• Post-Pandemic Changes in Event Cancellation Insurance

     
    POSTED June 12, 2020
     

Event planners often prepare for the worst, but one thing they likely didn’t anticipate was a global pandemic when selecting event cancellation insurance policies for their 2020 gatherings. Panicked planners began contacting Marcia McKinney, owner of Northeast Insurance Advisors, in late February and early March, but as meetings and events ground to a halt, they were already out of luck.

“It’s kind of like trying to buy homeowner’s insurance as your house is starting to catch fire... it’s too late,” says McKinney.

Countless events were postponed or cancelled across the globe in order to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, impacting thousands of planners. Businesses were left with enormous losses, be it cash spent on venues, vendors, or items bought in preparation of a gathering, as well as lost earning potential. Event cancellation insurance might have protected them, had they opted for the right coverage. However, most planners often ignore health crises as a possibility, since such events on the scale of COVID-19 are so rare.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks, which changed the way many perceive threats, altered the way events are insured. Companies began requiring planners to opt into terrorism coverage, whereas it was included before. While the coronavirus is a different kind of crisis, McKinney thinks insurers will create different solutions and offerings regarding pandemics within the next six to 12 months, though it’s impossible to predict what shape they’ll take.

“More planners and more people who are planning special events are going to be asking these questions,” says McKinney. “Whereas six months ago, nobody was asking about them.”

Over the years, any corporate event planner can admit to spending countless hours researching the perfect venue or vendors for their gatherings. After attending or hosting hundreds of events, New York-based Daphne Hoppenot was no stranger to this research and was frustrated by its repetitive nature. However, it was planning her wedding in 2018 that pushed her to realize the lack of resources in the corporate events market compared to the wedding industry, and set out to see if other meetings and events professionals were struggling with the same problem.  

 

Freelancing has become a new ball game since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as many companies cannot afford to keep full-time positions, but still need those tasks completed. Although many more professionals have had to join the freelancing community since March, Tracy Judge had the passion for the freelancing community two years ago–long before the pandemic hit–and founded her company Soundings Connect in order to directly connect meetings and events industry freelancers with customers. 

 

Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth is one of six recipients of the James Beard Foundation’s 2020 America’s Classics Award, which is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of their community. Per the foundation, “Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, a chicken dinner behemoth positioned between Detroit and Michigan’s summer lake destination, is decidedly on the beaten path. William Zehnder Sr. and his wife, Emilie, bought a former hotel in 1928.