Why insurance won’t cover it

Gemma Edwards | Wednesday, March 25 2020

Like many event organizers, the first thing I looked at in light of the coronavirus outbreak was how and if our events would be covered if we needed to reschedule or cancel. But as COVID-19 is now a known risk, the virus, and the fear of it, are virtually impossible to include in the insurance of any upcoming events. Our insurance broker quickly told me it was like insuring a house that was already on fire – not exactly reassuring!

Insurance

If you already have insurance for your event and have in place a Force Majeure clause with your suppliers that covers against “communicable diseases” then you may be protected. If not, as in our case, we are revisiting and renegotiating every contract as if we had no insurance at all, to ensure our business is protected. One key thing I’ve learned is not to underestimate what is listed in a Force Majeure clause – it has the power to make or break an event and will define your conversations with suppliers.

All event organizers will face penalty charges of some kind should their events be cancelled. Venues have always held great power over their clients and will say things like, “Your event date will not be available again if you cancel at this stage.” But, overall, because everyone is in the same boat, I have found that most suppliers are transparent about their situations and are open to new and flexible arrangements. For many, the preservation of long-term partnerships seems to be a priority over short-term financial gain.

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