Despite consumers cutting back on many expenses, they are not cutting back when it comes to the events they hold for life milestones, according to Travelers, which is what inspired the company to expand its Protector Plan for Events to private special events.
The expanded special event coverage now covers anniversaries, birthdays, sweet 16 celebrations, baby showers, holiday parties, retirements, and others.
“We saw an increasing demand for covering different types of events and we decided it was time to branch out,” says Chantal Cyr, vice president of Travelers Personal Lines in Hartford, Conn.
Coverage includes event cancellation or postponement, transportation shutdowns, lost deposits, special jewelry, event photographs and video, and other incidents that can disrupt the event. Liability coverage can also be added that offers property, bodily injury and liquor liability for the event premise only.
Liability coverage cannot be purchased standalone; customers must buy the core coverage to be eligible to purchase liability coverage as well. The coverage is for private events only and is not available to public events or commercial lines. The named insured can be the honorees or someone else who has a financial stake in the event.
“This particular product started out as wedding protection,” says Cyr. “That’s what we have marketed heavily for many years and we have now expanded into event insurance.”
Many of the classes are available to be purchased online and those that are not are looked at on a case-by-case basis and may require additional underwriting.
There are 10 different limit levels for the cancellation and postponement coverage, which start at $7,500 and go up to $175,000. The liability limits go up to $1 million. Premiums start at $160 with the average being $400 and there is no deductible.
Cyr says personal lines agents have not taken advantage when it comes to selling wedding and special event insurance in the last four or five years, probably because consumers have not seemed willing to spend the money, but she says this policy could actually create more business for them.
“Agents are not leveraging the opportunity this line of business provides. It is a great way to access a new customer base,” says Cyr. “From my perspective it is a great opportunity to cross-sell and increase their sales – not only for special events but for personal lines in general.”
Agents can also use what is happening with the economy to their advantage.
“Some of what we are seeing with these events and our wedding product is venues going out of business,” says Cyr. “In this time it is more important than ever to protect your investment and have peace of mind.”