Protect Your Events From Inclement Weather

Meetings Associations Now September/October 2014

Make sure your event is covered the next time Mother Nature strikes and follow these tips from insurance pro Eileen Hoffman.

Whether it's a hurricane, snowstorm, or tornado, Eileen Hoffman has you covered. The assistant vice president of Aon Association Services explains the ins and outs of inclement weather provisions in event cancellation insurance policies.

Associations Now: What should associations consider when purchasing event cancellation insurance, specifically when it comes to inclement weather?

Hoffman: Associations should know that the premiums for event cancellation policies are based on the location of the event, the dates, and the financial information, meaning the estimated gross revenue and estimated expenses of an event. The premiums will be higher in higher-risk locations. For example, for an event in Miami in September, the premium will be higher due to the possible risk of hurricanes. For an event located in Chicago in September, the premium will be lower.

What steps should event planners take before canceling an event due to weather to ensure they are not denied coverage?

They should contact their broker or insurance company when they first hear of a potential situation that may cause a loss. The insurance company will put the event planner in touch with a claim adjuster to guide them on possible ways to mitigate a loss. Don't cancel the event or commit to refunding fees to planned attendees or exhibitors until talking with the claim adjuster to make sure there is coverage under the policy form.

Do you have any other tips for dealing with weather-related event cancellation?

Documentation is very important. The named insured should collect information on registration cancellations, news reports, and flight cancellations or delays to support a loss situation. The claim adjuster may also request copies of the association's marketing material, the event's budget, actual financial records, and copies of applicable contracts to review.