State of Events – October 2021 Update

Photo courtesy of FO Photography, All Is Bright 2016

Having barely survived the pandemic, and live events becoming more doable again, you may be wondering about event insurance and the coverage you can expect for your future events. In this blog, we are taking an in-depth look at insurance policies that have changed since COVID-19 took over, and some of the things you need to consider before confirming your next in-person event.

Who needs event insurance?

According to PAL Insurance Brokers Canada, insurance for event planners “provides annual coverage for event planners and is designed for small to medium-sized businesses that typically plan 1 – 100 events per year. Typical events planned could include weddings, conferences, small concerts, corporate launches, exhibitions, and more.”

What is covered by typical event insurance?

Normally you would see a ‘general’ or ‘commercial’ liability insurance, which helps protect you from bodily injury, or property damage that your business caused. It may even protect you in the unfortunate event you get sued. There are lots of add-ons you can apply to your protection plan:

  • Public Liability Insurance protects attendees of your events and typically the people you don’t employ (vendors too!), and
  • Cancellation Insurance protects your events in terms of financial obligations.

This is a very simplified way to understand insurance, as it can be quite detailed and in-depth. But now more than ever, insurance companies have to be careful with what they offer and can be liable for. Please look very closely at your specific coverage and have a lawyer assist you with terms you don’t understand.

How has COVID-19 affected insurance?

With COVID-19 entering the mix, it has made things much harder for insurance brokers and those looking for coverage during this difficult time. Yes, insurance can be extensive, but it can’t cover absolutely everything, otherwise, most people would not be able to afford it.

There have been new policies erected in the UK to keep brokers off the hook but make it harder for event planners to feel taken care of in pandemic circumstances. One of the policies is the “Communicable Disease Exclusion (CDE)”, which, depending on your brokerage, may not cover any financial issues where sickness or a pandemic is concerned.

This policy is not entirely new but presents a massive issue for anyone looking to receive coverage specifically for this global problem. For even this reason alone, it is best to be cautious when hosting your events, as there may be gaps in your coverage you weren’t even aware of. Risking health and safety is one thing, but you may also be taking a financial risk and legal battles if your event gets canceled due to the pandemic.

When you enter PAL’s website, right on the home page in bright red font is the text, “Please be advised that PAL is unable to provide any insurance coverage in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Liabilities, cancellations, quarantines, etc. related in any way to the COVID-19 pandemic will be excluded under all of PAL’s policies.” So currently, the biggest event insurance company in the country is not offering coverage from COVID-19, but luckily, they are being upfront about it. You can still receive coverage from them in other forms, but if your event must deal with the pandemic in any way, you are on your own.

A recent article from Event MB also mentions that you should be aware of all the known risks, including changes to political, legal, and societal circumstances, which may bring about other risks you had not initially thought of, especially with the constant change of COVID-19 regulations and government.

In conclusion, know your pricing, what you’re covered for, and your deductibles. Event MB sums it up by stating, “insurance is designed to put individuals or businesses back in the position they were before the loss. In other words, it doesn’t improve their situation; it can only help stop companies from having to close.”

Make sure to fully analyze your own coverage before committing to a company or plan. Insurance typically shows what it doesn’t cover rather than what it does cover, as there are too many situations that could have losses to put in writing, so be specific with what you want and have it put into writing for legal purposes.

– Your Tycoon, Steph XO