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News and insights

Insuring Success in the Event of Cancellation


Political turmoil, adverse weather conditions and late withdrawals of key personalities can all lead to events being cancelled or postponed, leaving organisers with significant bills.

As event organisers there is much to consider in preparing for an event and making sure that event plans are outlined in detail and executed precisely to ensure its success - on time and within budget.

There are many aspects to juggle from securing the venue and firming up the programme through to consideration of health and safety requirements, conducting client and supplier progress, venue access and travel logistics.

No matter how rigorous your preparation has been for an event, there is always a residual risk that an unforeseen circumstance could lead to it being abandoned, interrupted or postponed.

Consider the range of things that can go wrong:

  • Adverse weather conditions.
  • Venue closure or accessibility issues.
  • Outbreak of disease.
  • Loss of public utilities.
  • Non-appearance of keynote speakers or performers.
  • Terrorism or threat of terrorism.
  • Travel delays.
  • Non-delivery or failure of equipment.

With items such as television and satellite broadcasts, sponsorship, marketing, corporate hospitality and merchandising costs involved the financial impact can be significant and immediate for both the client and the event organiser. In addition there is also potential damage to the reputations of all parties.

An Event Cancellation insurance policy can provide a tailored solution to suit the individual needs of your clients. While ordinarily any and all of the above scenarios could be covered under such a policy, the coverage is usually far broader and may cover an insured event for a multitude of reasons beyond the control of the event organiser.

There is also a lot of flexibility to enable event owners to protect themselves from loss of:

  1. Irrecoverable costs and expenses (either 100% thereof or specified expenses).
  2. Gross revenue, thereby protecting any event profit.

In addition, many policies will pay for extra expenses incurred by the client in order to prevent the cancellation, interruption or postponement of an event. Often the insurer can also provide ‘on-the ground’ support and risk mitigation advice to event management staff as part of the policy.

Whether you are organising a sporting event, community event, awards show, convention, concert or exhibition there are unique risks and challenges. Whatever your clients, or your own, financial interest in an event it’s possible to arrange a policy to protect against their specific loss concerns associated with that event.

Case study: Last day of a food and wine festival cancelled due to bad weather

The final day of food and wine festival was rained out resulting in a significant loss of income for the organiser.

The event was scheduled to run over four days with two ticketed sessions per day. The first three days proceeded without incident. On the last day of the event, severe weather conditions resulted in the event being abandoned due to safety concerns for vendors and patrons.

The event organiser provided refunds to ticketholders for the cancelled session, which led to its net profit earned from the event being significantly less than it would have been had the event proceeded as planned.

However the organiser held an Event Cancellation policy, which was purchased to cover the costs and expenses and the net profit associated with the event, putting the Insured back in the same position that they would have been in had the event not been affected by weather.

For more information regarding Event Cancellation insurance contact:

Graeme Hay, Client Service Consultant, GRH Insurance Services Pty Ltd.

Notices: This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. The above description is a general overview of Event cancellation insurance. It is not a complete description of all a policy’s terms, conditions and exclusions which determine coverage for a claim. For full details of the terms, conditions and limitations of the covers, refer to the specific policy wordings and/or Product Disclosure Statements available from Marsh on request. We recommend you read the policy wording so you have an understanding of the policy terms, conditions and exclusions before you decide whether such a policy suits your needs.

Graeme Hay: is an employee of GRH Insurance Services Pty Ltd (ABN 32616608381, Authorised Representative No 1251687) an authorised representative of Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 081 358 303, AFSL 238 369).

Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 081 358 303, AFSL 238369) (“MAI”) arrange this insurance and is not the insurer. The Discretionary Trust Arrangement is issued by the Trustee, JLT Group Services Pty Ltd (ABN 26 004 485 214, AFSL 417964) (“JGS”). JGS is part of the Marsh group of companies. Any advice in relation to the Discretionary Trust Arrangement is provided by Jardine Lloyd Thompson Pty Ltd (ABN 69 009 098 864, AFSL 226 827) which is a related entity of MAI. The cover provided by the Discretionary Trust Arrangement is subject to the Trustee’s discretion and/or the relevant policy terms, conditions and exclusions. This website contains general information, does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs and may not suit your personal circumstances. For full details of the terms, conditions and limitations of the covers and before making any decision about whether to acquire a product, refer to the specific policy wordings and/or Product Disclosure Statements available from Marsh Advantage Insurance on request