Get Protected! Event Insurance Tips 101


1 August 2017
Posted by Jennifer Tutty and Sebastian Marcu (Studio Legal intern)

Planning an event is a mammoth task. On top of creating the concept and brand, months of hard work goes into obtaining permits, drafting comprehensive management plans and ensuring general compliance with the law and codes of practice.

Risk analysis is a vital part of the planning process so that potential hazards and the likelihood of them occurring are identified. This can be done using a “risk matrix”, as found in this Worksafe events safety guide.

Of course, things still can, and will, go wrong.

Why is public liability insurance so important?

Public liability insurance protects an event organiser against claims for personal or property damage caused by the negligence of directors, owners, employees, agents and (in some instances) sub-contractors. This generally includes the costs associated with medical emergencies, unexpected clean-up operations and any related law suits.

When purchasing a public liability insurance policy for your event, it is important that your insurer is aware of any specific risks you may have identified in the risk analysis stages of your planning. It is also vital that you keep your insurer informed changes to the event’s circumstances, such as layout, staffing and equipment. If you don’t, you will run the risk of voiding your insurance policy!

Ensure that stall holders, security personnel, food vendors all have separate public liability policies. It is good practice to require them to produce a certificate of currency prior to the event. In some circumstances, usually for an additional premium, you can get an extension on your policy to cover sub-contractors, but you must never assume that they are automatically covered.

What other types of insurances do I need?

WorkCover Insurance:

If you are an employer and you expect to pay to workers more than $7,500 a financial year in rateable remuneration, or you have any apprentices or trainees, it is your legal responsibility to maintain current workers’ compensation insurance (“WorkCover Insurance”).  WorkCover Insurance will protect you from the costs associated with any worker’s compensation claims in relation to your event.  Go to WorkSafe Victoria to register or to find out if you need to register.

Other insurances to consider:

You should also consider whether the following insurance products are right for you:

– Cancellation insurance, which will provide cover for any losses you incur if your event is unavoidably cancelled, abandoned or postponed;
– Volunteer insurance, which will cover you for personal damages incurred by volunteers whilst volunteering;
– Product liability insurance, which protects you from damage caused as a result of the failure of a product sold or supplied by your business;
– General property insurance, which will provide for the replacement or repair of equipment, whether owned by you or hired from someone else;
– Professional indemnity insurance to protect you against claims for alleged negligence or breach of duty arising from an act, error or omission in the performance of professional services as part of your event.

What’s the best way to go about obtaining insurance?

With regards to public liability insurance and other possible insurances, we recommend finding an insurance broker who specialize in events and events and obtaining advice about the types of insurance you need to get and costs involved.  You can find a comprehensive list of these types of providers by typing ‘insurances for events’ or ‘insurances for events [insert state]’ into Google, or better still seek a referral from a trusted industry friend.

Make sure you also speak to WorkCover Victoria or local state equivalent to establish whether you need WorkCover Insurance for your event.

Are your event legals up to date? Do you need specific advice on insurance for your event? Studio Legal routinely advises event organisers at all stages of planning. Contact us to see how we can help. Call us on 03 9521 2128, or email to set up a complimentary consultation.


The information in this article is of a general nature. It does not constitute formal legal advice, and should not be relied on as such. Please see the full disclaimer in our website terms. Please contact Studio Legal if you are seeking advice about a specific legal matter.