The Importance of Event Insurance

Published: 05 March 2019


Why is event insurance important?

We all remember the extreme weather event named the “Beast from the East” which began on 22nd February 2018 and lasted for several weeks, but what we sometimes forget is the detrimental impact this had on the events industry – forcing meeting venues to close, delegates were unable to travel, and many sporting events were cancelled. Many of these affected events will have incurred non-recoverable costs as well as loss of earnings.

Such disruption serves to underscore the importance of event insurance. This cover provides organisers with a level of financial security, protecting them against unexpected challenges such as postponement, disruption or cancellation due to scenarios like extreme weather. It gives invaluable peace of mind and is increasingly important as events invest more in that unique experience to attract delegates.

Another key function of event insurance is looking after people; (both Event staff and delegates). Most venues will not allow an event to go ahead without having sight of certification demonstrating liability insurance is in place. Liability cover protects organisers against injury claims that may come from either delegates or could arise as a result of damage to venue property. Such exposures will not always be the organiser’s fault, but a good insurance policy will step in to defend against such claims - allowing organisers to carry on with their business whilst the claim is sorted out.

What are the different types of events and the risks associated with them?

Of course, there are many different types of events. Traditional exhibitions, consumer shows, conferences, business events, experiential events and webinars; all very different events facing differing risks, exposures and insurance requirements. Including risk management and insurance within the budgeting process for your conference remains important and the cost of cover is determined by a number of factors – the size of the conference, whether it is indoors or outdoors, the number of delegates, the location, the time of year, previous cancellation experience and the organiser’s experience.

However there are a number of common risks that all events face. For example, event organisers risk going out of business as a result of unforeseen financial losses arising from a cancelled or abandoned event. The cost of this could be sizable and include non recoverable expenses and the reimbursement of delegate fees and booked speakers.

So what can event organisers do upfront to protect their business?

First and foremost, buy an event disruption policy, as soon as expenses start to be incurred, (which would normally be the venue deposit). It is never too early to buy event insurance. In terms of public liability cover, look to the venue contract for the level required as the organiser. Do not assume that any existing liability insurance, such as a general office insurance policy, will automatically cover all event activities and people. Organisers should ensure that all delegates, and any temporary staff and volunteers are included within the insurance arrangements. Consult an event insurance specialist who can provide liability policies that meet specific event needs.

Should the worst happen and there is a problem with a planned event, whether it is due to start in several days, weeks, or even months, call your insurer to see if the problem is covered in your policy and what can be claimed. They should work with you to ensure that your event goes ahead, if this is financially viable, this may be at an alternative location or possibly a postponed date.

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