Italian MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli was killed following a horrific crash in the Malaysian MotoGP on October 24. The driver died after he lost control of his bike, causing a collision with other riders which knocked his helmet off. According to the MotoGP medical director, Michele Macchiagodena, Simoncelli died from “very serious trauma to the head, neck and the chest.”

Event Cancellation

The incident occurred just four minutes after the race began and led to the event being cancelled completely. This tragedy highlights the risks that unexpected incidents can cause to your event. While all precautions may be taken to mitigate various risks, things may still invariably go wrong. While event cancellation may be considered a drastic measure, it will sometimes be the only control available to mitigate extreme and unacceptable risks.

In the event of fatality happening at an event, it is quite possible for investigating authorities to close the event until all investigations are complete. In some cases, the continuation of the event following a fatality may be inappropriate and cause public outrage and damage to the brand of the event.

Events may be cancelled for a range of other reasons however; bad weather, major incident or industrial action.

Other Cancelled Events

Other examples of recent high-profile events to be cancelled include:

  • The 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix was postponed and then cancelled due to local civil unrest
  • The 2008 Dakar Rally was cancelled the day before the race was to begin due to fears of terrorist attacks against competitors
  • The 2004-2005 National Hockey League season (1,230 games) was cancelled due to a player labour dispute
  • The annual German Love Parade event was permanently cancelled after the 2010 event, in which 21 people were killed during a crowd crush

Event Cancellation Insurance

Event cancellation insurance is a risk transfer method intended to shift some of the risk to a third party – the insurer.

This type of policy protects the insured against loss of revenue or additional expenses caused by uncontrollable circumstances which lead to event postponement, cancellation, rescheduling or relocation of an event. These circumstances can include:

  • Bad weather
  • Natural disaster
  • The withdrawal of a main attraction
  • Terrorist threat
  • Public transport failure
  • Power failure
  • Industrial action

Given the unpredictability and the varying nature of the conditions listed above, it is advisable that event cancellation insurance is considered for any event in which a significant financial investment is at stake. This type of policy is however relatively expensive and so a clear business case should be built to justify the decision to purchase or to self-insure.