Published on: 9 May 2014 by Michael Lamb
In 2014 Hong Kong’s wet season started early, and it started with a bang.
During the final game of the Hong Kong 7’s on March 30th the heavens opened, a deluge hit the city, a Black Rainstorm Warning was hoisted, and Hong Kong saw hail, at least one broken roof, and widespread flooding throughout the city. The rainstorm also saw the creation of a now iconic image of the All Blacks rugby team celebrating their tournament victory by performing a shirtless Haka in the downpour.
The storm on March 30th was unexpected, and was only the second time the Hong Kong observatory had hoisted the Black Rainstorm Warning since 2010. Luckily for the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union, organizers of the HK7’s tournament, the warning was only raised during the last match of the day; otherwise the tournament may not have been completed on schedule – the storm could have forced the postponement of the finals, or the cancellation of the entire event had it hit earlier, resulting in a huge financial loss for the Rugby Union and tournament sponsors.
A little more than a month after the HK 7’s Black Rainstorm Warning, another Black Rain Warning was issued – this time on May 8th. It was the first time since 1998 that two Black Warnings had been issued before June, and saw widespread flooding, winds in excess of 100 km/h, and meant that being on the streets was a potentially life threatening situation.
In light of the severe weather experienced by Hong Kong so far in 2014, the general summer weather trends in the region, and the most recent storm on May 8th which saw over 2,300 lightning strikes hit the city, there is obviously a risk of hosting or organizing an event in Hong Kong during the summer.
With increasingly likelihood of a severe rainstorm warning being raised, or a major typhoon hitting the city, especially in light of changing regional weather patterns, choosing to host a function during Hong Kong’s summer months comes with a number of hazards – not in the least is the possibility of a wholesale cancellation, something which any event organizer will be desperate to avoid as it often means massive payments in the form of ticket refunds, return of sponsorship revenue, and general contractual liability risks towards third parties.
This is true whether the event takes place indoors or outdoors – if it’s not safe for anyone to go outside under a Black Rainstorm Warning or a T8 signal, then no one will be traveling to the event venue, even if it is being hosted in a safe location. Despite your ability to continue with the event at the location, you may face a situation where you are forced to lose your audience due to their inability to arrive at the venue – perhaps floods are blocking the roads, or the audience members have heeded the government advice and chosen to simply stay at home.
Until recently there have been very few options available to event organizers enabling protection against inclement weather situations – such as event cancellation, postponement, or a forced loss of audience situation. However, event insurance plans have recently become available in Hong Kong which would allow event organizers of all types to protect themselves against loss situations involving inclement weather.
Many event organizers will question the need for such coverage, finding it better to purchase simple cancellation, liability, and/or non-appearance insurance. And while there are event insurance products which include inclement weather cancellation protection for in-door events as a policy standard, many of the summer highlights in Hong Kong occur outdoors.
As Hong Kong approaches summer, people all over the city are gearing up for fun months filled with outings, fairs, junk trips, weddings, and summer concerts. It’s not shock to say that when the weather heats up, so does a Hongkonger’s appetite to go out and participate in a fun event. From concerts at Stanley Plaza, through to Art Fairs in Kowloon, the activity options available to residents of Asia’s World City are seemingly endless – even without mentioning the obligatory FIFA World Cup screening parties that are being organized for this year’s tournament.
However, as many activities and fun events as there may be, there is the unfortunate fact that Hong Kong is located in the tropics, and that this brings a long and wet rainy season which traditionally runs from the end of May through to August.
The rainstorms experience annually by Hong Kong during the wet season have forced, over the years, the creation of a system of formalized warnings which enables the public to properly understand when they are at risk and when they should stay indoors or seek shelter in a safe place. Like the Typhoon Warning System, the Rainstorm Warning System can force businesses to close, events to be cancelled, and tournaments to be postponed depending on the severity of the storm.
For example, if a Black Storm Warning is raised by the Hong Kong Observatory then more than 70 millimetres of rain per hour is falling, or is expected to fall over the city. When this signal is issued peoples working outdoors in exposed areas should stop work and take shelter and Employers are advised not to require their employees to go to work unless prior agreement on work arrangements during rainstorms has been made. Essentially, the city can come to a grinding standstill.
Similarly, if a Typhoon Signal #8 is raised by the HKO then a storm with winds exceeding 63 km/h is expected to hit the city. When a T8 signal is issued, workers go home, the stock market closes, public transportation services stop, and the city comes to a halt.
With Global Climate Change becoming increasingly felt around the world, weather patterns are starting to change. Wetter weather and stronger storms are hitting Hong Kong with ever increasing frequency. Compounding the trend of more severe and threatening storms in the region is the fact that an El Nino weather system is set to rear its ugly head for the first time since 2010 – bringing higher levels of rainfall and extending the length of Hong Kong’s typhoon season.
CCW Global can offer comprehensive weather cancellation event insurance plans in Hong Kong and throughout the rest of Asia-Pacific.
A Weather Cancellation benefit on an event insurance plan will ensure that you are protected against any financial losses which occur as a result of your event being cancelled due to inclement weather. In addition to this, CCW Global can help to tailor event insurance plans for any Hong Kong event which includes attractive coverage provisions for forced loss of audience, damage to facilities, sets and furniture, and additional costs which may have been incurred as a result of the weather cancellation.
With the changing weather patterns across Asia in respect to global climate change, and the emergence of stronger tropical storms, typhoons, and hurricanes around the world, taking steps to protect yourself from unnecessary risks, including weather cancellations, is a much better idea than not obtaining any insurance coverage and having to suffer the full brunt of any losses which occur because of a Red or Black Rainstorm Warning, or a Typhoon Signal 8.
If you would like to learn more about the inclement weather insurance coverage available for events in Hong Kong please click Hong Kong Event Insurance Weather Coverage.
If you would like to receive a free quote from CCW Global for weather event insurance protection in Hong Kong, simply complete the short form at the top of this page. Once we have received your quotation request an expert Hong Kong Insurance Broker will contact you directly to further discuss your specific coverage requirements.
You can learn more about our quotation process by clicking Hong Kong Event Insurance Quotes.
Finally, if you have any questions about why you might need weather cancellation event insurance in Hong Kong, or if you would like additional information about any of the event insurance coverage options CCW is able to offer around Asia, please Contact Us Today!