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Force Majeure – What this means for your event

Goodness doesn’t that sound fancy?  Basically Force Majeure is just a legal insurance term that is “an event that is a result of the elements of nature, as opposed to one caused by human behaviour”.  The term is used to protect parties in the event of something happening in a contract that is outside the control of the parties, such as natural disasters, that could not be evaded through the exercise of due care.

Photo courtesy of abc.net.au

Photo courtesy of abc.net.au

It sounds scary doesn’t it and yes it can be if you have to go through something such as a cyclone or flood but generally it isn’t a problem.  It is simply something that you need to be aware in case you come across it in a contract with a supplier.  In Darwin it is certainly pertinent if you are holding an event outside of our wonderful dry season.  Anything from Mother Nature such as cyclones or major storms can and will have an effect on your event.

Today you will find this term in a lot of supplier/hire contracts so you need to know what will happen should the unthinkable occur.  Does your supplier have penalties or fees that will be charged if the event has to be cancelled?  Check if there is any costs should damage happen to their equipment.  You may need to check what the replacement costs are as some companies may charge you for loss of hire not only replacement which can run into a lot of money.

It is important to have some contingency plans in place just in case of any problems.  For instance if your event is outside and a large storm comes in; do you have the budget for a marquee or can the event be moved to an inside location?  If you have a large event which could cost you a lot of money should the event be cancelled or postponed, you may need to enquire with your insurance broker if they offer event insurance.  This will definitely give you peace of mind.

Fingers crossed it never happens to you!