The Fix: Dodging Disaster
Meetings are a major revenue source for associations, but what happens to that revenue if a meeting has to be canceled due to extreme weather or some other emergency? Seth Fleischer, business development professional at Aon Affinity, has some tips about event cancellation insurance.
What is the purpose of event cancellation insurance?
This kind of policy insures the association’s financial exposure—the gross revenue they’d bring in from attendee registrations and sponsorship—if the event were to be canceled for an act of God, damage at the venue, or something beyond their control. Some associations insure a full schedule of events, including midyear and regional meetings, but the majority just insure their annual meeting.
Hurricanes and snowstorms are common, but what other emergencies cancel events?
When the Icelandic volcano erupted a number of years ago, that disrupted air travel in Europe, and some events were affected internationally and domestically. Also, years ago, there was major flooding in Nashville, Tennessee, that closed down the conference venue for some time. Nashville is not a place you may think of as a flood risk, but it was flooded due to heavy rainfall.
What’s an event cancellation concern that associations sometimes forget about?
The contract they sign with the hotel. The contract says they are going to block X number of rooms for attendees, and if the event is canceled, they could potentially be liable. An event cancellation insurance policy can include a provision to insure the full financial exposure an association has with that hotel for covered causes of loss.
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