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Major captive insurance conference canceled due to coronavirus risk

CICA coronavirus

The Captive Insurance Companies Association Friday canceled its 2020 international conference scheduled to begin this weekend in Rancho Mirage, California, because of safety concerns due to coronavirus.

Cancelation of the event comes as insurers, brokers and others continue to monitor the situation with some imposing travel bans and canceling meetings.

Meanwhile, the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. issued a statement Friday saying its conference -- which is one of biggest insurance-related events of the year -- will go ahead in early May.

The decision to cancel CICA was made out of “deep concern for the health and well-being of members, attendees and stakeholders as they are always our top priority,” Minneapolis-based CICA said in a statement.

It was also “concerning” that many member companies had already issued strict travel bans and this trend was increasing, CICA said.

“CICA has been watching carefully all travel and health issues surrounding COVID-19 specifically the state of California’s status and their declaration of a state of emergency. After talking with many CICA members, conference stakeholders, and speakers, the CICA Board of Directors weighed all the information and concerns and made the difficult decision to cancel the conference,” the organization said in the statement.

CICA hopes to reschedule the conference for later this year “if feasible,” CICA President Dan Towle said in the statement.

The international conference which draws more than 500 attendees from around the world from all sectors of the captive insurance sector, was due to be held at the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, California, March 8-10.

CICA had earlier said it would proceed with the meeting, but that it would be a “no handshake” conference.

In its statement Friday, RIMS reiterated that its upcoming annual conference and exhibition in Denver in early May will go ahead as scheduled.

While the RIMS team continues to “plan confidently” for the show, its immediate priority is the well-being of the risk management community, RIMS CEO Mary Roth and RIMS 2020 president Laura Langone said in a note sent from the New York-based organization to its entire network, including members.

“RIMS is actively monitoring the situation, working with local agencies and partners, and making necessary enhancements to RIMS 2020 to ensure that we deliver a safe and productive environment,” RIMS said.

In the first of its weekly web updates on the situation, RIMS said it is accommodating cancellations from attendees traveling from countries designed as a Level 3 alert by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

China, Iran, Italy and South Korea are currently designated as Level 3 alert, according to the CDC website.

“Attendees should not travel to RIMS 2020 if they are feeling unwell. Attendees should monitor the CDC travel guidelines prior to their departure,” RIMS said in the update.

Conference attendees will be provided with guidelines and updates at registration that include health procedures and tips, RIMS said.

The Colorado convention center is ramping up disinfectant procedures to align with the CDC and the WHO guidance, as well as increasing hand sanitizer stations and making available disinfectant wipes, RIMS said.

The convention will also have trained medical professionals on-site, direct links to local healthcare facilities and have coordinated with local hospitals to ensure attendees receive first-class care.

More insurance and risk management news on the coronavirus crisis here.