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Event Coverage Liability for Car Show Incidents?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jim1932, Oct 6, 2023.

  1. Geez. . . What are the odds of that ever happening ? ? ? o_O
    Rawrench and Beanscoot like this.
  2. What I have learned firsthand:

    If the venue comes under local or state
    jurisdiction like a fairground or public
    use facility - be prepared to have your
    event postponed or cancelled if there
    is a public health emergency or if
    there is a weather related emergency.

    Both public and private venues should
    offer you daily/event blanket liability
    general coverage for your needs at
    a reasonable rate.

    Any vehicle attending should have
    proof of liability/comprehensive coverage.

    Vendors should sign a release of liability
    agreement holding you not responsible
    for any claims.

    The public or attendees should be
    advised of your liability policy
    expressly at entrance and exit points.

    The purchase of a ticket to enter should
    constitute an express release of any
    liability on your part.

    5window and ClayMart like this.
  3. Not sure exactly how to take your comment Sir, but I can guaran-damn-tee you that if one of our group attending LLOYD-FEST had gotten out of hand because of alcohol (or anything else for that matter) & caused a problem for the track, its racing participants or the owner himself...He would have been removed by @Lloyd's paint & glass , Myself and or several others!

    As Lloyd commented about Kentucky, the same thing applies here in Ohio...Signing a waiver or buying a ticket does NOT remove the venue of any liability, but come on folks be men & accept responsibility for your own actions instead of always looking to sue somebody!

    Back to the O.P's original question from someone who was actually going to do it.....I guess it comes down to how comfortable you are with what you have to deal with. I was in the process of putting together a car show to benefit 3 of my local animal shelters here at my place a decade ago. I figured I could fit 125-150 cars here easily, but because of my transporting schedule I really needed the help & support of my wife at the time. The marriage went south right around that time & I had to put the cabash on the whole thing. I had looked into some sort of liability insurance for that day & was willing to pay for that insurance, but realistically if someone attending an animal charity car show where 100% of the proceeds went to the shelters tried to sue me because they tripped over their own feet......I doubt it would end well for them given the support the great folks in this hobby have for the "Furry Kids" out there!

    God Bless
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2023
  4. Good on ya, and Lloyd as well! There's times when it doesn't pay to be overly tolerant of some of these clowns. :mad: (This isn't directed at any H.A.M.B. member, in attendance or not. But I think we've all seen a few of these knuckleheads at a show or cruise-in somewhere.)
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2023
    Bill's Auto Works and alanp561 like this.
  5. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 3,656

    from NKy

    When I was a member of a club , I was under the understanding : you charge entrants few you have insurance , free no fees , car owner insurance is responsible for accident or any damage . But I would research deep into it .
  6. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 4,752


    Well Jim, I guess you would have had to be at this particular event to see firsthand the consideration that everyone who attended had for the venue and each other. Since you weren't there, and you're throwing out the idea of rules and regulations for a group of responsible adults, I disagree with you. This was not an event that was sponsored by an organization, it was a gathering of like-minded people, many meeting for the first time and enjoying each other's company. If you had a barbecue in your backyard for your friends and someone got damaged on your property, would your friends sue you for that? If so, maybe you should find a better group of friends. I find it more and more difficult to go somewhere and enjoy myself because of the fear that I'm going to run into some control freak policing the event. God forbid I would inadvertently say or do something that is going to offend that person. That being said, I and everyone else who attended Lloydfest had an excellent time, and we did it without any problems. I'm only sorry that more of this group weren't able to attend. Rant over.
  7. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 34,268


    Having liability insurance for any event you put on comes under the heading of CYA. It isn't like it was 50 years ago when people took responsibility for for their actions and if they fell and got hurt a rod trot they just took care of it. We have a local "big" event where there are always cars moving on the paved streets of the grounds with a crap ton of spectators wandering around with many of them not paying the least bit of attention to what is going around them and often walking right in front of a car that is moving. Those same spectators also seem to have the kids who like to touch everything including hot headers. Those are also the ones who will expect who ever is putting on the event to pay for any medical bills and then some.

    The other issue we have locally although it didn't seem as obvious this year is unlicensed no insurance rat rods that are trailered to the shows. Most couldn't pass any sort of safety inspection and are pretty sketchy.

    I have no issue with having to provide proof of insurance at an event and would like to see more events require outside of true race cars that are pushed into place and not driven during the event and are on display only.
  8. Fordors
    Joined: Sep 22, 2016
    Posts: 5,504


    Our club, long since disbanded, filed incorporation papers with the Illinois SOS in the late ‘70’s. Fifty years ago Motor Trend magazine had a columnist that was a lawyer and an antique car enthusiast. Based on a column he wrote we filed the paperwork as one of the benefits was to shield the club members from liability. At the same time we decided that we would get an insurance policy for our yearly rod run. After all these years I don’t remember the exact costs but it was very reasonable.
    Prior to that we had put on events serving a chicken (for example) dinner, soft drinks and beer. After reading that article we wised up and never served beer again.
    I haven’t done the club thing in decades but if I was in one I’d want to make sure there was at least insurance at any event with outsiders the club hosted. Before anyone gets their hackles up I’m referring to a gathering of people but I do understand that Lloyd’s event was a gathering of family. To me the HAMB has that stature.
    lurker mick and alanp561 like this.
  9. The OP is seeking advice about helping
    to organize a car show - not host folks
    on private property that he owns.

