You have secured and signed contracts for the venue, hotel rooms and keynote speakers. But as we learned on Sept. 11, 2001, some things are beyond eventhe best meeting planner’s control. Event cancellation insurance is one of the most overlooked forms of insurance coverage that a meeting professional might shop for.

Cancelling an event can be devastating for your business and your company’s reputation. Having event cancellation insurance can save you thousands if not hundreds of thousands if your event has to be cancelled. Whether planners should invest in cancellation insurance depends upon how important an event is to your company financially and what kind of risk it is assuming. To me, event cancellation insurance is just as important as event liability coverage. The cost of a policy depends on variables such as where and when the meeting is scheduled and the budget.

What is typically covered by event cancellation insurance?
• Weather: blizzards, tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, flooding, etc.
• Fires
• Labor disputes
• Terrorism
• Outbreak of disease
• Principle, big name speakers/entertainers cancellation

What is not covered by event cancellation insurance?
• Staff time planning the event
• Lack of interest or support for event
• Fear of travel
• Pre-existing potential loss

Where to buy event cancellation insurance (not an inclusive list):
• AHT Insurance;
• Expo-Plu$;
• Hays Companies;
• Meadowbrook Insurance Group;
• Novick Group Inc.;
• Premier Insurance Services;
• RCM&D;
• Showstoppers by Aon;
• Check with your company’s liability insurance provider

When shopping for event cancellation insurance, make sure to:
• Get at least two or three quotes and make sure you are comparing apples to apples.
• Know what the plan is going to cover—most of the details are hidden and are usually not explained explicitly, so make sure to ask questions.
• Watch out for exemptions that will not be covered by the policy.
• Purchase at least 30 days before the event start date and up to three years in advance—coverage starts as soon as premiums are paid and extends to five days after the event. It is usually less expensive if purchased far in advance.
• After you have a policy in place, be sure you have the name of someone to call—not just an 800 number—should a problem or question arise.

Email your suggestions, questions and feedback to MNM+E Editor Bobby Hart.

Jenny Prosser is the vice president of conferences and sales at LeadingAge Minnesota. She joined the company, formerly Aging Services of Minnesota, in January 2000 and has more than 18 years of meeting planning experience. In addition to coordinating meeting logistics, Prosser is responsible for recruiting exhibitors and sponsors, vetting keynoter speakers, negotiating contracts, recruiting and retaining business partners and fund development.

Get Connected: LeadingAge Minnesota | 651.645.4545

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