Smaller companies whose events have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic are finally paying attention to the long-ignored event insurance.
Mona Manap, CEO of Place Borneo, told TTGmice that she has observed an increase in clients enquiring about event cancellation insurance. On her part, sheās also looking at insuring all her events to ensure organisers are protected.
āFor events that are we are bidding for in coming years, the bid committee and local host have indicated that event insurance must be budgeted for. This was never the case before Covid-19,ā Mona revealed.
āThis could also kickstart some convention bureaus or government agencies to make it compulsory for events of a certain size to be covered by insurance to reduce a governmentās bailout costs,ā she added.
She shared that association and corporate meetings were often less inclined to purchase event insurance.
āSmaller events tend not to buy (event insurance) because their expected losses are less and the attendees are usually members of the association. Therefore, it would be easier to convince members to defer the registration fees to the next date (should the event be postponed or cancelled),” opined Mona.
At the same time, event insurance can be a hefty sum for smaller event organisers to bear, and is usually considered unnecessary when there is no impending crisis.
Melvyn Nonis, director of Singapore-headquartered MICE Matters, agreed that the cost of such policies are usually prohibitive for his clients, and most incentive trips proceed without protection against cancellations and postponements because clients are confident the programme will take place as planned.
Should a crisis occur, clients would rely on supplier goodwill to recover money from hotels and airlines.
On the other hand, event insurance is no stranger to larger event owners and organisers such as IMEX and PCMA. This is due to the complex nature of larger events, which attracts a multitude of costs including deposits, contractor fees, advertising and marketing losses.
Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, told TTGmice that event insurance is “critical for events of any size”.
“When it comes to IMEX, we look at including a number of different elements into our insurance policies, such as terrorism and communicable disease. It’s also critical that each of our exhibitors has insurance, as well as our attendees and hosted buyers, and we recommend that they do so.ā
As IMEX was recently cancelled, Bauer shared that the company is currently going through claim motions.
PCMAās president & CEO Sherrif Karamat, too, revealed that the association always purchases event insurance regardless of the size of the activity.
When asked if Covid-19 will forever alter client’s view of event insurance, Nonis said: āThis will not motivate people to buy event cancellation or postponement insurance, as most would see this (the pandemic) as an irregular incident. Once everything normalises, people will start travelling again.ā
Mona agrees, saying that āwhen the danger is long gone, more will take this for granted and (again choose to) save the extra dollarsā.
Regardless, Karamat hopes that the pandemic will present a valuable lesson for all organisers to take event insurance seriously, and added that PCMA is currently working on an industry solution to “provide insurance on a global scale at affordable rates”.
āInsurance always appears to be a cost until you need it. Is insurance a cost or an investment to protect your business? What would be important is for organisers of any specific event to understand the type of insurance they need and to ensure that the policy covers their needs,ā concluded Karamat.