View Full Version : Contest Liabilty Insurance

03-31-2008, 01:16 PM
I notice that more and more of the contest applications also include a waiver that you must sign. It basically is put in place so that should a competitor, judge, or spectator becomes ill after eating meat cooked at the event or even an injury to you or your team. TO me by signing that document you are taking on the liability yourself. I would think it to be wise to carry insurance that would cover yourself. Does any specific insurance like this exist? Shouldn't judges sign a similar waiver? For those of you that organize contest's, would you object to me adding my own line o your waiver that states that i am not liable as well?

03-31-2008, 01:19 PM
Personal liability umbrella - $1M for a couple of hundred bucks. Well worth it in today's litigious society.

03-31-2008, 02:24 PM
As a practical matter, exactly how is a judge going to prove that it was YOUR food?

That doesn't mean that some spectator can't flat out lie and say they sampled your food and became ill, even though you provided no samples to the public etc...

I think the risk is very slight, but if it helps you sleep at night grab a reasonable umbrella policy as suggested.

04-01-2008, 01:28 PM
Although I'm not in your neck of the woods, I am an insurance agent in Illinois and specialize in Special Event Insurance Policies (among other things...). You can purchase a short term special event policy for 2 days that the event takes place. In Illinois you can expect to pay around $250 or so for this coverage. Although you being sued is not likely, this policy at the very least affords you legal representation/defense in the event a frivolous suit is brought against you. OR in the event you do screw up and get somebody sick, this policy will respond as well. I would not be concerned with judged food, whether the contest organizers like it or not, they cannot avoid their liability in this situation. In bad claims, where many people get sick or someone get seriously hurt, I don't really think a signed waiver is going to matter much. EVERYONE involved will be brought into a lawsuit and usually the deepest pockets (or the one(s) with the highest policy limits) and the one's with the worst defenst lawyers get hit the hardest. It is smart to cover yourself here. A personal umbrella is also an option, BUT the umbrella policy will only respond when any underlying policy limits are exhausted. So, basically, if your homeowners policy does not cover a loss, your personal umbrella most likely will not respond in this situation. Keep in mind an umbrella policy only applies once underlying limits on another policy are exhausted. For example, if you have $100,000 liability limit on your auto policy and a judgement of $500,000 is awarded in an accident where you severely hurt someone, your umbrella policy would pay the amount awarded OVER the $100,000 limit of your auto policy. $400,000 in this case or up to the umbrella policy's limit. SO, the safest way to cover yourself is purchase a special event policy, but now you've just increased your comp costs a bunch. Your current homeowners policy may or may not provide coverage in the event that something happened at a comp. I'd get a written statement from your agent indicating that coverage would be provided in this situation. ALSo, keep in mind, you must be proven NEGLIGENT to be deemed liable.

All that being said, I don't buy event policies for the comps I do and don't plan on it in the future.

sorry for the ramble, but in our business there is never an easy, short answer.