Insurers support Royal Wedding festivities

Royal Wedding fever has already gripped the nation, with millions making plans for how they will watch the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton on April 29th.

For those that can’t be on the streets of London to get a glimpse, it is estimated that as many as two million people will hold their own street parties to celebrate; a British tradition that dates back almost 100 years.

Though the invitations, decorations, commemorative souvenirs, food and fun will occupy the thoughts of street party organisers, finding insurance cover can be yet another to-do before the festivities can get underway.  That’s where the Lloyd’s market comes in.

“If you want to run a street party in the UK, apart from a few exceptions, most councils and local authorities will require you to have five to ten million pounds worth of public liability insurance to be able to close the road,” said Jon Wilkinson, Chief Operating Officer at WorldWide Special Risks, a Lloyd’s coverholder.  “When you are just running a small street party, that can be quite expensive. In advance of the Royal Wedding, we created a special street party policy.  It’s a low value, niche product.”
The company has already seen an explosion in interest since the announcement of the big day.

Wedding fever
“We’ve seen a huge amount of interest since people have begun planning their street parties for the Royal Wedding.  As we get closer to the event, we expect to continue to see demand rise,” said Wilkinson.

The risks at most street parties are usually fairly low, given the events are organised by residents and activities revolve around socialising and eating.  Most councils do not require formal risk assessments to be submitted, but the Government issues guidelines about how to plan a street party and organisers are encouraged to think about possible risks as part of the planning process for their events.

The street party non-profit organisation, Streets Alive, suggests on its website that organisers should think about “ways of minimising any risks from accident, burns on a BBQ, damage, electricity, rain, and breakages.”  It also suggests that residents should agree in advance that everyone should take responsibility for themselves and watch out for each other, especially children.

It  seems insurers are playing their part in helping people plan a memorable day for the Royal Wedding.  Still, even for a royal bride and groom, the one thing insurers still can’t protect against is the weather. For that, the nation will just need to keep its fingers crossed.

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