Hosting a festive party? Here’s everything you need to know for your one-off event

November 13, 2019

Most people love the festive season (and a great festive party). ‘Tis the season to be jolly, but it’s also clearly the season to be careful!

  • 80,000 people require hospital treatment over the Christmas period for accidents (NHS)
  • The typical bill for house party-related repairs is over £162 (Allianz)
  • 8% of those aged 16-24 have had to make a trip to A&E during the festive season (National Accident Helpline)
  • More than 1 in 40 people have suffered an electric shock due to badly wired Christmas lights (National Accident Helpline)
  • Accident falls in December are up 16% for women and 21% for men (ONS data)
  • 3.7 million people have spilled a drink on someone else (National Accident Helpline)
  • … and 3.6 million have fallen at a work Christmas party (National Accident Helpline)

Do I need insurance for my festive party?

A private party carries just as many risks as a party held for members of the public. A guest could trip and injure themselves, expensive equipment could be damaged, or the buffet could trigger a bout of festive food poisoning. It doesn’t really matter where the venue is – if you’re responsible for the party, then you’re responsible for any problems.

If you’re holding the venue at home, what happens if one of your guests has an accident? You could be left facing legal fees, medical bills and compensation claims. You’ll need public liability insurance to cover this. Some home insurance policies do have a “Personal Liability” section to cover you for home-based events and parties. Check your policy and, if in doubt, contact your insurer.

You should also consider public liability insurance even if you’re hosting a private party at an external venue. Whilst your venue should have adequate insurance cover, so should you. If you or a guest damages the venue or accidentally hurts a member of staff, then as the event host you would be personally liable for costs incurred if you didn’t have adequate insurance.

What insurance do I need to consider for my festive party?

There are many situations where public liability insurance could be needed.

  • Slips and trips is the main one to look out for, especially if your guests get a little merry! You can’t always create a trip-free zone, but you can make sure you’re insured if someone does make a claim against you.
  • Illness caused by alcohol or food you’re serving. No, we don’t mean a hangover. If your sausage rolls don’t go down as well as you’d hoped, you won’t be left facing financial consequences if you have insurance cover.
  • Injury or damage caused by your pets or vendors/contractors. We’re sure Fluffy is great with guests. But, just in case, make sure you’re covered.
  • Damage either to an event venue or third-party property caused by yourself or a guest can land you with a hefty compensation claim if you don’t have the relevant cover.

If you’re hiring equipment, you’ll need insurance for that too. Our equipment insurance cover will ensure you won’t have to personally shell out if hired equipment is damaged on your watch.

Cancelling your party will be the last thing on your mind. But if you need to change your plans, event cancellation cover will make sure you get back irrecoverable costs. So if you’re snowed in and it’s unsafe for your guests to toboggan it down to your house, your insurance cover will pay out for non-refundable deposits on things such as caterers or speaker systems.

If you’re hosting a party at home, then your buildings and contents cover should cover you for any accidental damage to your property or belongings. You just need to worry about the safety of your guests and any additional equipment.

Top tips to minimise damage at your Christmas party

1. Hire a room elsewhere

There are many benefits to having a festive party at home. You get to celebrate in your own environment. You’re in complete control of the music, decoration, food and ambience. It’s often a much cheaper option, too. But hiring a room elsewhere means that if something does go wrong, your property won’t suffer the consequences.

2. Know your guest list

An “open house” is a great idea until it gets out of control. A friend of a friend brings a friend… and suddenly you’ve got dozens of guests you didn’t account for. And an increase in crowds equals an increase in risk.

3. Set limits

Make sure your guests know which areas are out of bounds. If you’re not comfortable with guests going into your bedrooms, tell them. Your guests should respect your boundaries.

You should also set yourself a clear start and end time. You don’t want complaints about the noise, or a late-night party getting out of hand. Let your guests (and neighbours) know when the party’s going to end so everyone can plan around that.

4. Lock away your valuables

Jewellery, expensive technology, sentimental treasures… whatever you wouldn’t like to get broken, put away in a safe place.

Plan for your festive party and we’re sure you’ll have a great time

If you have properly planned the day, and arranged insurance in advance, there’s very little that can go wrong.

If you’d like to discuss insuring your Xmas do with us, get in touch for a quote.

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