Bluefin urges Harrogate businesses not to be caught out during the Tour de France

28 March 2014

Insurance broker Bluefin is urging Harrogate businesses to make sure they are fully prepared for this year’s Tour de France, with the first stage due to end with a sprint into the town in July.

The event has already attracted huge interest, with all hotel and guest houses booked 12 months in advance and some estimates suggesting 200,000 people will visit Harrogate. Bluefin’s concerns relate to the relaxation of planning regulations to allow temporary car parks and ‘pop up’ camp sites to accommodate the influx of visitors. However, while planning regulations have been relaxed, organisers’ duty of care to others has not.

Businesses, schools and other enterprises planning to make land available to cater for these visitors run the risk of claims and even fines being brought if their insurance does not include this activity. Bluefin is advising its clients and other businesses considering undertaking such activities during this period that they should inform their broker or insurer and check that the business description held by their insurer includes the activity they wish to undertake.

If a temporary campsite or car park is set up and a third party is injured due to the organiser’s negligence they may face a claim for damages. Similarly if attendants are employed, whether they are paid or not, and they are injured due to the organiser’s negligence they can face a claim for damages.

To operate car parks or campsites legally, Public and Employers Liability insurance is required. In the event of a claim, even if the organiser considers it to be spurious, they will still need to fund their defence. The Health & Safety Executive can also levy fines of up to £2,500 per day against employers lacking suitable Employers Liability insurance.

Mike Shaw (pictured), Associate Director at Bluefin and member of the Management Group of the Harrogate Chamber of Trade & Commerce said: The eyes of the world will be on Harrogate in July and the event will undoubtedly be a proud moment for our town. To ensure the maximum safe enjoyment of the event, and that the business opportunities it presents are realised without issue, it is vitally important that those planning to open up their premises to provide parking or camping facilities be mindful of their duty of care to others. They should also check that their existing insurances will provide adequate cover for these purposes and ask their insurer to extend it if not. If an insurer will not accept the temporary change they should check with their insurance advisor as it may be possible to purchase stand alone cover for these activities.

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