New 'Conference Insurance' Covers Attendees Who Can't Make the Meeting

It happens to everyone at some point: You register for a meeting, conference, or convention -- then something comes up. Your dog gets sick. Your child has a dance recital. Your flight gets cancelled. Your employer needs you in the office. Whatever it is, you can't go, and you forfeit your registration fee because of it.

Because Allianz Global Assistance USA wants to help meeting attendees recoup their costs, it has partnered with meetings industry consultancy Embark to launch a new "conference insurance" product that will refund a conference attendee's registration fee if they are unable to attend an event due to a reason covered by their policy.

Policies vary by event, according to Allianz, but generally have a stated cutoff date after which attendees are no longer eligible for refunds. If you're stuck at home with a sick child or a cancelled flight, therefore, the policy probably won't do you much good. If you find out after registering, however, that you'll need to stay in town for a work project or personal commitment, the policy could save you hundreds of dollars.

The new product, called Conference Protector, also benefits meeting planners, who can generate revenue by acting as policy brokers and save time by outsourcing cancellation requests.

"We're excited to partner with Embark to launch our new Conference Protector product," said Pat Young, vice president of strategic partnerships at Allianz Global Assistance USA. "Conference Protector will provide attendees with a way to protect their conference registration investment while reducing the burden placed on organizers to manage requests for cancellation refunds."

Added Embark President David B. Wheeler, "We're pleased to work with Allianz Global Assistance on introducing this new and exciting ancillary revenue opportunity to the conference industry. Conference registration cancellation insurance is a product that we expect will be well received by both conference organizers and attendees."

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