The recent developments in the COVID-19 infections have been crippling markets all round the world. The sporting, travel, leisure, conferencing and events companies have been affected very severely by this.
In south Africa the latest state address by the President has even gone so far as putting a temporary ban on gatherings of over 100 people.
We have received numerous question regarding the above from many of our clients who are extremely worried about how this will affect on their future events and business. We have provided a standard response to some of the frequently asked questions that may serve to help you.
Please see below FAQ:
Is it possible to purchase Cancellation and Abandonment Insurance to cover cancellations due to COVID-19?
No, this is impossible to buy at present. Cover for cancellation due to communicable disease cover excluding COVID-19 can still be purchased but at a minimum premium rate of 0.5% and above.
Are suppliers indemnified if a staff member infects a delegate/guest? What if a guest infects a staff member?
This question relates to if a supplier/guest can hold you legally liable if they are infected. Very difficult question to answer. The person infected would have to prove that 1) they contracted the disease from the event 2) it was the fault of the event organiser. Proving both 1) and 2) would be very challenging for anyone to do. To my knowledge, no event has ever been held liable for someone getting the common flu. One could argue the same.
We are waiting for various insurers opinions to weigh in on this.
Does the Events liability insurance policy I have protect me from claims arising out of CORVID-19?
Events liability Insurance protects the holder of the policy against legal liability claims caused by death, injury or damage to third party persons or property. See question 2 for more information.
Apart from legal liability are there any other consideration with regards to having an event continue?
You always need to consider the impact of reputational damage to the organisation. Let’s say for example a client/supplier was infected by CORVID 19 and said that it was because they attended a given event. Now Consider that even if there is no legally liability to pay out as a result of this, the reputational damage could be pretty severe to the organization. Currently Reputation damage is uninsurable. (There are products being developed to cover reputation damage, and you can contact us more for further information).
What about default payments following cancellation of the events?
This can be covered under a Trade credit policy but would need to be taken out well in advance. This would cover the default payment of any client following their liqudation or inability to settle the bill.
What laws are there concerning events being held in South Africa?
One should refer to the Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Regulations 2017 in order to see the major onus of responsibility of the event organiser (any other parties) to provide a safe environment. Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech on the 15th of this month also advised that there is a temporary ban on gathering of over 100 people. Any event larger than this would be a contravention of the directive from the president’s office.
Should current events be cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, then the current contract conditions will apply.
The above has been prepared as a general response but each individual circumstance, policy and event should be considered for formal responses.
Should you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact us on the below details: