Are event contracts changing forever?

C&IT’s international survey of nearly 2,000 MICE professionals has found that 69% of events were not covered by insurance amid COVID-19 cancellations.

Just 6% of events were insured against COVID-19, while a quarter of people said they didn’t know whether or not they were insured. The figures were reflected fairly evenly across the UK, Asia and the US, with 71.3% of respondents from Asia having no insurance cover, with 70.4% in the US and 65.7% in the UK agreeing.

The vast majority of cancelled events in Asia, South America and the Middle East were also not insured against the pandemic according to the survey.

Among corporates, agencies, hotels, venues, destinations and suppliers that took part in the survey, corporates had the best level of insurance cover, with 11.6% of corporates saying they were covered for event cancellations. Destinations followed at 8.7%.

Industry suppliers had the least insurance cover, with 78.5% of suppliers saying they were not covered for cancellations, followed by agencies at 74.7%. Hotels and venues were the most uncertain about their insurance cover, with 34.8% and 31.8% respectively answering ‘don’t know’.

The high level of uncertainty in the results reflects an industry still struggling to understand their legal and financial obligations, with the new virus leading to rapid changes in government advice and policy around social gatherings. The general outlook is gloomy, with several respondents sharing that they are out of pocket by millions, but some planners also revealed an industry coming together amid all the worry. “Venues and suppliers have been very flexible,” said one agency planner. Most hotels are helpful in offering credit as long as we rebook the meeting by the end of the year, said another. Overall I think people in the industry are trying to help each other.

Last month, C&IT outlined what event planners need to know about insurance cover when their events are cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19. We have also examined some of the complex issues around Force Majeure.

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