    Apples and Oranges ….

    We live in a litigious culture.
    Liability insurance is a requirement
    if you rent space at a venue.
    It is a cost of doing business.
    Wishful Thinking doesn’t change Reality.

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2023
    lurker mick and 05snopro440 like this.
  10. 05snopro440
    Joined: Mar 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,686


    Right you are. We had to get liability insurance in order to rent a small local hall for our wedding.
    Paul B, ekimneirbo and trulyvintage like this.
  11. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 4,245


    I remember starting a car club and applying for a 501C so we could buy insurance for a car show at a venue. I don't remember all the details, but I was a Charter member back then. As I think back, I may have been involved with that for all 3 of the car clubs I belonged to over the years, the 1st one back around 1980.

    The cost of the insurance for a car club was way less expensive then the cost of the same coverage a group of individuals could buy the insurance for, and it was nearly the same cost for one event as it was for the full year coverage with unlimited events.

    As bad as it sucks, the deadbeat that is looking to score a big win for an "injury" has no concerns about anything other then himself. If he can get a jury trial, most juries are pretty good at hand out other peoples money for pain and suffering. Putting on any event without event liability insurance is pretty risky these days, and most venues require it.
    jimmy six, 51504bat and trulyvintage like this.
  12. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 6,251


    This is a common trope and unfortunately one that the public has been conditioned to have. It's not to say that there aren't many litigious people like this, there is certainly an element of truth to it. But the fact is that it is not nearly as widespread as you think, and there are just as many, if not more, legitimately injured people who are unable to recover, enough or at all, for injuries that they sustained through the negligence of others. That knife cuts both ways.

    We're a litigious society because we're a sophisticated society. The civil justice system exists because it's illegal for us to go around physically kicking the shit out of each other to resolve disputes. Imagine a society where you could do whatever you want with no fear of accountability. It wouldn't take long for that fabric to break down.

    And contrary to what you may think, juries are actually pretty well tuned to weed out bullshit. It's not as easy as you may think for a jury to just hand out money. I promise you, it doesn't work that way.
  13. Wouldn't it be wonderful if more people could make a point this clearly in just a few sentences as you've done here? Read the short paragraph above two or maybe three times and you're likely to have an "Ah-ha!" moment.
    57JoeFoMoPar likes this.
  14. I have a friend in the Long Beach, California
    area who grew a family business of two
    McDonald’s to five - then sold all five
    to the same family who were also
    McDonald’s operators.

    Part of his decision was increasing lawsuits.
    From homeless people.
    From careless customers.

    After he sold - he had to attend a lawsuit
    brought by an unemployed man in the film
    industry who slipped and fell by a trash
    container by the door inside the restaurant
    where you drop off your tray.

    The trash can liner was leaking.
    There was liquid on the floor.
    The McDonald’s employee tasked
    with maintaining that area didn’t
    do her job - in fact shortly after
    the incident she was terminated.

    My friend’s insurance company
    offered 4 million - it was declined.

    One week jury trial that my friend
    sat thru every day came back with
    12 million which the insurance
    company did not plan on appealing.

    No permanent disability for
    the slip & fall guy - no excessive
    medical bills.

    One of the claimant’s witnesses
    was the lady tasked with keeping
    the area clean - she had recently
    filed a wrongful termination
    action against McDonald’s
    but that was not allowed to be introduced.

    We Live In A Litigious Society
    which means frivolous lawsuits
    sometimes result in absurdly
    non-sensical judgements.

    If you are going to be in a position
    of hosting an event open to the
    public - or even a private event
    like a wedding - you are risking
    potentially everything you own
    and will earn in the future if
    you don’t secure liability insurance.

    lurker mick and jimmy six like this.
  15. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 4,245


    I have a full understanding on how the system currently functions and how it was designed to work. To assume I have no understanding of the system and its function is incorrect. The topic is about buying liability insurance for events. I pointed out one very good reason to buy event liability insurance, others have already pointed out other reasons, I felt no need to repeat those well founded reasons. Tell me where the statement you choose to highlight is untrue, and hoe your response is related to the topic.

    In some cases, the system works great, in some cases, it doesn't work at all (like cases where someone had been injured by negligence and can not recover anything), but in more and more cases, it works like I've stated.

    Often times, who you are, who you represent, or where you are located can determine your chances on if the system works for you or not. The system is more broken now then it ever has been. That is a discussion that should not be held here.

    To get back on topic: Buy the event liability insurance. If you can buy it as a group, its probably cheaper. If you think you may have more then one event a year, it may be more cost effective to buy the event insurance for the full year instead of just a one time event.
    Fordors, lurker mick and trulyvintage like this.
  16. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 9,721

    from Nebraska
    1. Central Nebraska H.A.M.B.

