Exhibitor Insurance – What Is It and Why Do You Need It?

Exhibitor Insurance can be confusing…

Firstly, you have business insurance right? Does that not already protect you?

Then you have the Event Organiser telling you to either buy their recommended insurance cover or alternatively show evidence of Public Liability Insurance before they will let you exhibit.

The issue is that Event people are good at events. That’s what they do. They are not particularly good when it comes to understanding insurance. That’s why you have an Event Insurance Broker!!

So let’s explain the risks first, after all that is why people really need insurance. We will then address each risk with the appropriate insurance considerations:

Liability Claims from 3rd Parties.

These are known as Public Liability claims and can be for injury to somebody or damage to somebody else’s property. In an ever litigious society these types of claims are on the increase.

As an Exhibitor you are in a densely populated venue with a lot of people and property all around you. Without getting too legal, you are ultimately responsible for your negligent actions which lead to injury or damage. This means that if you injure somebody or damage somebody else’s property whilst at an Event, you might be liable to pay compensation to that person or organisation.

Let’s say you are showing off some new kit on your stand…somebody walks across it and trips up a loose cable…they might sue you for an injury suffered.

Another example could be when you are setting up or dismantling your shell scheme you knock into another Exhibitor’s stand and damage it. You will again be liable to pay for the damage.

This is where Public Liability Insurance comes in.

You will most likely already have a business insurance policy that provides Public Liability Insurance. The trouble is most of these policies do not extend to cover your actions away from the premises.

The solution is to do one of the following:

1) Extend your existing business insurance to cover your Public Liability risk when exhibiting. A large commercial combined policy will probably have the flexibility to do this but smaller package policies will not.

2) Purchase an Exhibitor Insurance policy from a specialist event insurance broker. These can be found online quite easily when searching ‘Exhibitors Insurance’.

Things to check out for:

– If you think you are already covered on your existing commercial policy, speak to your broker. If you did not tell them about Exhibiting the chances are you are not covered.

– If buying a new Exhibitor Public Liability Insurance Policy check the Limit of Indemnity meets yours and your Organisers requirements. In the UK many Organisers will expect you to hold the same Liability limit as they do which can be £5m or even higher.

– Check the excess levels. Usually these will only be applicable to damage to property but can be over £500

Damage to Own Property

You will have insurance at your business premises which picks up computers and other office equipment.

The reason people insure the property is because the cost to replace can be excessive.

At an Event or Exhibition your property is more vulnerable to damage and theft. It is therefore important to ensure you have adequate insurance in place.

The solution is to do one of the following:

1) Extend your existing business policy to cover your property away from the premises. Speak to your insurance broker on how to do this.

2) Purchase an Exhibitor Insurance policy from a specialist event insurance broker. These can be found online quite easily when searching ‘Exhibitors Insurance’

Things to check out for:

– If you are extending your existing policy to cover property away at Exhibition sites make sure your broker fully understands what you need. This will include cover whilst in transit to and from the site.

– Extended business policies are usually more rigid and impose higher excesses and limitations on theft cover.

– When purchasing Property Insurance, check the limit accurately reflects the total amount of property you will be taking to the Event. This is the total sum insured and NOT the most expensive item.

– Again, check the Excess that applies.

Increased Costs and Expenses due to Unexpected Disruption or Cancellation

At an Average UK Trade Show, a typical Exhibitor will have spent on average £7,000 to be there. This is money spent with a view to promote the business. Any good business manager will appreciate that you to speculate to accumulate” and the amount spent will be justified by the increase in business following the event.

So what would happen if after spending all this money the Event was cancelled at the last minute due to circumstances outside of the control of the Organiser or Venue?

Let me be clear on one point – YOU PROBABLY WILL NOT GET A REFUND!!

Not from the Venue, the Organiser, the Stand Builder, the PR Company and anyone else you contracted for the show. Check your T’s & C’s regarding Cancellation due to circumstances outside of the control of the Organiser or Venue or your contractor.

This means that the money spent on the Event is gone with no return.

The insurance solution is to do the following (this time there is only one option).

1) Purchase Exhibitor Insurance containing ‘Cancellation Insurance’ otherwise known as ‘Costs and Expenses Insurance.

This will provide cover for loss of Costs and Expenses if the Event is Cancelled or otherwise disrupted due to circumstances outside of the Exhibitors control.

Things to check out for:

– Make sure the limit is in-line with your actual exposure. If you are spending £20,000, insure for £20,000.

– Check what is covered. Some policies have quite limited coverage. Speak to a specialist insurance broker and get advice.

Okay, so hopefully this will have you give you some food for thought if you are exhibiting at an Event soon.

Some general rules:

– Check the Geographical Limits and the Jurisdications – do they match up with where your company is registered and where the event is taking place. Many policies will exclude N.America.

– Check the limits meet your requirements and also the requirements of the Venue or Organiser.

– Look around and speak to an Independent Event Insurance Broker. Do not always buy the insurance promoted by the Organiser as this might not be the most competitive or right for your business.

– Check the Terms and Conditions of all of your contracts including your Insurances!

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