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Am I covered if the police or council cancel my event?

June 15, 2018

The police or council are unlikely to cancel your event. But, if they do, it’s important you understand why. It’s even more helpful to mitigate the risk. Conduct risk assessments and work with the local authorities to help manage your event effectively.

At Insure Our Event, we tailor event insurance packages to meet the needs of our customers. Whatever the event, festival or exhibition, we can create packages that take into account the complex nature of events.

One of the aspects of a tailored event insurance package should be Cancellation Cover. Cancellation Cover in general terms means that if your event is cancelled because of factors outside your control, you should get back your running costs.

When we talk about those kind of factors, we mean anything from adverse weather to the headline act falling ill.

But a question we’re commonly asked is, does cancellation cover protect you in the event of a cancellation or forced abandonment by the council or police?

The answer isn’t all that simple, and falls into the ‘it depends’ category.

The key here is to note the ‘factors outside of your control’ phrase. You have to determine whether the enforced cancellation was something you could have prevented.

For instance, if the police force you to abandon your event because of over-crowding risks, that is something you could have prevented with proper checks on the gate. If the council cancel your event because you don’t have the proper license in place, that’s also something you could have prevented.

However, in circumstances like environmental hazards caused by nearby industrial accidents, or no-notice political marches going past your event, chances are you will be successful in a claim.

For the most part, if you have done everything in your power to keep your event safe and legal then any interference from the police or council will be deemed outside of your control.

Always read the wording of your event insurance policy in full

Ensure you fully read your event insurance policy until you are confident that you understand what you are covered for. But in the meantime, here are some hints and tips to ensure your event doesn’t need police or council intervention:

  • Security: Hire a suitable amount of stewards to be your ‘eyes and ears’ at the event. Stewards are there to report injuries and accidents and control numbers. Depending on the type of event, you may also need to hire SIA qualified security staff. They are qualified to remove people from the event with reasonable force.
  • Licenses: Depending on the type of event and location, you may need a specific license, like a Temporary Event Notice. The best advice is to contact a council or licensing representative and give them full details of the event so they can advise you on next steps.
  • Controlling numbers: Before any big event, you should contact the police. They may want to put additional numbers at or around the event. When you speak to them, give them as much information as possible about how you plan to move spectators in and out of your event, and any system you have to limit numbers e.g ticket only.
  • Health and safety: A full and thorough risk assessment should be done on the entire grounds of the event location. This includes all buildings, landscape, equipment, machinery and substances. Health and safety assessments should be available to a relevant council official prior to the event.

Work with an event insurance specialist

If you need help navigating your insurance policy or need industry-specific advice, contact our expert team!

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