From ConRunner
Jump to: navigation, search

Insurance is a way to reduce the potential liability for a perceived risk to the convention. Essentially it transfers some of the large financial risk of a future event to an insurance company or underwriter, in exchange for a fee upfront.

Conventions and their Parent Organization will need insurance. Most conventions will need Property and Casualty policies (Some types listed below). Few will need Health and Life insurance. In general if the convention does not have employees, and is not dependent on one or a few people in limited partnerships, then Heath and Life policies are not necessary.

It is of the utmost importance that you use a reputable agent, and have many people review your policies each year to insure proper coverage. If you are the slightest bit unsure if you are covered for a risk, ask your agent about it, preferably by email so you have a record of the response.

Before you get any insurance you need to ask the following questions:

  1. What risks do I have?
  2. How do I reduce / control / manage my risks?
  3. What are my potential losses?
  4. What is the cost of insuring this risk?
  5. What type(s) of insurance covers this?

What you are looking for is a comparison of the cost of the risk, the cost of controlling it, and the cost of insuring it. Then you decide what you want to do to handle the situation.

Examples of problems, consequences, and mitigations to be considered: (Some of these are extreme but they are intended to make you think about your risk situations)

1. An attendee falls and breaks their leg.

  • Common sense, minimize tripping/slipping hazards (i.e. don't run cable across the floor with out covering it). Crowd control, make sure the escalators are not over loaded.
  • Medical expense, individuals loss of work, law suits, etc.
  • Generally low costs, based on previous propensity of loss.
  • A "General Liability" policy will cover most costs associated with an accident of this nature. If you don't have this you are probably in violation of your hotel contract, most require $1,000,000 per incident $3,000,000 aggregate.

2. A staffer/ volunteers falls off the stage, hurts themself, and damages the awards they where going to distribute.

  • Stage Ninjas, Protected stage edge, etc. (Note this example happened at con I worked at)
  • The Medical expenses of the individual; the costs of replacing the awards.
    • The individual may have health insurance that covers this, but it may also have high deductibles, or out of pocket costs; if it was a notably bad injury the health insurance company may try to claim that the responsibility falls on the organization.
  • Generally low costs, based on previous propensity of loss.
  • See "General Liability" (above) IMPORTANT: Make sure that volunteers are specifically listed in your policy, they are usually excluded. In addition specific medical coverage for volunteers should be included.

3. A projector that is rented or borrowed is stolen during the con.

  • Always be aware of property loss possibilities. Secure rooms when unattended, attach small electronics with lock cables, regular inspection of areas with valuables by security.
  • Cost of the projector, cost of renting a projector for the duration of the convention.
  • A larger portion of the cost of your total insurance expense.
  • Coverage for goods used at and transported to the convention is covered by an "Inland Marine" policy.

4. Weather causes the cancellation of the convention.

  • There is nothing you can do to prevent this.
  • Can you refund all of your memberships? Do you have enough to cover fees for guests? Airlines tickets that won't get used? Perishables and other items that are not reusable? Hotel contract clauses for Force Majeure / "Acts of God"?
  • Most larger event policies have some level of event cancellation coverage.
  • This is a special liability policy.

5. The organization / convention / board members / staffers / etc. are sued for a lot of money, likely because of some other risk but not necessarily.

  • Do your best to reduce other risks that may lead to this (well thought out policies and practices, good leadership, clear directions, etc.)
  • Do your individual members have a million dollars or so to spare?
  • A Directors and Officers policy will provide this needed coverage.
  • Based on the risk this may be necessary. Its not cheap.

Other risks (will expand as time permits)

  • An innocent bystander (non-member) is caught up in some accident related to the convention.
  • The hotel or the convention center burns down the week before the convention.
  • The organization office / storage has a fire, flood, etc.
  • An officer of the organization empties the bank account and disappears.
  • The cash drop from registration, sales table, etc. is stolen on its way to be counted and secured.