland Marine, Crime, Commercial Auto, Excess Liability, Event Cancellation & Non-Appearance and Workers Compensation.
Also critical is having a comprehensive risk management program as an integral component of mitigating the exposures that come with such events. This involves conducting a risk assessment, including those that can potentially occur at the site, the risks the event creates, and any external risks that the organizer may have little control over but that may need to be managed at the event. Organizers should be requiring that all vendors have their own insurance policies and list them as an additional insured to further protect them from issues outside of their control. Some of the other issues an organizer should contemplate are:
- Will there be moving vehicles near the event site and could this pose a risk to pedestrians?
- Is there anything on the site that could become dangerous if there is inclement weather?
- Is there a body of water on or near the event site?
- Will there be carnival rides at the event and how will the safety of event guests be ensured when on or near rides?
- Is there infrastructure being brought onto the event site? Who will ensure it is safely secured?
- In the event that an evacuation of the event site is required who is responsible for ensuring all people are calmly and safely moved?
- Are the likely guests at the event at a higher risk of requiring emergency services? If so, have local emergency services been advised?
- What would the financial impact be if the event was rained out or a performer failed to show up? (Consider buying insurance to cover these circumstances)
In addition to the initial risk assessment, the following should be developed: a risk control plan, an emergency management plan, a traffic management plan (if applicable), a waste management plan, and site safety checklists for the staff working on the event or site.
Reducing and transferring risks as much as possible is critical in making an event successful. RPS can assist you with putting together an insurance program for your client’s events. Just give us a call.