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Events

Who pays the bill when it all goes wrong?

Event Risk Insurance - Are you sure you're covered?

Many corporate event planners often believe erroneously that their travel insurance will foot the bill when a conference or incentive travel programme is compromised or even cancelled because of industrial disputes, adverse weather conditions or worst still the ever-present threat of a terrorist attack.

Unfortunately, travel insurance is woefully inadequate in dealing with such circumstances and often the policy is confined to compensating the individual rather than the corporate entity for the non-materialisation of the service. Hence, the finance department is often left to deal with the budget overspend which can be considerable as costs spiral out of control.

Shaun Casey – BI WORLDWIDE Head of Events stated: “Event Risk Insurance used to be included in most programmes we operated 10 years ago, but for a period of time clients seemed to opt out from buying it. Maybe it was down to the recession or confusion over FCA regulations (Financial Conduct Authority) which meant that we simply stopped selling it for a while. However, even if budgets are tight, it’s a false economy to opt out, particularly when things do actually go wrong and huge amounts of money are suddenly thrown at the problem to ensure that the delegate experience remains positive. Our role is to manage the budget even in times of adversity.

“In previous years, our Event Risk Insurers have settled claims in excess of £2 million for the relocation of conferences scheduled to be held in cities where acts of terrorism had just been committed. Even travel disruption has resulted in a number of claims totalling more than £150,000 due to strikes and bad weather. What’s more, with FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) advisories warning against travel to certain destinations because of health issues, claims in excess of £200,000 have been settled in recent times.

As a result, Rob Bentley from Hiscox, the specialist Event Risk Insurer, provided a comprehensive refresher course to all BI WORLDWIDE Event Managers on the FCA regulations and the potential operational threats which are insurable. This training was provided as part of BI WORLDWIDE’s comprehensive approach to financial risk management within its global procurement services to corporate clients.

Shaun continues: “Clearly, like your home insurance, you hope that you never have to make a claim, but when you do, you are generally extremely pleased that you took out the cover in the first place!”

Our role is to manage the budget even in times of adversity.

  • Shaun Casey
  • Head of Events

Here's some of the key eventualities which are covered by Event Risk Insurance:

  • Clouds of volcanic ash causing widespread closure of air space
  • The venue is not available due to damage by fire, storm etc.
  • The failure of key utilities or equipment such as power, heating, lighting, sound, kitchens, toilets, fire safety equipment, all of which have the potential to make the venue unavailable
  • Terrorism or the threat of terrorism leading to closure of airports or public transport
  • Adverse weather conditions disrupting air, sea and rail transport, or affecting outdoor activities
  • Strikes causing disruption to scheduled airline or airport services, or other public transport
  • Fire, accident or disruption to public transport such as the closure of the Channel Tunnel, or other parts of the rail network
  • Speakers or entertainers who cannot appear due to death, illness or travel disruption
  • Outbreaks of infectious diseases leading to closure or restricted access of premises
  • Outbreaks of civil disorder, revolution, war etc. This may also have indirect effects, for example by causing diversion of flights
  • Unforeseen political events such as coups or disputes with other countries causing withdrawal of visa facilities or closure of borders
  • Death of Head of State or a member of their family causing periods of official mourning
  • Inability to leave the venue at the planned time, which might incur penalties
  • Delay and disruption to travel arrangements leaving a group stranded at the airport by bad weather or technical problems. Covering food and drink, entertainment and accommodation
  • Delays affecting critical journey times – i.e. serious delay to outbound travel meaning it’s too late to reach the destination in time, leading to effective abandonment of the event
  • Reduced attendance due to some unforeseen event or 'critical mass' non-attendance meaning so many people are prevented from getting to the event that it has to be abandoned.

Should BIW have to implement a contingency plan in the event of an unforeseen situation, Event Risk Insurance provides the financial protection required. The team's responsibility is to ensure the smooth running of the event whilst mitigating any financial risk on behalf of our client.

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