Blog Question – Cafe tables and chairs on the council footpath

bigstock-Street-view-of-a-coffee-terrac-51169387I received this question late last week”

“Good afternoon Prof Manning,

 I have a Liability query.

 We have an insured who has a cake/coffee shop. On one side

of our insured is a restaurant and on the other side there is a dwelling.

Our Insured has asked permission from both landlords if they can extend their setting of outdoor tables and chairs (see drawing attached below).

My question is, in the event of an incident, is our insured covered for the extension of his tables and chairs?

Your answer would be most welcome.


Anna [surname and email provided]”


Hi Anna,

It is difficult to know without reading the policy you are using. The wording may limit the cover purely to the situation.

As with all insurance, an accurate description of the risk being offered to an underwriter should be accurate and complete.

To be safe, I would ask that you notify the insurer that your client has the tables and chairs out on the footpath and that these extend beyond the footpath immediately in front of their own premises to both two neighbouring properties.

Many councils charge a fee per table and/or chair and often require the Insured to provide an indemnity back to the council. Please double check that your client has not entered into such an agreement, which may fall foul of any contractual liability exclusion that may appear in the policy.

As an aside, I think if I owned one of the neighbouring properties I would be looking for such indemnity to protect me.

cafe Hope this helps.



As always if anyone  would like to add to the advice to Anna, please use the comments section.

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