Are you and your
events properly insured? Following is a rundown of the
insurance must-haves all meeting and event planners should
consider, in addition to your traditional meeting
contracts/coverage (check with your legal counsel for the
Four- and five-star properties often
have agreements with on-site or local physicians to handle guests’
health problems and emergencies. Are these covered in the contract
or by your company’s health insurance underwriters? If not, who
pays? What is your plan? What hospitals accept the insurance plans
used by your company or your client’s attendees?
Traditional event venues, such as
hotels and convention centers, typically have several million
dollars in catastrophic coverage, while private venues, such as
unique homes or historical landmarks, typically do not.
When it comes to private venues, check
to see if the coverage falls under your firm’s (or your client’s)
corporate insurance policy. If not, you might need to add an
addendum, or rider, to the current policy.
Also, make sure that you, as the
planner, are protected under the company policy and/or a rider. If
not, you might want to discuss this with your personal insurance
carrier. That way, in the event of an accident at the meeting venue
that results in a lawsuit, you and your personal assets are
As travel becomes more complex and
litigious, it is essential to get trip insurance, which covers a
specific event or program, for you and your attendees. These
policies often cover hotel stays in the event of delays or
cancellations, or if you are stranded in a foreign country.
Most firms of 100 employees or more
have trip insurance in place. Get a copy of the policy and learn it
inside and out. Include a copy in your event binder and have it
handy to access online.
Some policies only cover cancellation;
some include the overbooking of venues, while others cover
temporary emergency-room coverage.
For air transportation, there is
specific travel insurance you can buy per flight. Most corporate
travel departments have negotiated blanket travel insurance
policies that cover flights; check to make sure yours or your
How secure is your or your client’s
intellectual property? This can include financial information,
blueprints, reorganization details, and information on acquisitions
that is proprietary but can also include computer software and/or
Event planners often ship binders or
electronic equipment containing highly sensitive items. Product
launches often require planners to ship exclusive prototypes --
one-of-a-kind items that have not yet gone to market. In the wrong
hands, such materials can prove costly, if not deadly, to a
company. (And don’t forget: Virtually all packages get opened and
inspected today, even locally shipped parcels.)
If you decide you cannot carry these
important items, protect against lost or late materials by
purchasing extra insurance from Federal Express or any carrier you
use. Other questions to ask the carrier: What are the arrival
guarantees? Is damage insurance included?
Beyond traditional insurance coverage,
consider yourself a vital asset requiring coverage. Establish
backup plans, backup people and cross-training. If you or someone
above, lateral or subordinate gets sick or has an emergency, how
are you and your job covered? Have a plan.
Louise M. Felsher, CMP,
CMM,is a marketing event consultant based in
California’s Silicon Valley.