Insurance For Events

Posting here mostly because I’ll need this link again sooner or later! We’re hosting our more or less annual joint meeting of OPASS & MagicPass this  month and the facility we use requires an insurance certificate. We use It was $105 for the one day certificate. Takes five minutes or less to fill out the online form and pay with a credit card. $105 feels a bit high for 40 people in a college classroom, but for now the low friction option they have wins out over saving a few bucks. Note that unless you have a corp of some sort set up, you have to put someones name on the application. That’s all good unless something goes wrong, then you’re in the liability chain.

Related to the topic, I’ve suggested several times that PASS could provide blanket coverage, it’s never gone anywhere – the loudest reason was it would be a US only solution. Cost? When I quoted it way back when it was $12,000 a year to cover all the US chapters for all their meetings. Worth doing? Depends on where you stand on risk management and budget priorities.

2 thoughts on “Insurance For Events

  1. As happy as I would be to see blanket insurance for all PASS chapters (even if in the US only) I can see the difficulties that it may present. Would insurance require no alcohol at meetings, forcing chapters who meet at restaurants to relocate? Would insurance require all food served by only licensed caterers/restaurants, or no food at all? That’s probably just scratching the surface on what would be addressed in the fine print once lawyers get involved. Not a bad thing, necessarily, just something to factor into the conversation.


  2. The form for the insurance this time asked a few of those questions. I would guess negotiating a blanket policy would also require discussing those options, but I don’t think it would be something overly time consuming or prohibitive (I base that on the org that I learned about this from has chapters where they are using sharp tools to shape spinning chunks of wood on lathes at their meetings – higher risk than what we do!). But to your point, it wouldn’t make sense to offer something that most chapters wouldn’t be eligible to use if it came to that. If 80% could, that would be a win. Or to go at it more creatively, what if PASS negotiated with someone to offer a lower rate than the $100 a day we paid. Chapters could take that, or perhaps find a better rate elsewhere, but they’d still have a choice.

    The tougher part about this is who is at risk. If PASS doesn’t require insurance as part of being a chapter, are they being poor stewards or just pragmatic? If someone trips on a power cord at SQLSaturday, the insurance company will try to find someone to cover their expenses – will it be the host venue, the organizer, the volunteer that didn’t tape down the extension cord?

    In practice we know that the risk level is realllly low. Not zero, but close. $100 per chapter meeting feels unsustainable, at least here in Orlando. What would a yearly policy cost? I suspect less than $1200, if we had an insurer that understood the model.


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