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Blog: Three event insurance trends not to be ignored in 2024

Rob Carslake Hisocx

From civil commotion to climate change and changes in the duty of protection, event organisers and their brokers have a lot to consider when placing insurance next year. Rob Carslake, head of event insurance, Hiscox UK, offers some guidance to those planning ahead for 2024.

The world of event planning and management is always evolving to adapt to new challenges and emerging trends.

As we move towards 2024, event organisers face a rapidly changing landscape, shaped by a range of factors whose cause might be political, technical, or ecological.

Among these, three key trends stand out as essential considerations for ensuring the success and security of next year’s events:

Martyn’s Law: enhancing event safety and security

Martyn’s Law is named after Martyn Hett, one of the victims of the Manchester Arena terrorist bombing in 2017, and it is expected to become law in January 2024.

Being proactive in risk assessment and mitigation strategies, using expert understanding of fast-moving situations, is essential to ensure events can proceed smoothly and safely.

The law aims to improve the safety and security for terrorist attack in public venues by placing an increased duty of protection on venues and event organisers. More than 928,000 venues are in scope according to the Governments impact assessment with an increased focus on events/venues with over 800 attendees.

Event organisers need to be aware of the potential new legal requirements under this act. The responsibilities are likely to include staff training for a terrorist attacks, documented terrorism risk assessments, consideration for physical security, an aligned competent person and physical guarding. The venue and the nearby area will also need to be considered.

Brokers have an opportunity to guide customers through this with specific risk and coverage advice.

Public liability policies may not include terrorism cover as standard or we may see insurers restrict coverage. Martyn’s Law is likely to bring this coverage sharply into focus for public liability as well as other casualty products.

Wildfires and climate change: the rising threat to outdoor (and even indoor) events

Climate change is affecting the world in many ways, and its impact on outdoor events cannot be underestimated. According to the UN Environment Programme, “climate change and land-use change are projected to make wildfires more frequent and intense, with a global increase of extreme fires of up to 14 per cent by 2030, 30 per cent by the end of 2050 and 50 per cent by the end of the century”.

Event insurance policies cover unforeseen circumstances, but the changing climate is leading insurers to reassess their approach on the environment. This includes assessing evacuation plans, wildfire contingency measures and seasonality.

This is not exclusively an outdoor event problem. Indoor events are being impacted, where intense smog can cause disruption. The Canadian wildfires in June caused smog more than 500 miles away in New York. Not only were outdoor theatre in the park performances cancelled, but also some indoor Broadway productions.

Insurers are likely to adjust premiums and coverage options for events held in high-risk areas. For underwriters analysing and pricing becomes much more complex and tied to specific geographies and seasons. There is an increasing trend to exclude this protection.

To navigate these challenges, event organisers and insurers will need to be aware of the local fire conditions, develop comprehensive contingency plans, and work closely with their insurance broker to ensure their events are adequately insured against wildfire-related disruptions.

Civil commotion and strikes: unforeseen disruptions to event plans

In an increasingly interconnected world, civil commotion and strikes can have far-reaching consequences for event organisers. These events can disrupt transportation, hinder access to venues, and even lead to safety concerns for attendees. What is certain is the world remain will remain unpredictable. These risks will continue to pose a significant threat to the successful running of events in 2024.

To safeguard against the impact of civil commotion and strikes, brokers should ensure policies include coverage for these specific risks. Event organisers must thoroughly evaluate their event's location and timing, considering the need to offset the potential political and social unrest that could affect their plans. In the last 12 months we have seen significant riots in France, Mexico, Spain and Poland.

Riots are exceedingly difficult to predict, particularly when planning an event many months out. Industrial action has caused havoc with transport networks, and the UK was not alone in suffering, Germany had its largest strike in decades and France has had intermittent action related to pension reforms for most of the year.

Being proactive in risk assessment and utilising expert understanding of fast-moving situations, is essential to ensure events can proceed smoothly and safely. Brokers should ensure that these risks are offset to ensure customers events are remembered for the right reasons.

Why you should work with Hiscox to provide optimised event insurance?

In 2024, event organisers cannot afford to ignore the evolving landscape. Martyn's Law is reshaping the expectations for event safety and security, wildfire risks are increasing due to climate change, civil commotion and strikes can disrupt even the best-laid plans.

The event industry has consistently shown over the past three or four years that it bounces back, it is adaptable, and it is creative. Regardless of the challenges faced, it will adapt and thrive. And Hiscox will be alongside it, understanding the needs of our brokers and customers.

With more than 30 years’ experience and expert knowledge of the challenges facing event organisers, Hiscox can look to provide fast, flexible cover to your clients, however specific their requirements.

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