January 2010 saw much of the UK experience its worst winter in decades with severe disruption in places. Schools were closed, roads impassible, flights cancelled and so on. Early estimates have put the cost to the UK economy at up to £690 million a day (1).

The Events industry was not immune to it, with the National Motorcycle Show in Manchester one of the many casualties as several exhibitors could not make the journey to Manchester.

It was not just confined to the UK either. One of our US based clients had arranged an incentive reward break to Florida for some its top performing employees, however some people had to cancel their trip as severe snow storms hit the North Eastern states early February. Luckily the venue (Ritz Carlton Hotel, Naples) was very helpful and understanding – ironically they had some guests who needed to stay extra nights as they could not return home for the same reasons!

Today, there is insurance available for virtually everything, however how many people in our industry consider Event Insurance? Specialist insurer Hiscox stated that there was a predictable rise in claims for event insurance earlier this year. Despite this, most events were not insured for bad weather at all. Some might argue that the effects of Global Warming has made weather patterns very unpredictable all year round as several communities in the UK experienced the severe flooding over the last few summers.

Weather is just one of a number of factors that can lead to an event being cancelled. Fire, health hazards (bird flu etc) and terrorism are just some of the others. Event Insurance can also cover theft or damage to equipment and property, either owned or hired, whereas public liability cover is essential for public events.

Event cancellation cover is not just for when events are called off. Cover can also protect organisers for the financial losses they may face if the event is forced to go ahead in a limited format.

Here are our Top 10 Insurance tips with some help from Hiscox Event Insurance:

1. Lower your premium by carrying out a risk management exercise, especially for slipping and tripping hazards

2. Ensure the site of the event is secure and that all attendees are readily identifiable

3. Don’t rely on the venue to know who is walking into your event

4. Always lock your function rooms when not in use and limit the number of people with access to the room. Some venues use electronic key cards that records who has opened a door at what time

5. Check your venue contracts closely. Make sure you understand it as the terms can be beyond your legal obligations. Your venue will rarely provide you with the insurance cover you need

6. Make sure you have adequate public liability insurance. Usually venues expect a public liability of indemnity of a minimum of £2m for any one occurrence

7. Ensure your exhibitors, delegates and sub-contractors receive your Terms & Conditions, so they are aware of their responsibilities.

8. Get legal advice when you issue your contract and Terms & Conditions, and when you sign your venue contract

9. Take out adequate insurance with a reputable event insurer

10. Obtain the best cover you can afford


(1) Source:

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