Destinations International to Offer Event Cancellation Insurance

cancellation insuranceDestinations International recently announced a partnership with insurance and risk management company Anderson Benson to make event cancellation insurance and risk management policy options available to DI members.

Event cancellation insurance was a nice-to-have back in the good old days when revenue per available room (RevPAR) was reliably hitting double digits. But when COVID-19 hit, it brought with it a tidal wave of meeting and event cancellations and postponements — highlighting just how vital it is to have policies available to help recoup losses. And, while COVID-related cancellations and postponements are now on the wane, there are always other challenges that can affect the ability to hold meetings, from weather to civil unrest to travel bans to war.

That’s why Destinations International (DI) announced during the Professional Convention Management Association’s Convening Leaders conference earlier this month that it had partnered with insurance and risk-management company Anderson Benson to offer event cancellation insurance and risk management policy options. Called the Bespoke Destinations International Program, the options are available only to DI’s 6,500 members in 650 destinations globally and their clients. Anderson Benson, which is based in Nashville, has a long history of working with the Nashville CVB, as well as music industry events. The company uses Lloyds of London to underwrite its policies.

“We don’t know what’s going to come down the pipe next; the best thing we can do is be prepared,” said Don Welsh, DI President and CEO, during a press conference at PCMA CL 23, held in Columbus, Ohio. “In today’s climate, destinations of all sizes must be prepared for potential risks that may be out of a destination’s control. Aligning with the pre-eminent insurance broker and risk management firm in our industry, we are able to provide our members with an invaluable resource and tool.”

DI Director of Education, Sales and Services Emily Scheiderer, added, “This exciting partnership that we have with Anderson Benson is really providing a very important tool that’s offering planners the opportunity to have financial security as they are mitigating the risk of their events. The reality of the situation is that as an industry, we’re always going to have unknowns. Planners are planning events in a world where we have new perceptions of health and safety, where we have ebbing flows of economies, where we have ever-changing political climates and where climate change is a big deal. All of these unknowns are impacting the planning process for meetings and for events. The strategic partnership that we have with Anderson Benson is providing destinations and strategists with a tool that they need to really protect their financial interests.”

The program is designed to include coverage for:

  • Budgeted costs and expenses or revenue for cancelled events
  • Abandoned or disrupted meetings or events due to reasons beyond the destination organization’s control
  • Protection against traditional force majeure occurrences such as adverse weather and terrorism
  • Civil commotion
  • National mourning
  • Travel boycotts and bans

Anderson Benson Cofounder and President George Anderson, further explained some of the risks that will be covered at the press conference. “Adverse weather, terrorism, active threat or fear, non-appearance — you’re flying in a great speaker, he can’t make it and he doesn’t show up, there’s cost involved. You get paid for that civil commotion — a big risk nowadays, as we saw a couple of years ago. Especially national mourning, active shooter, cyber breach, somebody comes to this convention and grabs a hold of the internet and says if you don’t give us $100,000, we’re not going to release you to have your meeting. We see these types of claims. Another big one is public sentiment and reputational protection.” While coverage for disease outbreaks such as COVID are available, the premiums now are much higher than they were pre-COVID.

For more information, go to destinationsinternational.org/partners/anderson-benson.

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