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Show, Festival, Recital, Parade, Carnival, Concert, or Fair Insurance

Protect your high-participation event now.

Concert Crowd

When there are more vendors and participants to manage and coordinate for your event, there are typically more opportunities for things to go wrong. Add to this a large number of spectators and attendees, and it doesn’t take much imagination to see the possible issues. Being a successful organizer for these types of events means adhering to all of the insurance requirements and a lot of due diligence regarding regulations and risk management details. Failure to adhere to even some checklist items could result in incidents and claims.

There’s nothing like attending a fair or similar event on a bright, sunny, summer day. Help keep it a safe and happy experience for all of your attendees with proper insurance protection and sound risk management practices. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the things show, festival, recital, parade, carnival, concert, and fair insurance covers?

  • Bodily injury including sickness and slip and falls.
  • Property damage to third parties.
  • Liquor liability.
  • Coverage can also extend to the use of fireworks or inflatables. Note that compliance with underwriter guidelines is required.
  • Medical payments.
  • Incidental medical malpractice.
  • Vendor extension available.
  • Use of reasonable force to protect people or property.
  • Products and completed operations.
  • Personal injury and advertising.
  • Tenants legal liability.
  • Non-owned automobile liability.
  • Firefighting expense liability.
  • Legal liability for damage to hired automobiles.

What are some best practices for my show, festival, recital, parade, carnival, concert, and fair event?

  • Plan early and often.
  • Create an event checklist.
  • Obtain certificates of insurance from all vendors, businesses, or participating groups to ensure they have liability insurance. Smaller, low-risk “mom and pop” shops can be added under the event policy, if required. Advise your insurer in either instance. 
  • Hire professionals as required (e.g. police, security, and emergency staff). Professional security helps with crowd management and is favourable to insurers as it transfers risk and increases security for the event.
  • Document, explain, and do walkthroughs.
  • If the event is going to include options such as bouncy castles/buskers/pony rides, etc., it is important to transfer the risk the company providing the activity. Obtain a liability certificate in the amount of $5,000,000 or more adding you as additional insured — ensuring that the certificate also includes participant liability. If this is not possible reach out to your broker to obtain a full list of safety measures. Also, have the company run the entire activity including setup, takedown, and operation. 
  • If alcohol is being served:
    • Be aware of guest ages and ensure only appropriate guests are served. 
    • Ensure all third party servers have appropriate certifications.
    • Obtain appropriate permitting (e.g. one-day liquor licensing) and follow the pursuant rules and regulations. 
    • Ticket and only allow liquor purchase for a short window of time.
    • Have and document safe ride options for patrons to get home. 
    • Consider professional security as they have experience in managing the risk of events. If you cannot obtain professional security, we suggest using volunteer security that stay sober and can be responsible for contacting the authorities, if required.
  • Regarding buskers, ensure the activity they are performing at your event is listed on the certificate of insurance. As buskers may be performing dangerous acts, you need to ensure that they are carrying proper insurance. 
  • At large events, it is important to have multiple people doing site walks throughout the event. A major issue event organizers forget about is emptying garbage receptacles or ensuring washroom facilities remain safe and clean. Proper attention to these two issues can help reduce the risk of slip and falls or patrons becoming ill at the event. 
  • If fireworks are to be used, ensure you have advised your insurer and obtained permits. Implement appropriate safety measures including keeping all spectators a safe distance away. Always have a pyrotechnics company handle the activity.   
  • In addition to documenting the safety measures, utilizing signage is a great way to let people know of when hazards have been identified. Signage should also be used in the interim while hazards are being addressed. 
  • Larger events that are either primarily outside or with outdoor components need to take weather-related risks to take into account. What can also be purchased is an event cancellation policy that can bring the event organizer back to whole in the case where the event must be cancelled or delayed due to weather, civil commotion, terrorism, etc. 
  • Take the weather into account for any activity:
    • If it is cold or snowing, then a slipping hazard becomes more likely. 
    • If it is hot, then it is important to provide access to enough drinking water for all guests. 
    • For forecasts including rain or thunder, it is important to have an alternative location to house guests to keep them safe. 
  • The larger the crowd, the greater the risk as overcrowding can:
    • Makes it difficult to monitor liquor intake.
    • Stretch facilities and resources thin. 
    • Compromise exits in case evacuation is necessary. 
    • Cause difficulties in navigating to or protecting an injured patron. 
  • If you're expecting a large crowd, consider an Emergency Medical Services (EMS)/first aid station, a lost and found, a designated meeting point, and increased security.
  • Do a walkthrough to note any possible hazards such as loose wires or tripping hazards and document them or have the location correct them. 
  • Document any issues that occur for future reference in case of a claim.

What else should I know about show, festival, recital, parade, carnival, concert, and fair event insurance?

  • Event cancellation insurance is a different coverage from liability insurance for events and must be purchased separately, if desired.
  • Rates for liability insurance for events don’t vary by location across Canada, so whether your event is in Ontario, BC, or Alberta your cost will be the same.
  • Show, festival, recital, parade, carnival, concert, and fair event insurance is available across Canada including the provinces of BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. Please note that insurance documentation is currently only available in English for Quebec clients.
  • Concert insurance is certainly a popular coverage requested in this family of events. However, other popular coverages include:
    • Show insurance
    • Festival insurance
    • Recital insurance
    • Parade insurance
    • Summer/winter carnival insurance
    • Fair insurance
    • Agricultural show insurance
    • Street party insurance
    • Indoor/outdoor theatrical performance insurance
    • Dog/cat show insurance

Who is Marsh and why should I buy my liability insurance for events through them?

  • Marsh is the world’s leading insurance broker and risk advisor. With colleagues operating in more than 130 countries, Marsh serves commercial and individual clients with data driven risk solutions and advisory services. Marsh Canada Limited has more than 1,000 employees and offices in 13 cities across Canada.
  • Marsh helped 490 customers manage and protect community and family events in 2019. Join the many Canadian event organizers already benefiting from the ease of purchase and broad coverages available under the Marsh Event Liability Insurance Program.

Need to know more about show, festival, recital, parade, carnival, concert, and fair event insurance?

Group of People

Please contact your Marsh Canada licensed insurance broker directly at:

1 888 755 5247 | Email: events.service@marsh.com

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Your event liability insurance coverages will be placed with a program administered by Marsh Canada Limited. Marsh Canada has engaged in a competitive marketing process to offer a competitive product. We have negotiated this Program on a group basis with the insurer but we have not acted as a broker for any individual participant. This Program may be for a term of several years and may not be negotiated annually.

Information on this website represents a synopsis of coverage and is provided as a reference only. The actual policy, including endorsements determines coverage. It contains exclusions, limitations and other provisions not referenced (or only briefly summarized) here and the policy should be consulted for full coverage terms, conditions and requirements. Deductibles may apply.  For exact terms, definitions, limitations, and exclusions, please speak with your licensed Marsh Canada Limited insurance broker, or refer to the policy wording.

This web page is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. The information contained herein is based on sources we believe reliable, but we make no representation or warranty as to its accuracy. Marsh shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any modelling, analytics, or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty, and the Marsh Analysis could be materially affected if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information, or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change. Marsh makes no representation or warranty concerning the application of policy wordings or the financial condition or solvency of insurers or re-insurers. Marsh makes no assurances regarding the availability, cost, or terms of insurance coverage.