What insurance professionals need to know as live event attendance increases

Best Online Insurance: Eventsured

Professionals:

  • More than 500 event types are covered
  • Policy documents issued in minutes
  • Available in all 50 states
  • Cons:

    • Responsible drinking is required regardless of alcohol consumption
    • Policies not underwritten by Eventsured

    (Credit: Eventsured)

Best for High Limits: Philadelphia Insurance Companies

Professionals:

  • A standard policy starts at $3 million in general liability insurance with additional coverage available
  • Event cancellation coverage limits up to $175,000
  • No deductible for liability claims

Cons:

  • There are no low premium options
  • Military deployment is not covered
  • Events that go past midnight require two days of coverage

(Credit: Philadelphia Insurance Companies)

Best value: Markel

Professionals:

  • Liability insurance starts at $75 for $500,000 of coverage
  • A fifteen percent discount is available when purchasing liability and cancellation policies together
  • Low $25 deductible for cancellation policy claims

Cons:

  • Liability coverage is not available for international destinations
  • $300 cash gift loss limit
  • Property damage claims include a $1,000 deductible

(Credit: Markel)

Best Customer Service: Passengers

Professionals:

  • Phone, email and web chat support available
  • The main telephone line is open 24 hours a day
  • Online offers and policy management

Cons:

  • Limited event types are covered
  • Does not offer stand-alone liability policies
  • Not available in Alaska, Hawaii or Louisiana

(Credit: Travelers)

Best for weddings: WedSafe

Professionals:

  • Covers weddings in the United States and over a dozen international locations
  • Existing connection with thousands of places
  • Cancellation cover can be purchased up to 15 days before the event

Cons:

  • $1,000 deductible for property damage claims
  • Does not cover cancellation due to change of mind
  • Prohibits certain specific activities, including live animals and fireworks

(Credit: WedSafe)

Best for corporate events: USLI

Professionals:

  • Policies include general liability, liquor liability and medical payments
  • Flexible conditions for one-day or multi-day events
  • Covers up to 10,000 guests

Cons:

  • Policies must be purchased through an agent
  • Not ideal for smaller events

(Credit: USLI)

Best Overall: RVNA

Professionals:

  • Affordable policies start at $50 for liability
  • Coverage is available for small and large events
  • Instant online offers

Cons:

  • Complaints by phone only
  • $2,500 deductible for property damage claims

(Credit: RNVA)

After a trying and tumultuous two years, the live events space is starting to see a recovery as LendingTree reported that concert attendance has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Americans plan to attend an average of four concerts this year, up from three last year and in line with 2019, according to the online lending marketplace.

For risk managers and event planners, the keys to success are preparation, patience and being early, according to Mona Grabowski, vice president, entertainment, for Hub International. Due to a hardening market, capacity issues and losses from industry events, carriers are now even more focused on safety standards and practices, proper risk transfer protocols and contractual obligations.

“Meeting industry staff and labor shortages has put enormous stress on event planners and risk managers,” Grabowski told PropertyCasualty360.com. “For the most part, COVID sidelined the industry for two years, and within those two years, experienced companies and individuals either left the space or simply found themselves ‘out of practice’ in their day-to-day duties, which pre-pandemic took second place in nature.”

She explains that bringing that experience and consistency back to the live event space will not only be vital to the success of an event, but will also make carriers feel more comfortable insuring certain events.

The frequency of claims and denials is increasing

Event spaces are not alone in staffing struggles, as Grabowski says insurers are still working to get back to full capacity.

Carriers continue to suffer their own problems of understaffing and limited resources, leading to delayed response times and backlogs. Also, claims increase in frequency as attendance increases, Grabowski says, adding that claims take longer to set up, investigate and pay.

“We’re seeing more denials with claims than we had before the pandemic,” she says. “I believe it’s also a result of all the natural disaster payouts that insurance companies have had to pay out, like hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires. Times have changed.”

The slideshow above features Investopedia.com’s rankings of the leading live event underwriters in seven categories.

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