Insurance for Pride marches

19 May 2022 - Joely Burrows

It’s the time of year when events like Pride marches are starting to be planned, and after the problems of the last couple of years we’re looking forward to some fabulous parades this summer! Richard Atkinson has arranged cover for several Pride marches around the country and answers some frequently asked questions about insuring your Pride march.

When should I start planning the event?

As soon as possible! Get a Pride March committee together and work out what you want to do to make the event a success. Local and borough councils will need to be involved in your plans, especially if they need to close roads for the event. As far as insurance goes, the easiest thing to do is to speak to an insurance broker who can guide you through what you need and explain how much it will cost. There are some policies, like the one introduced by the government to cover costs if the event is disrupted by Covid restrictions, which need to be taken out at least eight weeks before the event. You really can’t leave it until the last minute.

What insurance do I need for a Pride March?

Your insurance broker can help you understand this, but it is a part of the Pride March organisation process that you can’t ignore. Many local authorities will need you to show you have £5,000,000 of cover before they will authorise a street closure. As a quick guide:

  • Public Liability insurance will cover you for injury to members of the public or property damage. It’s not a legal requirement but is a common claim we have to deal with where for example a member of the public has hurt themselves tripping over a power cable. Also bear in mind that public liability cover is often compulsory if you’re using land, buildings or facilities owned by someone else.
  • Employers Liability is a legal obligation if you employ any staff at the event. We strongly recommend it for your volunteers who are helping to run the Pride March, as they are defined as representatives for your organisation, which makes you, the event organiser, responsible for their wellbeing.
  • Claims for Event Cancellation happen more often than you’d think. Events venues can go into liquidation, or we’ve heard of places that have double booked events. And the good old British weather can be unpredictable, even in summer, when torrential rain can mean it’s unsafe
    to hold a Pride March.
  • Equipment cover is self-explanatory, but should be part of your plans if you are using expensive sound equipment or computers – they are very expensive to replace if they get damaged during the event.
  • Live event reinsurance is the new(ish) government scheme that was brought in last year to help live events organisers cover their costs if the event has to be cancelled because of Covid. It will cover events happening up to the end of September this year, but before you rush to sign up, I should say that there are loads of terms and conditions to fulfil, not least that you must have non-Covid insurance in place before you can sign up for it, and also that not all insurers are offering this cover. Talk to your broker about it, it’s what we’re here for!
  • Sadly, we’ve seen quite a few no-shows by celebrities who were booked to appear at Pride marches. Non-appearance by a key featured person will cover you for the expense of a headline act who fails to show up.
  • Terrorism cover is also something that we’re advising on more and more, as events are targeted by extremists.

How much will it cost me?

The amount that you pay will depend on the limit of the liability you require for each policy. A knowledgeable and experienced broker can help you work out the policies you need and will work with you to make sure you don’t pay any more than you need to. It’s important to work with a broker who is transparent about
costs, so you’re not hit with nasty surprises. At Scrutton Bland all of our policies include insurance premium tax, and we will always work with you to find the most cost-effective solution available.

If an event supplier has said they already have insurance, do we still need to take out cover for those things?

Even if your venue and suppliers have cover, it could prove costly to rely on the insurance policies of others. A claim could still be made against you as the event organiser, and without the appropriate cover you may have to pay defence and settlement costs yourself.

What are some of the common misconceptions event organisers have about insurance?

Lots of our clients say they were told in the past that they only needed public liability, or event insurance (without being told exactly what it covered). Then something unforeseen happened and they were left with a nasty claim which was expensive to settle. It’s always best to speak to an expert, we love getting to know your stories and you never know – I might well be doing your Pride March with you!

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