COVID-19 hit the special events market hard, yet there is a sense of optimism for when things return to normal. Here are three tips for agents to help clients get ready for when the lights come back on.
While COVID-19 hit the special events market hard, those working within the industry have a sense of optimism for when things return to normal.
“I want agents to recognize that the special events market is not dead," says Scott Carroll, broker and underwriter, Take1 Insurance. “There are going to be events again, whether they be annual or short-term, you just might have to dig a little harder to find the markets—and the costs will go up for sure."
Now that there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel, here are three tips for agents to help their clients get ready for when the lights finally come back on:
1) Maintaining relationships. “Insurance placement for events is often last minute, so having relationships with companies that insure special events ahead of time is key to providing a quick turnaround," says Spencer Batt, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, American Specialty Insurance & Risk Services, Inc., an affiliate of Arrowhead General Insurance Agency.
On the flip side, agents would benefit from keeping clients up to date on the state of the market. “Plan ahead and start talking with the client who maybe doesn't have their coverage in place right now or has reduced their coverage during the pandemic," says David Cloward, industry executive and consultant for the live entertainment insurance industry and board director of the Event Safety Alliance.
Getting a jump start on what may be a limited market in the future can assist clients in placing risks when events do come around.
2) Familiarize yourself with new products available. Knowing the type of products available and what may or may not be included is key for all lines of insurance, but it is particularly relevant now the special events market has diminished and adapted over the past year.
“While the quoting process and sometimes even the pricing can be very similar, the terms can be vastly different," Batt says. “An agent who can help a client quickly solve their coverage needs with the best solution in the marketplace is surely adding value."
The pandemic has shown that online events such as concerts and conferences are extremely popular and have been successful. “I don't know that we're going to see a tremendous change in this," Carroll says. “As a result, I think agents need to start looking at coverage through the lens of whether the insured has a greater exposure relative to cyber issues because so much more is being transacted over the internet."
Additionally, agents need to be cognizant of the increasing number of online raters. “A growing problem I see is that the rating engines have broad appetites for types of events but the policy language excludes many of the exposures present," Batt says.
3) Monitor emerging risks. The pandemic has certainly shown that there can be various ways of presenting or hosting an event. New types of events are always being created or reinvented but “the biggest opportunity for agents is based around coverage," Batt says.
“The previous assumption seemed to be that most special event policies offered similar terms and conditions," Batt explains, but “that has been changing with the introduction of more competitors in the space and I expect it to continue to be the case with the overall firming insurance market."
As agents continue to look to assist their clients in mitigating risks, one aspect that must not be forgotten is crisis management, terrorism and active assailant cover.
“I believe that the crisis management market is going to be an element of an insured insurance portfolio in the future," Carroll says. “It's not really something that's sort of picked up on a broad basis, but I think in the future it will be because there will be a need."
Olivia Overman is IA content editor.