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Lawley Shoff Darby Blog

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance

Event Insurance- Update on the Cononavirus/COVID-19 Virus by Allison Steeves

I have spent most of the last three weeks speaking with consumer show producers discussing their insurance and how this virus impacts their shows. At this point in time we do have  some shows cancelling because of a civil authority requiring it.  Governors in many of the states have enlisted executive order to temporarily cease all gatherings of 250 or more people, forcing consumer shows to cancel for the next 4 weeks or so.  Additional states and areas are beginning to establish similar orders. In the areas of the US that have not been given this directive consumer shows are moving forward as planned. I can tell you that the consumer show producers are working in conjunction with their venues and EMT & security staff to make sure the shows have hand sanitizing stations and that proper disinfecting procedures are followed.  Because the situation with the virus continues to change practically hourly this information is as of now and may change tomorrow.

With regard to insurance coverage, the only coverage that possibly covers this type of communicable disease is Event Cancellation and Interruption coverage. The only shows that have coverage are those that purchased event cancellation insurance with communicable disease coverage prior to Jan 15, 2020. After that the virus was named which then excluded on all event cancellation insurance policies from that point on. In my experience most of the shows did not purchase communicable disease coverage therefore don’t have insurance to cover their shows for claims from the virus.

The Government,  Municipalities or the venues requiring shows to be cancelled, for those that have cancellation insurance on your show, it is recommended that a claim be put in since you are unable to have your show.  It is my understanding that coverage will not be provided if you cancel your show or have reduced attendance because of fear or caution, there actually needs to be an official authority that shuts down your show or restricts travel within your state that causes people to not be able to attend. Please check with your agent or policy as each can have different terms and conditions.

Since consumer shows just started being cancelled we do not know how the claims are going to be handled but they need to reported to your agent/carrier and assigned to a claims adjuster.  I am putting claims in for my clients as they are forced to close their shows. I am hoping that the majority of the shows will go on as planned. When we have had other issues within the country that take over the news coverage, (such as 9/11) the shows the following weeks had record attendance because people wanted to go out and get away from the news, perhaps that will happen again.  

I have been speaking on the subject of Event Cancellation Insurance for over 30 years and always recommend that shows purchase insurance as early as possible. Coverage is available up to 3 years in advance. The best advice I can give is the earlier the better as we never know what is going to happen in the future. We have had communicable viruses before (Anthrax, West Nile Virus, SARS, Bird Flu, E-coli, Ebola, Zika Virus) so chances are another will show up at some point. While this virus can’t be covered now I would recommend getting a quotation for your future shows and purchasing communicable disease as part of the policy so that any future virus or disease would be covered. I am attaching an application.

Please let me know if you would like to discuss further and I wish you all success with your shows.

I am more than happy to set up a call to discuss insurance and the virus with any of the NACS members email me at steeves [at] shoffdarby [dot] com or call me 203-445-2123. Allison Steeves -Shoff Darby Co.