This year has seen many changes in the firework insurance market. Several underwriters have withdrawn from the market due to being involved with the M5 accident case https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-25096851 and those that are left insuring the market have increased their premiums astronomically.
The cost of insurance this year could force some retailers of fireworks to no longer have their own products liability insurance. Could this be an issue? How a scenario would work is as follows;
If you purchase a firework from a supplier and use it according to its instructions and due to a fault with the firework it causes an accident you can claim against the supplier. As the supplier is not generally the importer of the firework any claim is passed back to the importer. The claim would then be handled by the importers insurance. The importer would have to have products liability insurance, so in theory there would not be a problem.
So where then is the ‘issue’? If the importer of the firework that caused the accident in our scenario above is no longer trading and the insurance has not been continued then any you are not able to make a claim against the importer, as they no longer exist as a company or the insurer as insurance has to be in place at the time of an accident. It would be in such a case that a claim would then be passed to the actual supplier of the firework rather than the importer. If that supplier does not have their own insurance in place, you can start to see where problems could exist.
Is the above scenario likely to occur? Well in recent years we have witnessed three major firework importers cease trading. Some have been resurrected but they will not be liable for products imported by the previous company. So in real terms, yes it is something that seriously needs to be taken in to consideration.
Does your existing firework supplier have their own products liability insurance? Well the simple way to find out is to ask to see a copy of their insurance certificate. We at Jordans Fireworks have our own products liability insurance so our customers can buy from us with complete peace of mind.
If you are organizing any sort of public display i.e. for a village, a school etc, then you should also seriously consider having your own public liability insurance. We can recommend Worldwide Special Risks Tel 01727 843686 who will quote for one off firework displays. https://www.worldwidespecialrisks.co.uk/privatefireworks/