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How to get insurance for your Big Lunch or project

If you need insurance for your event, take a look at the following guidance to help you get started.

Even if insurance isn’t required by your local council, you might like to think about getting cover.  Although it’s unlikely that something will go wrong, it will be easier to have fun if you know you’re covered.


Public liability insurance

Public liability insurance covers against accidental injuries to third parties (other people) and damage to property.

The type of risks that a policy may cover will vary depending on the insurer and the policy you take out.

As every Big Lunch or project is different, it’s definitely worth checking your quote and policy to make sure it covers everything you need it to before you sign.

Examples of risks that can be covered:

  • your volunteers
  • other people’s property
  • other people
  • legal or other costs arising from any of the above

It doesn’t usually cover:

  • any employees you have if you run a community organisation (or any other kind of organisation). This is often covered by employers’ liability insurance.
  • accidental injury which isn’t due to negligence on the part of your organisation.

What it covers can vary depending on whether you are a group of individuals or a group operating as a legally recognised organisation (that could be a CIC, limited company, or a charity). Contact a specialist insurance company for further information.

If you’re unsure whether you need insurance or not, it can be useful to carry out a simple risk assessment, which will help you identify and assess the risks involved at your event.

Costs of public liability insurance for street parties is likely to vary, depending on the activity covered, the number of people involved and other factors.


Employers’ liability insurance

If your community group has legal status — in other words, it is a limited company, CIC (community interest company), charity, or other form of legally recognised entity, with employees (not just volunteers) then you may need employers’ liability insurance as well.


Hired in equipment insurance

If you plan on hiring equipment for your Big Lunch such as chairs, pop-up gazebos or sound equipment, hire companies will require proof of insurance. You can purchase hired in insurance for this.


Will we need other licences?

One-off events like street parties aren’t usually considered food businesses, so there are no forms to fill in and you don’t need a licence.  If you want to hold a BBQ or cook outside, set it up in a safe place where one person can be in charge.

If you are planning to sell alcohol at your event you may need a Temporary Events Notice, ask your council for advice on this.

You do not need a music licence at a community event unless amplified music is one of the main purposes and it has been promoted in this way.

See all Big Lunch resources