Insurance for Hybrid Events – What You Need to Know

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The world of insurance today can be a jungle for many event professionals. It can be full of surprises that can easily lead to even more confusion. At the same time, new trends like hybrid events are posing new challenges for insurance companies too.

As a savvy event professional, you know how important it is to get insurance for your hybrid event. It’s common sense. After all there is just too much that could go wrong. But buying the wrong cover will not help.

We look at some of the fundamentals to get right and put you on the track that will lead you to making the right choices.

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Does Hybrid Event Insurance Exist?

Ask an insurance company or broker for hybrid event insurance and they may wonder what on earth you want. At the moment, hybrid events are not fully understood by the insurance sector. Of course, for the specialist event insurance providers, they have a greater understanding.

But even then, you shouldn’t make assumptions. It is surprising how many event professionals use the terms virtual event and hybrid event as interchangeable. But the savvy planner knows that the terms mean completely different things. Let’s face it, if event professionals have trouble with understanding hybrid events, you can be sure that other sectors will struggle as well.

Typing ‘hybrid event insurance’ into your favourite search engine will not bring up package insurance policies that planners have become used to. Maybe there will be some insurers that offer this later, so keep checking back.

The good news is that whilst there is no specific package insurance available, you are likely to have different insurance policies that can be dovetailed or extended to meet your hybrid event needs.

Explaining Hybrid Events to Insurers  

It is critical that you take the time to fully explain to your insurance company or advisor what you need. That has always been the case, long before hybrid events came on the scene. If there is an absolute rule it is that you disclose everything to insurers. Do not make the mistake of trying to filter information and only tell them what you think they need to know. Be open and explain what will be happening at your event.

Insurers have been covering conference and event risks for years. They can also cover online events and their risks. Explaining to an insurer that your hybrid event is a combination of a physical in-person event and an online one will get the discussion started. Put it in simple terms. Don’t use any explanations that confuse.

The other golden rule is that if an insurance company cannot understand what you are describing they will not cover it. You need to be aware of the huge numbers and different types of risks that insurers are asked to look at every day.

Keep it simple, your hybrid event is a combination event. It has in-person attendees and online delegates. That needs to be your starting point.

Different Hybrid Events Require Different Solutions      

Having got over the first hurdle of explaining what a hybrid event is, you now need to outline what will be happening at yours.

No two hybrid events are the same. As with any event, there will be differences that have to be taken account of. Let’s drill into this with a couple of scenarios. In one situation, your hybrid event may have 2000 people attending in-person with another 5,000 online. Or in a second scenario you could have 100 people attending in-person and 20,000 online. In both these situations, you have a different risk profile. In the first one, you would need to be especially mindful of the risks from 2,000 people moving about. This gives you a much higher chance of injury risk than in the second example where you have 100 people. But in that second situation, the higher risk is likely to be from broadcast issues as you are streaming content to 20,000 people.

We could complicate either of these scenarios by adding in local clusters or hubs of people that will attend in-person as a group. This means you now have a group of people at the main venue, an audience of virtual attendees and a local group(s) to insure.

Drill down into precisely what will be happening at your event. Insurers will then ask further questions and from there they can start to pull together insurance covers that will protect you.

Related: 9 essential tips to reduce hybrid event risk

What Insurance Do You Have?

Insurance is complex. It has its own language. It incorporates local laws and regulations that you need to adhere to.

Events have always required in-depth thinking when it comes to insurance policies. With so many different cogs turning at once, and so much going at a single event, there’s a lot that can go wrong. With hybrid events there are more bases to be covered. After you need to cover the ‘in-person’ risks as well as the ‘virtual’ event risk.

For you to ensure that your hybrid event is protected you need to ensure that you cover the basics.

Key insurance policies to consider include:

  • Liability – For protection of people
  • Property – For protection of your equipment
  • Cancellation – For protection of finances
  • Professional Indemnity – For protection of professional negligence

Talk to an insurance advisor, explain, what your hybrid event is about, explain what covers you have and then find out what you need to change.

A New Frontier with Cyber Insurance      

To add to the key risks noted above, it’s time to talk about cyber insurance. Compared to the other policies mentioned this is a relatively new one.

It doesn’t matter which type of event you are running, in-person, virtual or hybrid, cyber cover is worth investigating. In fact, most event professionals should have this on their list of covers to seriously consider.

Cyber policies are best known for protecting businesses from malicious cyber hacks and data breaches. Cyber criminals can do a lot of damage not only financially but also to your reputation.

Hybrid events can increase the risk of attacks because your cyber-criminal will know that there are two sets of delegates, and you may be using event tech which has limited security on it. Having insurance could help you.

eBook: The Event Planner’s Guide to Data Security

Conclusion – Use Professional Expertise   

By being clear with insurers about what your hybrid event is, what will be happening and what risk mitigation measures you will put in place, you will find the insurance coverage that you need.

There are some pointers in this post, but you should talk to an insurance broker or advisor to help you further. They will know how to approach the market for the best pricing and the best coverage. You could buy insurance direct from insurance companies if you know what you need, and you are sure that there are no better deals to be had.

However, when it comes to hybrid events, it is best to use the professional expertise of insurance practitioners. And if you can, seek advice from those that specialise in events. One thing is certain, hybrid events will become more complex, attendees will demand more, and you need insurance protection that is as comprehensive as possible. Whilst there is no such thing as hybrid event insurance, you can create an insurance programme that is perfect for you. Just take the insights and experience of insurance professionals to help.

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