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RIMS cancels 2020 convention amid coronavirus spread


The Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. on Monday canceled its annual conference due to be held May 3-6 in Denver amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

The New York-based risk management organization had signaled over weekend it was considering its options for the event after state and city authorities in Colorado imposed restrictions on large meetings in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The decision to scrap the conference and exhibition, which was expected to draw about 10,000 people from more than 70 countries to Denver, marks the first time in its history that RIMS has canceled the event, Mary Roth, CEO of RIMS, and Laura Langone, the 2020 president, said in an email to members and registrants.

“As we moved through our own risk management process, assessed the facts, analyzed the data and carefully calculated the outcomes of a range of scenarios, it became abundantly clear that this was the best decision for our members, our conference participants, and our employees,” the email said.

The annual meeting, which is one of the largest international insurance and risk management events, was slated to include more than 200 sessions involving more than 300 speakers. The meeting is also used by numerous brokers, insurers and other service providers to hold private meetings and social events for risk managers and other customers.

RIMS is working on all the elements of the cancelation process, including canceling hotel reservations and working on refunds, the email said.

“There is still much work to be done. In the coming weeks, RIMS is committed to addressing the hundreds of agreements, policies and commitments, as well as the concerns of thousands of attendees,” the email said.

The unprecedented cancellation of the event will be a major revenue hit to RIMS. In 2018, the RIMS annual conference and exhibition in San Antonio generated $9.3 million in revenue, according to RIMS latest available annual report.

Whether RIMS has event cancellation or other insurance coverage in place that it could recover from is unclear, but its insurance broker is Aon PLC.

“It’s our policy not to discuss any of our insurance policies, what they cover or how they’re triggered,” a RIMS spokesman said.

“We are working through the risk management process to ensure this society remains strong and successful for years to come,” he said.

RIMS will be ramping up its virtual educational offerings in the coming weeks, but there are no plans to hold a digital RIMS 2020, the spokesman added.

More insurance and risk management news on the coronavirus crisis here