    I am a member of a club that used to put on a very large run on labor day weekend. For many years we furnished unlimited adult beverages for the Saturday night party, we were carefree and never worried about the liability, We also put on a winter car show for the last 50 years for which we didn't have liability insurance for about the first 30 which included a Sat night party with free adult beverages. When we finally became a LLC our lawyer advised us to start getting a liability policy. For the last 20 years we have had a 3 day 1 million liability policy for the show. It cost us about $300. We quit doing the run many years ago, quit the Saturday night car show party 10 years ago and this year was our 50th indoor show and the last.
    jimmy six and trulyvintage like this.
  17. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 6,251


    I highlighted your response because it insinuates that some money-hungry fraudster could take a dive at the event in the hope of a big payday, and that that is typical of Plaintiffs in lawsuits. And based on my experience (as a lawyer who has represented both Plaintiffs and Defendants in these actions over the course of my career), that's incorrect. My response was simply that your view from the cheap seats is largely erroneous, and that the much higher likelihood is that someone would get legitimately hurt where the club would want an insurance policy to cover them.

    The timing of this topic is especially pertinent given that there was a recent incident at one of our better local cruise nights. A gentleman was walking through the parking lot to spectate and (based on news reports) was struck by a vehicle going to a fast food drive-thru adjacent to the car show. The man fell after being hit, hit his head, and passed away 5 days later. It will be interesting to see how things play out there. It's obviously a terribly sad situation, but it's also a scenario where I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of a lawsuit under any circumstances. But these things happen unfortunately. It's best to be protected.
    trulyvintage likes this.
  18. Airborne34
    Joined: Dec 4, 2007
    Posts: 638

    from Texas

    Our “Fabulous Fords” show was cancelled after more than 15 years. It was hosted by a local Ford Dealer and sponsored by dozens of local restaurants and businesses. Was a great time.

    Few clowns ruined it. There were accusations of vehicle damage, assaults, exhibitions of speed etc. There was an ensuing lawsuit that was eventually settled and details sealed.

    We received some post settlement feedback. Apparently The club and dealership were accused of not ensuring participants were insured and properly registered. They were also accused of not providing security and also fostering an environment that encouraged exhibition of speed.

    The show has moved to a different venue now and is much more structured.

    Just a personal experience FWIW.
    trulyvintage likes this.
  19. 05snopro440
    Joined: Mar 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,686


    Yeah, from the expert side (engineering), we are often contracted to determine whether an injury, accident, or event could have occurred as stated. Often by plaintiff counsel, as they don't want to look like a fool in court either.

    I'm not sure about other countries, but in my experience it's not so simple just to sue and get a big payout.

    Yes, organizers of any event need to protect themselves.
    trulyvintage likes this.
  20. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,959


    I remember the days when racing at tracks in Connecticut when promoters used to have us sign a wavier to release them from any liability.

    I told the promoter this is a joke for us to sign this because in Connecticut it was illegal to wave liability on any document.

    The promoter looked at me and said you are right but most people signing don't understand that!

    trulyvintage likes this.
  21. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 7,348

    Member Emeritus

    The best person to ask is your insurance agent.
    trulyvintage likes this.
  22. Just to clarify. We have an event that we run twice a year on a local farmers land. We have had two incidents with people starting burnouts on the gravel driveway before the pavement and throwing rocks. One hit a person, one hit a car. Tchnically the highway owns 10 feet on either side so they were off the property. As a followup, we have gotten rates for event coverage per event, and are asking for a price on an annual to cover all events.

    Thnks for the responses.
    RodStRace likes this.
  23. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 9,566


    Good idea for insurance and a crap result because they were "off the property". You might want to check your state-often it's X number of rods (16.5') from the center-line of the road which isn't always the center line. If it was close and someone was suing you, I'd hire a surveyor.
    Fordors likes this.
  24. insurance insurance, insurance,...and hope you never need it!
  25. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 4,426


    Thanks for the follow up jimi. It's nice to have a result in the post for those who replied and for those who will come across this post later.
  26. I'm the President of the Tennessee chapter of the Pharoahs Car Club and a Pharoahs World Wide Vice President. We have a 3 million dollar liability policy through Hagerty. Covers unlimited number of shows per year and costs us $350.
    AccurateMike and Rawrench like this.
  27. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,230

    from Colorado

    I was co-founder of the Telluride Rotary Club 4X4 Tour and we were able to tap into the national Rotary Club insurance program. When I was involved with a local Durango car club putting on shows on Main Street, we had access to the town's liability policy. However, that's a doubled edged sword. It was real easy to ban shows in the town of Durango by denying access to the town's cheap insurance. Shows are now 20 miles away in Ignacio.
    Rawrench likes this.
  28. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 9,566


    Why didn't you just skip the town's insurance and get your own?
  29. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,230

    from Colorado

    A couple of reasons; any policy purchased for the event was subject to the town's approval and the difference between the cost of using the town's policy and a stand alone policy was prohibitive. To put it bluntly, the town used insurance as a lever to say yea or nay to an event.
  30. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 9,566


    Thanks for the explanation.

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