Event Cancellation Insurance: Adverse Weather

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Music & Live Events: A Guide to Adverse Weather Risks and EVENT Cancellation INSURANCE

Event Cancellation Insurance is an important cover for any event where the organiser would face considerable losses if the event was unable to go ahead as planned. Adverse or extreme weather is a common cause of events needing to be cancelled or postponed, and can affect both outdoor and indoor events, posing a danger to those attending or performing, or by impacting the staging or setup of the event itself.

At the planning stage, all parties involved in organising the event should be aware of how much wind, rain and stormy weather the venue and infrastructure can handle before the event would be considered unsafe to run or continue.

A comprehensive Event Cancellation Insurance policy will generally cover adverse weather for indoor events and offer an option to include adverse weather cover for outdoor events. Every event has unique risks, therefore it is important to check your policy documents, or speak to an experienced broker who can advise the best level of cover for your event.

There are many factors you need to consider when deciding on the level of adverse weather cover needed, and steps you can take to mitigate some of the risks facing your event.


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Events taking place in Summer and Early Autumn can be affected by very hot weather, and organisers should always plan to put measures in place for the safety of attendees such as shaded areas and access to water fountains. This is particularly important for outdoor events, however organisers of indoor events taking place in high summer should also consider if venues have adequate air conditioning and/or ventilation, particularly for events such as live music which draw large energetic crowds.

Extended periods of hot, dry weather can also come with increased risks for summer events held outside on grass. If heavy rain falls on very dry ground that is unable to absorb the water, this can lead to flooding or waterlogging. If smaller sections of the event grounds are waterlogged, it may be possible to move staging to alternative locations, however if the waterlogging is widespread this may lead to an event being cancelled or postponed due to safety concerns.

Winter events are more likely to suffer from snow, ice and heavy rainfall. Events such as Christmas Markets, or even indoor events held in locations which may be difficult to access in extreme weather conditions need to ensure they are covered for potential losses if the event has to be cancelled or rearranged. However, it is important to consider that adverse weather can occur in any season and in recent years heavy rainfall, storms and even snow have also occurred across Spring and Autumn.


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Events taking place inside in permanent pre-built venues will, generally, have a much lower risk of cancellation due to adverse weather, and cover is included in an indoor event cancellation insurance policy as standard. For outdoor events, including those where temporary structures are erected, adverse weather cover is excluded in standard event cancellation insurance policies, and you will need to purchase additional cover for adverse weather.

Regardless of whether your event takes place indoors or outdoors, it is crucial that you conduct a risk assessment of your chosen venue to understand all the potential risks, including adverse weather. This should involve a discussion with the venue to understand if there has been a history of adverse weather such as waterlogging or extreme winds, and plans to mitigate this risk where possible, for example, sectioning off land prone to waterlogging or not placing key infrastructure in these areas. Events taking place near bodies of water such as rivers should take particular care to assess the risks of flooding and waterlogging, and where possible place infrastructure away from the areas at most risk of flooding.



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Staging & Infrastructure

The amount of staging and other facilities needing to be built on site will also determine the level of cover needed for your event. If you need to assemble large stages, tents and other infrastructure for a festival or other large event, there is a higher risk of the event becoming unsafe due to extreme winds.

You should also ensure staging and facilities are set up to reduce the risk of damage due to weather. For example, it is a condition of adverse weather cover that staging is covered by a roof and three sides, and that all electrical equipment is protected from the effects of the weather.

The ground where your event is staged taking may also influence the level of adverse weather risk. If the main infrastructure of your event can be erected on hardstanding rather than grass, this may reduce the risk of cancellation due to flooding, provided the ground has adequate drainage to avoid large waterlogged spaces.


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Type of event

Some events will carry higher cancellation risks because of the scale or number of people involved. For example, music festivals rely on the availability of many bands and artists who may not be able to rearrange other dates in their tour if the festival needs to be postponed or rearranged. Other events may be more flexible (such as business or industry conferences) and able to postpone, rearrange or relocate with much lower potential losses than outright cancellation of the event.


Why choose Tysers?

Tysers specialist contingency broking team is one of the world’s largest, possessing many years of experience insuring events in the UK and overseas. Our broking team has all the necessary skills to assess your individual requirements and deliver the most appropriate protection for every event.

As a Lloyd’s Coverholder, our expert team also has the authority to bind Cancellation and Non-Appearance cover and issue policy documentation, expediting the purchase, service and claims handling process.

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