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Our local Parish Council is looking to organise a village fete next year. It is going to be held on grassland belonging to our farming business covering about 12 acres and is adjacent to one of our farm buildings. The Parish Council has said it will insure the event. Do I need to do anything as the landowner?

Even though the council may have public liability cover, as the event host you will still need to inform your farm insurers that your land is being used to hold such an event, even if you have nothing to do with the organisation of it.

Nigel Wellings
Founding director
Farmers & Mercantile

As your insurance adviser we would suggest that as landowner you are named as a joint insured on the insurance policy for the event.

We would also expect to inform your farm insurers, as it is still possible that liability could come back against you as the site owner.

For instance, if a visitor trips in a rabbit burrow and breaks his/her leg it is quite likely that if trying to make a claim their solicitors will issue proceedings against both the event organiser and the landowner.  

See also: Business Clinic – Will festival on farm affect BPS claim?

Even if ultimately a court does not hold the landowner liable, there can be considerable costs involved in defending the case against you, which will be covered by your public liability insurance.  

It is vitally important that you inform your insurers of any such events as the normal farm cover will not necessarily extend to automatically covering them.

The costs involved to extend cover will vary depending on the type of event, but should be minimal if the event organiser has their own cover and has named you on their policy.

With the number and cost of personal injury claims increasing drastically over the last few years, it is vital to ensure landowners and occupiers have the relevant insurance in place before hosting any such events on your farm.

Insurers also need to be told if you are hosting an event such as a family wedding on-farm or even providing car parking in one of your fields for somebody else’s event.

Do not be misled by the event organiser having their own public liability insurance – as the landowner or occupier on whose land the event is taking place, you still need to inform your own insurers.

The information provided in these articles does not constitute definitive professional advice and is provided for general information purposes only.

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