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Event Cancellation Insurance

17 Sep 2020 1:55 PM | Anonymous

Many nonprofits hold events, such as annual conferences and fundraising galas, throughout the year. However, because of COVID-19, many have had to cancel these revenue generating activities. For those organizations that entered into contracts with venues prior to COVID-19, trying to cancel the contract can be a time-consuming and headache-generating process. A recent survey conducted by ANAFP showed that many organizations, especially early-on in the pandemic, were able to exercise the force majeure clause and exit the contract without penalty. Other organizations reported having more difficulty because their jurisdiction had no stay-at-home order in place and therefore the force majeure clause was inapplicable. Thus, when exiting the contract, the nonprofit was required to pay a cancellation fee to the venue. Luckily, some organizations reported having purchased event cancellation insurance (including the rider for communicable disease coverage) prior to the start of the pandemic. These organizations reported needing to provide notice to the carrier once the organization was aware of a circumstance that may lead to a claim. In addition, organizations reported that, prior to making any refunds, processing cancellation charges, or any other claim-impacting decisions, it was necessary to first get the adjuster’s consent. In addition, having sound documentation, such as invoices, copies of checks, bank statements, and financial information from previous years' events, was necessary to support claim amounts. Thus, organizations looking to recover costs through event cancellation insurance in the future should 1) ensure any coverage includes a communicable disease rider, 2) work with the adjuster first before making any claim-impacting decisions, and 3) gather and keep track of all documentation that may support any claim that is filed. 

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