Event insurance is certainly a major concern at this time. Event planners must be proactive in contacting insurance companies and advisors, knowing what insurance will be needed, and what level of control of the event they can demonstrate. When choosing an event insurance policy, look at the exclusions to better understand the potential problems and concerns.

Event cancellation insurance – which is designed to protect your organization from any financial risks incurred from cancellation – is particularly important now, as municipal and statewide policies regarding public meetings can change without notice. Insurers provide general coverage based on ‘including everything’ – other than losses from excluded risks. Of major concern at this time is the Communicable Disease Exclusion (CDE). This exclusion has been in existence in policies for many years, not just due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Public Liability insurance insures the protection of people (primarily attendees and workers from outside your organization) and third party property. The Communicable Disease Exclusion is beginning to appear in Public Liability insurance policies in the UK, and is expected to spread globally amongst insurers. This exclusion applies even if a claim against any insured event organizer alleges negligence or other wrongdoing in the:

  1. supervising, hiring, employing, training, or monitoring of others that may be infected with and spread a communicable disease;
  2. testing for a communicable disease;
  3. failure to prevent the spread of the disease; or
  4. failure to report the disease to authorities.

Some insurers are beginning to offer new Covid event insurance, but it’s important to examine exactly what is being offered, what your responsibilities are, and what deductibles apply. When negotiating an insurance policy, event organizers need to be able to demonstrate that they are in control of their risks. Risk exposures need to be identified,  analyzed, and measures taken to prevent them from occurring. Demonstrate control by showing an understanding of the event, who are the real-life attendees, where are they coming from, and what protections are  being put in place.