Special Event Insurance

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Event Insurance Coverage

Municipalities often provide their citizens with special events such as arts and craft shows, fundraisers, fairs, parades, or displays of fireworks. These events, whether managed by the municipality or an outside organization, may create significant legal liability exposures for the municipality. More information is available here.

An effective method of reducing its exposure is for the municipality to seek the sponsorship of an outside organization. Suitable organizations include civic groups and non-profit charities, the chamber of commerce, and the rotary club. These organizations often want to participate in such events as a means of self-promotion and fundraising. It is important that these organizations do an excellent job of securing volunteers, selecting vendors, and providing additional staff for security.

When renting facilities, the municipality should consider requiring all renters to assume all liability for any claims arising for the event and/or use of the facilities. A hold harmless/indemnity agreement are written agreements whereby one party agrees to hold the other party harmless should a loss occur. A properly written hold harmless agreement should always be in place for these events.
For a municipality, using such organizations can be an effective vehicle for implementing risk transfer to the party actually managing the event. The goal here is to minimize the municipality’s exposure to legal in claims that arise out of the event.

Once the municipality decides to use an outside organization as a sponsor, they should establish an acceptable minimum amount of liability insurance coverage based on an evaluation of the degree of risk. The liability policy will include coverage bodily injury and property damage, including liquor liability, fireworks, and parades when appropriate, as well as automobile liability coverage, excess liability coverage, and workers' compensation.

PSAB and Keystone have worked together with Tokio Marine HCC, a leading insurer, to provide Special Event coverage for events held on municipal property that are sponsored by a private individual or sponsor organization. This program offers easy and affordable, short-term coverage for a wide variety of events. The TotalEvent Program will provide coverage for special event liability including weather insurance, event cancellation and prize promotions.

For more information, contact Deb Janney, Director of Membership Services & Risk Management, at 717-236-9526, Ext. 1025 or djanney@boroughs.org or Danielle Baker-Papinchak, Assistant Director of Membership Services & Risk Management, at 717-236-9526, Ext. 1032 or dbaker@boroughs.org.
NOTE: This information is not intended to be legal advice. It does not identify all the issues surrounding the particular topic. Public agencies are encouraged to review their procedures with an expert or an attorney who is knowledgeable about the topic. Reliance on this information is at the sole risk of the user. Certain portions of this article were provided by the Alabama Municipal Insurance Corporation, who gave permission to use all or part of the article entitled, Municipal Facilities and Special Events.