Quick Guide to Street Party Insurance

What’s the worst that can happen at a street party – maybe a few bumps and bruises and some broken glasses.

Not in New Zealand, where the roof of a house collapsed as dozens of drunken revellers bounced the night away.

The incident was one of many drunken escapades as 5,000 people drank and danced in the streets of Otago.

As the Queen’s diamond jubilee approaches and the nation gets ready to celebrate, party pooping insurance companies are warning the same could go wrong here and who might have to pay.

Legally, street party organisers do not have to take out public liability insurance for an event.

So far, local councils have had around 3,500 applications to close streets for parties, while thousands more are planned for private land and venues.

To help organisers plan their events without a hitch, the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the trade body for insurance firms, has put together some hints and tips, including:

  • Check the venue is safe for the number of revellers expected
  • Do outside entertainers, like bouncy castle operators, have insurance?
  • What are the fire and personal safety measures for the venue and who is responsible for policing them?
  • Does the venue owner have public liability cover?

The ABI’s Nick Starling said: “With communities across the country planning thousands of events this year, a few common sense precautions will help ensure that events are fun and safe.

“Our guide sets out the essential information that any event organiser needs to know, to ensure that celebrations planned are memorable for all the right reasons.”

Don’t take the word of entertainers and venues that they have cover – phone the insurance company for confirmation. Many self-employed entertainers buy cover to get a certificate and then lapse the policy, leaving them uninsured.

Buying public liability insurance is cheap and needs factoring in to any budgets or pricing before tickets are sold.

Like buying any insurance, try several quotes and compare the cover, not the price – once some firms are shortlisted, buy from out the one offering best value for money.

Click here to download ‘Celebrate – An ABI guide to planning an event

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