Understanding Trade Show Insurance

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Welcome to “Exhibitor Lounge” sponsored by Exhibit Edge.com.  I am your host and Trade Show Mixologist, Michael Gray. Here, each week, you receive simple, practical, and proven tips to improve your trade show marketing strategy and get better results while maximizing your budget.

Today’s topic is what you need to consider for trade show insurance. I will start with a disclaimer that I am not an insurance expert. You should consult with your insurance company to understand what insurance policies you have in place and what that insurance covers. Look – I just want to get you thinking about different scenarios where you may be vulnerable. There are three basic types of coverage for trade show insurance. They are:

1. Event cancellation/disruption

2. Liability

3. Personal Property

Most companies overlook event cancellation or disruption insurance but it may be wise to look at a general policy that covers a year’s worth of shows and at least get a quote. The recent tragedy in Boston that shut down the city, hurricanes and floods, and the government sequester cuts that cancelled many shows are all examples of lost expenditures that could potentially fall under this type of insurance.

Insurance for personal exhibit property is often overlooked as well. It is not something that is talked about or budgeted for in Marketing Departments. We will cover personal property insurance next week but today I want to go over liability. 

So what is liability? Basically it is the responsibility that one person or group has toward another person or group either through a legal justification or debt related occurrence. It almost always occurs as a law suit. In plain terms: You did something wrong to someone and they want to hold you responsible.

Show venues and organizers will require that you provide a certificate of Insurance with liability coverage of usually up to 1 million dollars. The Association or show organizer may ask that you include the venue (meaning the show location) and the organizer as “additional insured”. What this does for them is to put your insurance in front of their insurance as the first line of defense in the event of a law suit. Exhibitor Appointed Contractors (EAC’s) like Exhibit Edge that install and dismantle exhibits on the show floor are also required to provide this proof of insurance.

What you need to understand is that there are so many different contractors, exhibitors and attendees at tradeshows. So you should realize that the blame game can go a long way when someone suffers an injury or damage to property. I can think of many scenarios where exhibitors can be liable:

Things like:

  1. Walking behind your exhibit and knocking down the exhibit behind you.
  2. Someone tripping in the aisle because of an item from your booth that fell off the counter.
  3. A fire that started from computer power pack inside your counter or behind the exhibit, etc.

So bottom line: Verify that your business insurance covers special events and related employees.

If necessary you can purchase a short term liability insurance policy for a specific event just like you can purchase rental car insurance.

As always, please respond with your questions or comments and let others know about EXHIBITOR LOUNGE.COM. We will see you next week. Until then, I am your host Michael Gray telling you to RELAX in the Exhibitor Lounge.