I’ve been asked by Lincoln County Council to be in the Lincoln Waterfront Festival this coming July. They want me to generally ride around and look impressive (eek!).
A requirement of this is needing public liability insurance. While I would rather eat cold baked beans than describe myself as a public liability it’s probably a good idea for general riding around anyway.
Where’s the best place in the UK for said insurance? How much is it normally?
I’m going to try and brush up a few freestyle skills before then, as I’m guessing there won’t be much scope for trials or muni there, unless I start riding over piles of people. I am also going to try to resist the slowly growing urge to add a giraffe to the stable…
can’t help u with the insurance part of it
find a broker or find out who the council normally uses for public liability
there should be some trialsy areas around for some of your gappity-jumppity type stuff
and don’t resist the raffie urge
especially for a gig like this, the raffie will prove itself as far as crowd appeal goes in no time flat
if the gig pays enough, u may even walk away with a ‘free’ raffie and some pocket money
there is nothing, NOTHING, quite as sweet as having somebody pay u enough for doing what u dig, enabling u to get a new toy
that’s for juggling, but I’d suspect they’d do unicycling too. If you’re doing any audience participation tricks (jumping over people etc.) tell the insurers that.
You should learn to juggle on the unicycle, that seems to impress people much more than difficult tricks and is really easy to learn. As far as I can tell from riding down the park, the most impressive tricks I can do are juggling 3 balls on a uni, hopping up kerbs (make it look like you’re doing a really big jump), hop spins, riding in circles, riding backwards etc. Doing one footing etc. doesn’t look impressive to someone who doesn’t know how hard it is.
There’s sure to be a bench or two, you should take your trials uni and comandeer a bench to play on.
Giraffes may be okay for performing, but they’re dull as hell just to play on.
Whilst I can’t give you much info for juggling/unicycling, I used to belong to a military re-enactment group. We would do mock “battles”, lots of pyrotechnics, loud bangs and lots of smoke sort of thing.
We also had to have such an insurance.
I have lived in Germany for quite a while now, so I have lost touch with the costs, but I advise you to tell the insurance company everything that you will be doing there, e.g:
Do you do it professionally (i.e. do you earn money doing it, this increases the premium)
Do you use dangerous equipment? (like knifes, fire etc), this also increases the premium
How many of you are there?
Are you in an enclosure (or, how far away is the nearest spectator/potential victim)
(Already posted, but) How (physically) involved will the public be?
> I’m going to try and brush up a few freestyle skills before then, as I’m
> guessing there won’t be much scope for trials or muni there, unless I
> start riding over piles of people. I am also going to try to resist the
> slowly growing urge to add a giraffe to the stable…
The best carnival riding I’ve done is on a giraffe. Just put on
a smart shirt and do ‘walkabout’, wave to kids and stuff like that.
It’s slightly dull for you if you’re into more exciting stuff, but it’s
nice to look over the whole festival as you ride, and I think the punters
prefer it to someone doing trials/muni etc. in a scabby T-shirt. It’s
worth checking the terrain from the organisers first, if it’s all on
grass, then think about the muni instead?
Also note, you’ll need to learn to freemount unless they provide
Funnily enough, I was looking at giraffe prices just 5 minutes ago for
exactly the purpose of doing carnivals.
I did a show (on a stage) in Troon, Scotland, on Saturday (3/05/03). This consisted of Diabolo, Unicycle (Freestyle on Nimbus II) and 6ft Giraffe.
The show went really well. I did not have insurance, and also I did not have insurance for another show, which I did in March.
We (as Stockton Unicycle and Juggling Club) have done one parade, and one bike festival. We did not have insurance for either of those.
I have heard of people (Phil) whom need insurance for perform, but it is not always needed (like in my case - I’m a 15 year old lad, and nothing was said about insurance). I don’t know what I would have done if I had broken something and was not covered.
Anyways… Hope it goes well Phil, and you get insured!! Speak to you soon
The area is (as far as I can recall, anyway) a paved area next to a marina type watery area. Which means the muni is pretty much out of the question. I was wondering whether it has a wall along the edge; that would have riding potential…
I can juggle enough to do it while cycling forwards; I can’t do it while idling. Unless I’m on the giraffe, when all of a sudden I can. Hmmm…
Thanks for the links… I shall have a running-up-phonebill session tomorrow!
As it happens Joe you did have insurance for the club events. Stockton Club
has insurance that covers it’s member is there is one of the leaders there
One the best and cheapest insurances is through Equity. It is worth talking
to them about joining. Insurance for acts is becoming more and more
difficult to get. You should aim not to pay over £100 for it though. There
is a large FAQ section in Jugglingdb.com if I remember rightly about this
> I did a show (on a stage) in Troon, Scotland, on Saturday (3/05/03).
> This consisted of Diabolo, Unicycle (Freestyle on Nimbus II) and 6ft
> The show went really well. I did not have insurance, and also I did not
> have insurance for another show, which I did in March.
> We (as Stockton Unicycle and Juggling Club) have done one parade, and
> one bike festival. We did not have insurance for either of those.
> I have heard of people (Phil) whom need insurance for perform, but it is
> not always needed (like in my case - I’m a 15 year old lad, and nothing
> was said about insurance). I don’t know what I would have done if I had
> broken something and was not covered.
> Anyways… Hope it goes well Phil, and you get insured!! Speak to you
> joe - Real men only need one wheel!
> joe’s Profile: http://www.unicyclist.com/profile/957
> View this thread: http://www.unicyclist.com/thread/24996
Please note: There is a huge difference between juggling and unicycling, when it comes to insurance companies. If your policy does not say unicycle in it, you are not covered for unicycling.
The link above, as well as the one provided by Raphael Lasar, are both full of good general advice, but I don’t think either one mentioned unicycles or unicycling anywhere. Beware.
Unicycling is like voodoo to insurance companies. They don’t know what it is, therefore there is a tendency for them to say “Cha-ching!” The Unicycling Society of America, happily insured for many years through various companies for low fees, recently found out that its latest policy didn’t cover sports competitions in any way. It was called a “convention” and everybody assumed everybody else understood what that meant. The new insurance policy is likely to be 10-20 times the price of what we had before. This is why membership prices will have to go up somewhat, and the four-year memberships are no longer being offered. Hopefully we’ll have those back once we’ve stabilized on our costs.
Sadly, it sound like the UK is becoming more and more like the USA when it comes to people suing each other and lawyers chasing ambulances. I pity you. But this is just another aspect of the environment that we unicyclists must overcome to do what we do. If we can handle gravity, we can handle this (though gravity’s a lot cheaper).
As has been mentioned in the above links, make sure your policy, wherever you get it, mentions all the activities you will be doing when performing. Ask questions like “How high a unicycle will be covered?” This will force a concrete answer so you know what your limits are.
For what we used to call “walkaround” performing (I used to call it ridearound), being visual is key. Your sponsors have hired you to add “atmosphere” to the event or area where you’ll be performing. So large, visual things will leave the best impression. Big, bright costuming, tall unicycle, big wheel, large juggling props, etc. That is the general requirement, usually.
You can add to that by being a focus point. Ask the organizers if there are any particular spots they’d like you to be. Depending on your material, you can do little mini-shows in those areas. Sometimes parents are happy if they can wander around for a bit while their kids are riveted on you. But since you’ve been hired for “strolling” rather than a show, keep the mini-shows to under 10 minutes or so, so the people keep circulating. You can spread them out over time.
Most importantly, have fun! But don’t find yourself practicing in front of a paying audience. They want to see what you can already do. And it doesn’t need to be the hard stuff, either. Jumping rope on a unicycle, if you can do it, is one of those killer tricks. Like the kickup, it’s not that hard to learn, but the people think it’s harder than cold fusion. Also, picking up juggling props while riding the unicycle is a good one too. If you can manage it from the giraffe, that’s really good
I have been an insurance claims investigator/assessor for 21 years, and I deal with public liability claims regularly. As long as no one abuses the privilege (or me!) I will answer occasional questions on the subject. I do not sell insurance or other financial services.
If you are not being paid, then your normal household contents insurance should automatically cover you for personal liability. If your dog runs out in the road, if your milkman trips on a loose slab on your path, if a visitor to your home trips over a loose rug, or if you run someone over on your bicycle or unicycle, your liability will be covered.
Check your policy under a section which will probably be called ‘Family and Occupiers’ Liability’ or something similar. If you’re not sure, scan the policy and send it to Mikefule (at) aol.com as an attachment in a standard format. I will check it for you.
If you are being paid to perform, then there will probably be some relevant exclusion.
If you are being paid to perform, then I would expect the organisers to have some sort of ‘blanket’ liability cover for the event. They can only realistically expect individual performers to have Public Liability Policies of their own if those performers are professionals.
I have twice performed at ‘council’ organised events as a solo act (once on the unicycle, once as a fire eater!) and was never asked about liability insurance. Our Morris men regularly perform for money at all sorts of events and (although we are insured, via The Morris Ring’s blanket policy, I don’t think we’ve EVER been asked.
The PL risk that you pose as a unicyclist is pretty negligible.
It is POSIBLE that if you are a member of a cycle club or national organisation (CTC etc.) then they will have some sort of blanket cover for members.
Dixon Chalmers is used by a lot of the fire performers I know, cos they’re, as far as I know, the only U.K. company who’ll insure for fire at a reasonable price.
I contacted them a month ago and their insurance was £70 for a year, unfortunatly the year runs from sept to sept so it’ll still be £70 for the period may-sept. Even so, for fire performers its the best deal going.
As several people have pointed out you’ll need to check that they cover unicycle stuff and have it in writing.
While stranded on the hard shoulder of the information super highway firstname.lastname@example.org typed:
> Dixon Chalmers is used by a lot of the fire performers I know, cos
> they’re, as far as I know, the only U.K. company who’ll insure for fire
> at a reasonable price.
> I contacted them a month ago and their insurance was £70 for a year,
> unfortunatly the year runs from sept to sept so it’ll still be £70 for
> the period may-sept.
They used to work out an apportion if you joined half way through the year.
Trog Woolley | trog at trog hyphen oz dot demon dot co dot uk
(A Croweater back residing in Pommie Land with Linux)
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> A requirement of this is needing public liability insurance. While I
> would rather eat cold baked beans than describe myself as a public
> liability it’s probably a good idea for general riding around anyway.
You could take a look at IMBA membership ( international MTB assoc) the UK
chapter has a unicycle rep ( our own Joe Rowing) and IMBA offer a
resonably priced insurance deal to their members . Not sure if its exactly
waht your after but you could always ask. - links ti IMBA UK from
Another option would be preformers insurance, contact some one like equity
(the actors and entertainers union) for more info.
my public liability is with dixon chalmers too and it explicitly says unicycling on the policy, when i bought the policy the geezer on the phone asked me what i did and put the relevant stuff on the policy.