The Risk Control Department defines “special events” as activities that are not directly related to the day-to-day operations of governmental entities, but may occur on premises owned or controlled by the entity. However, with today’s litigious society, the “risks” associated with these activities must now be carefully examined for potential liability, both against the event sponsor and the governmental entity involved.
Special events are rated in four categories. The below definitions are not all-inclusive and serve as a guideline.
The Risk Control Department will require a special event application be completed and submitted no later than 45 days prior to the event for underwriting approval. The purpose of the application is to provide an overall view of the event and checklist of exposures that may be present.
Items that will be required in addition to and forwarded with the completed application if being sponsored and / or held on entity owned property are:
Certificates of Insurance for any services or products being provided by outside vendors (i.e. moonwalks, performers, pony rides, children’s games, carnival vendors, dunk tanks, fireworks, etc. This is not an all-inclusive list). Limits of liability required should not be less than $1,000,000 per occurrence and/or aggregate combined single limit for personal injury, bodily injury and property damage. Additionally, the entity and the entity Committee (if applicable) should be named as additional insured’s on the vendor’s policy.
1. Alcohol: If an event is allowing alcohol to be sold, the vendor/entity selling the alcohol will need to secure the proper special event liquor license with the State and provide risk control proof of liability coverage. If a group other than the entity is sponsoring the alcohol, the entity will need to be named as an additional insured on the policy (unless being held on private property). Policy limit should be a minimum of $1,000,00.00. For special events written through the Fair Program the minimum limit of liability is $500,000.00. (special event application requires site plan for beer tent, in addition to regular site plan.)
2. Fireworks: An application along with a site plan must be submitted to be approved for coverage. Risk Control will continue to require a completed site plan, and certificates of insurance from vendor setting off the fireworks for coverage being placed through the Par-Plan Program. Minimum limit of liability is $1,000,000.00. Remember if a pyrotechnic is not setting off the fireworks, coverage will not be offered through the Par-Plan Program.An application must be submitted for review just as above to place coverage through special risks.
If the entity elects to accept the pyrotechnics insurance, an application is still required and must indicate that choice accompanied along with a letter stating denial of Par-Plan coverage.
If the entity is just issuing a permit to another entity or private individual-by law it is still their responsibility to receive a site plan for review by their Fire Chief.
3. Parade / Float entries: The entity may want to review the current policy of sponsoring the parade and encourage an outside organization to sponsor the parade and the entity’s only involvement would be to grant permission to hold the parades.
In the event, the entity wishes to pursue sponsorship, participants wishing to be part of the parade and float entries must be required to complete and sign a registration form containing a hold harmless clause indemnifying the entity and from any and all claims.
All drivers must hold a valid driver’s license, if driving a motor vehicle or float in the parade. Additionally, proof of insurance for private vehicles (as required by law) is required from participants. This may be accomplished by requesting a copy of the participant’s declaration page showing these (3) areas of concern:
Current dates of coverage
Limits of Liability
Driver’s personal vehicle listed on the policy
4. Emergency Vehicles: Non-emergency personnel (even family members) shall not be allowed to ride on or in emergency vehicles under any circumstance. Should any mishaps occur the entity and department could be held liable. One of the exceptions to the governmental immunity protection afforded to municipal entities is from the negligent operation of municipal owned vehicles. Consequently, should someone other than an employee be injured, the municipality could possibly be exposed to a lawsuit in which the doctrine of common law would apply and possibly forfeit governmental immunity.
All of the above recommendations/requirements will help you in managing your risk exposures during your special event. Upon receipt of your application and our risk control review, we may then further assist you in making your event a pleasure for all.