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I would like to pass on some information about insurance for conventions. It seems a fairly basic requirement to me, but I'm sure there are many cons which take place happily un-insured.

The first dealings I had with convention insurance were through a local broker who, after much hunting round, found a Lloyds company who would insure the convention against theft and breakage of articles brought to the hotel. They would not insure the fabric of the hotel, nor would they cover third party risks eg someone tripping over a projector cable and breaking their neck.

That cover cost approx 30. For the same amount the following year another company was found which would cover third party risks. On that occasion there was a computer stolen from the computer room and a claim was lodged. It took nearly a year to get the company to pay out, so I looked round for another one.

I was recommended to try Expo-sure Ltd, The Pantiles House, 2 Nevill St, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 5SA (Tel.0892 39506). They work out the premium as 1% of the declared turnover of the convention. So a convention with a turnover of 4000 costs 40 to insure. They also don't ask for proof! Anyway, they provide cover not only for loss and damage, but also non-appearance of guests, cancellation due to outside circumstances, damage to fabric of venue, failure to vacate on time, with optional cover for guest's and committee's travel and health.

It was Expo-sure who insured Albacon 84. When Harlan Ellison cancelled at three days notice Expo-sure, by telephone, agreed to cover the cost of an emergency mailout to warn members, the extra cost of Norman Spinrad's flight as substitute, plus any refunds to members cancelling because of the non-appearance of Harlan. (Though they did ask us not to publicise this last part to avoid people claiming who weren't going to come anyway.) When the toal was calculated and communicated to them in writing the company paid up within the week.

Anyone found a better insurance company than that?


This page updated on 09 July 1999