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Insurance for Royal Wedding street parties: are councils right?

April 11, 2011

According to The Daily Telegraph, David Cameron will take councils to task today for imposing “unnecessary conditions” on Royal Wedding street parties. The PM is reported to be “angry” that some councils are refusing to close streets and demanding that people take out public liability insurance.

The PM’s right that some councils can be unduly squeamish about street closures. In our work with the Big Lunch, a one day get-together for neighbours, we found that some councils did indeed impose unnecessary conditions on street closures. We’ve since encouraged councils to agree to street closures wherever possible.

But the PM’s on risky territory with his remarks about public liability insurance. We’re not lawyers here, but our understanding is that volunteers can be sued as an individual or as part of a group for damage caused to a third party. It’s only sensible, then, for people to indemnify themselves against this risk.

This needn’t be a hassle. Zurich, for instance, recently announced a product that’s specifically designed for Royal Wedding street parties. Hopefully, people will listen to their council and sign-up for a policy. If not, gung-ho partiers may end up remembering the Royal Wedding for all the wrong reasons.

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