A Boring But Critically Important Topic: Insurance

Make Sure Your DMC Carries the Necessary Coverage

Insurance isn’t the most exciting topic, but it’s a topic every Meeting Planner needs to pay attention to.

Why? Because you need to ensure that – when you engage a Destination Management Company (DMC) to help you manage an event – the DMC you choose has the insurance coverage you need to protect you and your organization in case of an accident or other serious issue.

Let’s address three types of insurance: 

  • General Liability Coverage 
  • Commercial Vehicle Liability Coverage
  • Professional Liability Coverage, also known as Errors & Omissions Coverage.

First, let’s discuss General Liability Coverage

This insurance covers claims related to bodily injury and/or damage to property that occurs during an event.

As an example, assume the décor for your event includes a large, lighted globe hanging from the ceiling. If that globe were to fall to the floor – injuring one or more attendees – the DMC’s General Liability coverage would cover their medical costs. It would also cover damage to the venue caused by the globe’s collapse.

Since so many events today have elaborate décor, even if your DMC and their vendors take every step possible to ensure a flawless evening, accidents can happen and you want to ensure your company is protected, should there be an issue.

In addition to the example mentioned above, General Liability coverage would also cover damages caused by more than just the venue’s décor. It would also cover an instance of food poisoning by a caterer, or the collapse of the bandstand supporting the evening’s entertainment, injuring those standing close by. 

Next, let’s consider Commercial Vehicle Liability Coverage

Commercial Vehicle Liability insurance coverage for the safe transportation of your attendees is also important to consider. Do you plan to hire a car service to deliver your attendees to the event? Be aware that many ground transportation providers carry only the bare minimum of coverage, whereas accredited DMCs, like Agenda: USA, work with vendors they’ve confirmed to carry extensive coverage to ensure you, your VIPs and all your attendees are well covered, should there ever be an issue. 

When engaging a transportation service for your attendees, it’s also important to ensure the drivers have been thoroughly vetted. Those companies operating with US DOT authority are required to conduct regular vehicle inspections and random drug screening of their drivers. 

As one of the few DMCs in the world with an in-house passenger transportation service, we’re pleased to say our Agenda: USA Chauffeured Services division provides exactly that type of service. We carry $5 million in Commercial Vehicle Liability insurance coverage. Plus, we hire professional chauffeurs because they do much more than simply drive people from point A to point B, we thoroughly screen our employees and we maintain a random drug-testing policy. 

Now, let’s talk about Professional Liability Coverage

This type of insurance focuses more on indirect or abstract risks such as errors and omissions in or with the services a business provides. Your DMC’s Professional Liability Coverage will address such things as a band not showing up to perform during an event as contracted, or a caterer not providing one or more of the dinner items as scheduled. If these errors/omissions result in additional, unanticipated expenses (and if the original reason that caused these expenses was the fault of the DMC you hired), you’ll likely want to seek reimbursement for them.  

In Summary

Meeting and/or Event Planners are often so focused on ensuring the “Wow” factor for the upcoming event, it’s easy to overlook asking about these important insurance coverages. But when you choose an accredited DMC, they will likely bring up this important topic during one of your initial meetings, and they should happily share the details of their coverage before you sign their contract.

Upon request, your DMC can have their insurance agent provide a “Certificate of Insurance” (COI) listing all the various insurance coverages the DMC has in place.

You can also go further and request the DMC to have your organization listed as an “Additional Insured” (AI) with those underwriters providing various coverages such as General and Professional Liability.  There may be an additional premium assessed by one or more of the underwriters because of the increased exposure due to the addition of your attendees to the coverage, but then that coverage will be “primary” should an incident occur. 

As noted earlier, one way to ensure the DMC you’re considering working with carries the appropriate insurance coverage is to check their credentials. Is the DMC accredited? If the firm carries the Accredited Destination Management Company (ADMC) designation, you can be confident they abide by the high standards established by the Association of Destination Management Executives International (ADMEI) and that they carry the necessary insurance to provide you and your organization with an exceptional, worry-free experience.