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13 September 2023

Preparing for the weather and insuring your plans

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Between the Black Rainstorm that hit Hong Kong on September 7th and 8th 2023, and the two typhoons to impact the city immediately prior to that, there has been a large amount of weather-related disruption to life in the city in the last 3 weeks.

Under a Black Rainstorm warning and any Typhoon Signal higher than 8, life in Hong Kong largely comes to a stop. People stay at home, stores are closed, buses and trains suspend operations, and events are cancelled. Local analysts estimate that Super Typhoon Saola, alone, caused between HK$3 and 6 billion in economic damages.

Coupled with the additional rain that lashed the city in the historic black rainstorm, we can expect the financial impact of these weather events to increase over the coming months.

Event organizers and producers who have been forced to cancel their activities since the start of the month will be well aware of the burdens they face with regards to the weather and they’re not alone. In recent weeks globally renowned festival, Burning Man, was the victim of a freak rainstorm. Similar to Hong Kong, the Burning Man location in Nevada USA was the sight of a historic and unprecedented downpour that forced organizers to pause their festivities and caused a number of attendees to evacuate the playa.

Hosting a well-organized well-planned event is not a cheap proposition. Organizing a major concert, fashion show, sporting event, or artistic gathering requires an extraordinary amount of work. Having all that effort wasted, often at the last minute, because of circumstances beyond your control can be a literal nightmare. There were countless events all across the city that were canceled last week, And the week before. Being able to rely on both financial and professional support should a worst-case scenario be realized is critical for any and all event producers and organizers - worldwide.

That’s where Event Insurance comes in.

Event insurance in Hong Kong

Managing the Weather with Event Insurance

Having to cancel your event because of the weather, or having your audience forcibly evacuated from the event location in the midst of the festivities, Is possibly one of the worst things that can happen to an event organizer or an event planner. Even a bride on her wedding day is at the whims of the weather, and the beautiful outdoor ceremony that has been planned could well be ruined by a repeat of the rain events of last week.

Event insurance is an umbrella product that is designed to give confidence to organizers and event planners that no matter what happens they will have the financial protection that they need to overcome the obstacles being presented.

One of these risks is weather.

Weather Cancelation Event Insurance

Weather Cancellation Event Insurance

Under many Hong Kong and International event insurance plans, activities which are being planned indoors will receive weather cancellation protection as a matter of course under the coverage. 

This means that if you are hosting a networking function or a club night inside a private venue— like a bar or a member-only club— then your event protected by an event insurance plan will be covered should you have to cancel because of a situation like a typhoon or a black rainstorm.

Under event cancelation coverage with a weather benefit event organizers are able to be reimbursed for the losses that they may suffer due to a postponement or total cancelation caused by extreme weather.

You will have noticed that we specify weather cancelation coverage is applied as standard to all event insurance policies where the event itself is occurring indoors. If your event is outdoors, for example a rugby tournament, or a large annual concert, then you’ll need to purchase a weather cancelation benefit as an additional form of cover. This is due to the fact that outdoor events are inherently more likely to be postponed due to weather than one that’s held inside.

In order to receive protection against weather cancelation for an outdoors event there are a number of requirements that many insurers will introduce. These include things like the need for the event to be protected by some sort of roof if there is a stage involved, that electrical and sensitive electronic equipment like computers or lighting must be protected and covered against all types of rain and must be at least 30cm off the ground, and even ensuring that this equipment is rated for the humidity in the location of use.

It can feel like event Insurance is often just a series of hoops to jump through, and this is in large part because it is an infinitely customizable product — tailored specifically to each and every single event for which coverage is supplied. This means that you are able to add or subtract from the base policy as needed for your specific event, but does mean that setting up a policy can seem quite daunting.

This is why many people organizing an event will opt for simple public liability insurance, which is an “easier to understand” purchase, and can often be cheaper for the organizer or producer on a budget.

Wedding Cancelation Insurance Hong Kong

Public Liability Protection vs Event Insurance

When you’re renting a venue to use in Hong Kong it’s pretty common for the venue owner to require that you take out some form of Public Liability Insurance protection. This is because accidents can happen and the venue owner wants assurance that if their property is damaged there will be appropriate funds available for repairs. If you’re organizing a small strings concert at a leisure and cultural services department function hall, or if you’re renting our Kings Park for a 5-a-side football tournament, you will normally be required to prove that you have appropriate Public Liability protection before the venue is released to you for your event.

Unfortunately, public liability insurance really only protects you against the damage your event causes to someone else’s property, or if your event is responsible for the death or injury of a bystander. There’s a lot more that can go wrong in an event of any sort — in limiting your scope of protection, you are limiting the support that is available to you in the realization of a worst-case scenario.

While opting for a simple Public Liability Insurance plan is often more straightforward, satisfies your obligations to the venue, and is often cheaper to purchase than a full-blown Event Insurance policy, it can leave you extremely exposed should something other than property damage occur – like a forced loss of audience.

If, for example, your event is being held in Macau at one of the casinos and is being allowed to proceed by Macanese authorities, but the warning signal in Hong Kong is preventing any ferries from running, then public liability insurance would not cover your lost overhead and fees. Neither would an event insurance weather cancellation benefit – this would specifically relate to a benefit applying to “Forced Loss of Audience.”

Which is the reason that all event organizers, of any event (no matter how large or small) should strongly consider the purchase of a customized event insurance policy – because you never know what might happen.

Party Insurance Hong Kong

Event Insurance Advice in Hong Kong

CCW Global is able to offer exceptional event insurance coverage in Hong Kong and throughout the greater Asia-Pacific region. Our expert Event Insurance Brokers have extensive experience in assisting producers and event organizers across Asia with finding the perfect insurance protection for their next event.

From small, intimate gatherings, to large events with globally renowned performers, we have the knowledge of what it takes to pull of a truly great event, whilst being able to arrange protection that manages all the risks and obstacles put in front of you. From key performers not showing up, to an attendee getting injured, we have Event Insurance options for any and all eventualities.

If you want to know more about Event Insurance in Hong Kong please Ask CCW – We’re simplifying insurance.

About Author

Michael Lamb is an insurance industry professional with many years of experience within the Hong Kong Insurance market. Focusing on APAC coverage issues, Michael is able to provide extensive analysis and insight to a range of pressing topics. Previously, Michael provided insurance broker Globalsurance.com with their most highly valued articles and was a key influence in the development of all the content on Pacificprime.com, Michael has a passion for insurance matched by few others in the region.

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