CFSA's Special Events Program is designed for animal exhibitors, and other fairground facility lessees, concessionaires, exhibitors, and special events operators and participants.

Risk Sharing Pool Programs

Just as doing business has become more complex in the years since California Fair Services Authority’s (CFSA’s) inception, so have the risk exposures and the protection needs of California’s fairs. In an ongoing effort to fill these needs, CFSA now manages four risk sharing pooled protection programs created in response to the fairs’ growing needs. In addition, CFSA provides pool program participants with the services of an in-house claims team (also available for advice and questions), and a wide range of risk management  support services.

Want to know more about the pools, such as how individual fair annual fees are determined? Check out the answers to CFSA’s Top 10 Risk Pool Questions.

Find out more about:

The CFSA Claims & Loss Reporting Guide (Red Book)

General Liability Program

Workers’ Compensation Program

Revenue Protection Program

Special Events Program

Property Insurance

Boiler and Machinery

Insurance Requirements (pdf)

Contract Review

Master Insurance List

The Red Book
All participants in CFSA’s pool program receive a copy of CFSA’s Claims and Loss Reporting Guide, better known as the Red Book (because of the red binder it resides in). This all-in-one reference guide provides you with detailed information on your fair’s pool memberships, as well as valuable tips, guidelines and handy checklists to help you know what to do in the event of an accident on your fairgrounds. If you can’t find your fair’s binder or if you would  like another copy of the Red Book, please contact Mario Castagnola, CFSA risk analyst, at mcastagnola@cfsa.org or (916) 263-6145.

For your convenience,  the Red Book is also online in this website. You’ll find it under Publications. 

CFSA’s Risk Sharing Pool Programs

California Fair Services Authority (CFSA) is a joint powers authority (JPA) established in 1986. Our primary responsibility is to manage and administer workers’ compensation, general liability, and special event risk-sharing pools, and related pool and risk management services.  We also help California’s fairs with business support services ranging from payroll and bookkeeping to strategic planning (by ex-California fair CEOs!)

Here’s a quick overview with links to more detailed information:

CFSA’s General Liability Risk Pool Program provides protection for risks and/or liabilities arising from personal and bodily injury, property damage,  employment practices including public officials errors and omissions, and non-profit organization liability. CFSA also purchases an excess general liability insurance policy that pays claims in excess of the program’s $100,000 self-insured retention (SIR).

The only deductible for this program applies to employment practices liability, which is subject to a $10,000 per claim deductible that is the responsibility of the individual member fair.

We encourage you to read both the General Liability Program’s Summary of  Protection and its Memorandum of Coverage (MOC), available in your fair’s Red Book binder or in the case of the Summary, on our website. The MOC is also available from Tom Amberson, CFSA’s Risk Department manager. Contact him at tamberson@cfsa.org or (916) 263-6180.


The Workers’ Compensation Risk Pool Program provides protection up to the $250,000 self-insured retention (SIR) level for each claim of occupational injury, illness or disease by an employee. In the event the cost of a claim exceeds our SIR, we also purchase an excess workers’ compensation insurance policy that pays claims in excess of the SIR up to the statutory limit per accident for workers’ compensation benefits and up to $5,000,000 per accident for Employers’ Liability.

For in-depth information about the coverages the Workers’ Compensation Program provides, we invite you to read the program’s Memorandum of Coverage (MOC) available in your fair’s Red Book binder or from Tom Amberson, CFSA’s Risk Department manager. You can contact him at tamberson@cfsa.org or (916) 263-6180. For an overview of the program, check out the Summary of Protection.

CFSA administers a Revenue Protection Pool Program that reimburses participating fairs for certain revenue interruption losses from a separate risk pooling arrangement. The program covers losses of fair time or covered interim event revenue resulting from accidental loss of/or damage to property; earthquakes; climate conditions such as rain, snow, wind, sleet or excessive heat; unhealthy air quality; or riot or civil commotion.

Event date changes add risk because there’s little or no revenue history to compare against when calculating lost revenue.  When a fair wishes to purchase coverage for an event with a date change, this added risk is taken into consideration and reflected in program fee.

The fee structure also takes into consideration risks associated with the length of an event. Lower fees are assessed for fairs with fewer days, and higher fees for events that run through multiple weekends.

For program specifics, make sure you read the program’s Memorandum of Coverage (MOC) in your fair’s Red Book. The MOC is also available from Tom Amberson, CFSA’s Risk Department manager, (916) 263-6180 or tamberson@cfsa.org.

Since 1990, CFSA has offered a Special Events Program as a separate risk pooling arrangement to provide liability protection for concessionaires, exhibitors and other fairground facility users on a California fairground. The commercial general liability coverage provides protection for losses up to $1,000,000 per occurrence.

Is alcohol being served at an event? Optional liquor liability coverage is available for an additional fee.

For in-depth information about what the Special Events Program covers , including automobile liability, please read the program’s Memorandum of Coverage (MOC) available in your fair’s Red Book binder or from Tom Amberson, CFSA’s Risk Department manager. You can reach him at tamberson@cfsa.org or (916) 263-6180.

The Special Events Program brochure, available from CFSA, provides a good program overview for everyone interested in purchasing coverage.  Copies of the brochure are available online (click on the brochure title above) or from Mario Castagnola, CFSA risk analyst, at mcastagnola@cfsa.org or (916) 263-6145.

Group Purchase Property Insurance Program

CFSA offers an all-risk (including flood, but excluding earthquakes) property insurance program in partnership with a commercial insurance agency. The program applies to real property of covered fairs and includes the required $100,000 minimum level of personal property coverage. (Higher personal property limits are available for an additional fee.) This commercial property insurance is available to all California fairs; there is no risk sharing or pooling. The program’s Summary of Protection will provide you with an overview of its coverages.

The Property Insurance Program also provides commercial Boiler and Machinery insurance coverage for California’s fairs. This coverage protects against the sudden and accidental breakdown of covered equipment up to $100,000,000 per incident. A sublimit of $10,000,000 applies to expediting expenses, spillage, off-premises service interruption, ammonia contamination, water damage or hazardous substance losses. Coverage includes “extra expenses to continue operations” subject to a 24-hour waiting period. A $2,500 deductible applies to other types of losses.

For more information about Property insurance for your fair, please contact Tom Amberson, CFSA risk department manager, tamberson@cfsa.org or (916) 263-6180.

Additional Coverage Programs

Pool participants may also purchase optional supplementary insurance coverage, at their expense, to meet their fairgrounds’ individual requirements. These options include:

  • higher general liability coverage limits.
  • automobile physical damage.
  • crime insurance, including employee dishonesty.
  • 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation coverages.