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Event Insurance

When you're throwing an event - be it a chaotic children's birthday party or a gathering of suited executives - even the best laid plans can be undone by factors outside of your control. It's almost inevitable that at least one part of your bash will go wrong, and if it's a major one it could ruin the entire day.

Don't believe us? Here are just a few examples of things that could go pear-shaped:

• Weather - If you're throwing a party outdoors (and, to be honest, even if it's indoors you're still not safe as guests could struggle to make the trip in wet or stormy conditions) then you need to consider the possibility that the Great British weather will let you down - because it probably will.

• Key people no-showing - A high profile after-dinner speaker - or indeed a hired clown and some balloon animals - is a great way of lending your event some prestige or sense of fun. But if they fail to show up for whatever reason then you could be in a spot of trouble.

• Property damage - It's not a one-way street, either. Other people could end up giving you a miserable day by damaging property through reckless behaviour. Whilst you may be happy to forgive your granddad for smashing a plate in your own kitchen, it's a different story if you've rented an opulent conference room.

• Injury - You can take all the precautions you want, but guests can get injured from time to time - again, particularly when your event involves outdoor activities - and that leaves you open to a potential lawsuit.

Your insurance package

Naturally, event insurance isn't something you need all year round (unless you're really into your pool parties). Your package should be agreed shortly before each calendar date, tailored - and priced up - according to the details of your event: the location, the number of guests, and so on.

Because of this, you really can't rely on approximate quotes given on websites and advertising material - you actually need to call up and have a word with an experienced advisor, and it's best to speak to a few different companies to find out which one has the best rates.

Public liability is essential, as this will protect you in case of your guests decides to sue you because of something that happened at the event. Most big event insurers will offer a maximum pay-out limit numbering in the tens of millions, so it guarantees you're not going to be left out of pocket.

Please, please, remember to read the small-print, though. If it's your negligence that causes injury, insurers may drag their heels when it comes to paiyng out, in the same way that driving while on the telephone won't curry any favours with your car insurers.

As a minimum, we recommend getting cover for guest injuries and property damage (particularly if you're renting a venue). You can add in extra options for a speaker no-showing or weather ruining the day if you choose - but with these eventualities you're only losing what you budgeted for anyway, so it's much less pressing (and therefore a risk you may be prepared to take, without any cover).

Recommended companies: Aviva, Hiscox, John Lewis Finance

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