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What to do if your event’s been cancelled due to flooding

October 4, 2019

There’s nothing worse than an event being cancelled. Particularly if it’s down to pure old bad luck. Weather conditions are responsible for event cancellations up and down the country, from storms and snow right through to heavy rainfall. Perhaps one of the most devastating weather conditions is flooding, especially if it arrives unannounced.

Event Cancellation Insurance often doesn’t include Adverse Weather cover as standard, so it’s worth adding this level of cover for any outdoor event or for events happening in flood prone areas. Additional cover can even include loss of revenue, so you can recoup costs following the cancellation.

Bad luck can happen to the best of us

Most of us saw the impact of the Boardmasters storm this summer, causing one of the biggest events in the country to be cancelled.

The UCI Road World Championships event in Harrogate is an even more recent example. The severe rain created havoc for the event organisers, who had to alter the route due to impassable roads. The Fan Zone also had to be closed, and the closing concert with The Feeling cancelled. Though undoubtably disappointing for guests (and the event organisers), the safety of both cyclists and spectators had to be prioritised.

A spell of bad weather really can make or break an event. However, as both of the above examples show, it’s important to have a Plan B (even if that Plan B is cancellation). And implementing that plan effectively can really make a difference to audience loyalty and the long-term perception of your event.

The impact flooding can have on an event

Flooding can, of course, cause event to be cancelled – but it could also cause quite a bit of damage to equipment on-site. Event Equipment insurance covers you against accidental damage, loss or theft. If your PA system gets waterlogged or your marquee ends up washed away, it’s likely you’ll be able to recoup the costs.

The risk of injury due to adverse weather conditions, such as slippery walkways or debris, could also be increased following flooding. Your Public Liability and Employers Liability insurance should cover you for any accidental injury or third party damage. So however far-reaching the effects of flooding are, you can make sure you’re financially and legally covered. Don’t forget – any volunteers or temporary staff must be covered by Employers Liability too, so you’ll need this insurance for even small-scale events.

Can I predict the weather?

In short, no. If we could, the events industry would be transformed! However, you can sign up to free flood alerts that will tell you when floods are expected. Staying one step ahead can really help to minimise impact – from moving equipment to a safe place (on a high floor of a building) through to having emergency sandbags on stand-by – but the main thing is always to stay covered, and prioritise the safety of your staff and guests.

What Event Insurance do I need to protect against flooding?

The level of cover you need will be dependent on the size and scale of your event. Finding the right level of cover, without going OTT and without scrimping on important additionals, can be a challenge. If you want to discuss bespoke policies or your requirements with a member of the Insure Our Event team, we’re always happy to help.

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