Managing industry expectations and reopening within a pandemic

Authors: Ellen Hoener Ross, Bill Powell, Chris Herbruck

As cultural institutions and museums re-open, they are facing unprecedented challenges in order to continue their mission and serve the public safely and efficiently amid COVID-19. Reduced revenue, limited admissions, and solvency concerns are influencing their risk management decisions, and these institutions need guidance navigating these unique problems. With Gallagher's impressive footprint of experience in the fine arts industry, we are now institutionalizing as part of our Nonprofit Practice a Cultural Institutions "Center of Excellence" to mobilize our deep experience in this segment and leverage the breadth of our global reach even more to serve these institutions.

The collaborative nature of Gallagher's working culture and our fine arts industry specializations and expertise help us understand the challenges confronting this sector, traverse these problems, and create innovative solutions. The sharing of intelligence in an insurance market facing reduced capacity, hard pricing and restrictions on coverage is key to developing impactful risk management programs for the future.

During a recent Gallagher Nonprofit insurance team meeting, we addressed the new reality facing museums and cultural institutions and the dramatic changes in risk exposures as they begin the reopening process. We highlighted the change in insurance markets and capacity for Fine Arts insurance, the difficulties of underwriting theaters and concert venues that remain closed, and the challenge of maintaining the traditional robust employee benefits offerings. We also looked at the challenges of working through extended furloughs and layoffs, assessing voluntary severance scenarios, championing meaningful virtual communication, all within a predetermined budget.

In an effort to continue the internal networking and external collaboration, there are two web events to highlight:

  • Back by popular demand, a second roundtable for Cultural Institutions to discuss the complications confronting the reopening process titled "Now That We've Re-opened, What Have We Learned?"

  • Also coming soon, "Is the Art World under Cyber Attack?" As Museums and Galleries reinvent themselves and embrace virtual programming, this panel discussion will address the recent hacking of a cultural institution in Washington DC, best practices and additional security measures.

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