Q: I would like to arrange a small show at the yard I own to raise funds for our local toll ride scheme. I will have stewards and judges. What kind of insurance do I need for the event — can I insure against cancellation? Is there anything I can do regarding the safety of children, as our yard is a working farm, with machinery and ponds?
THE first step when organising any event involving members of the public at your property is to secure adequate public liability insurance. Stuart Farr of Laytons Solicitors recommends checking any insurance policies already in place.
“Presumably you already allow members of the public to enter your property to ride and tend to their horses, so it is possible you may already have obtained occupiers’ and/or public liability insurance cover as part of your business,” he says.
“Indeed, this is a compulsory requirement if you are a licensed riding establishment. Check to see whether your existing cover is appropriate for your specific needs and, if not, whether it can be adapted without having to pay a hefty additional premium.
“Failing that, different types of insurance cover are available from various insurers, including one-off event cover — choose a reputable insurer.”
According to Jeremy Lawton of Shearwater Insurance Services Ltd, which offers liability cover for one-off events, insurance providers require clients to follow strict Health and Safety procedures.
“In relation to the farm machinery and pond at your property, you would be required to follow such procedures for the public’s safety — our advice would be to rope off the relevant areas, displaying adequate warning signs,” he explains.
“Your stewards and helpers may not be getting paid, but if you did employ staff for the event, you would also require employers’ liability insurance. In addition to the essential public liability cover, you could also consider protection for hired event property, such as marquees,” continues Jeremy.
“It is also possible to be insured against show cancellation, for example, if inclement weather means it is unsafe to proceed.”
Stuart Farr adds that organisers of small shows should weigh up the risk of cancellation due to bad weather against the cost of obtaining cover.
“Assess the benefit you’ll achieve from such cover, compared with the outlay you’ll incur in terms of your premium,” he says.
“From a commercial perspective, it may not be worth paying out a comparatively higher premium for such a policy, if the value of the ‘risk’ to be insured is relatively low.”
Laytons Solicitors Tel: 0161 8342100 www.laytons.com
Shearwater Insurance Services Ltd Tel: 08700 767666 www.shearwater-insurance.co.uk
This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (26 April, ’07)