Government-backed insurance boosts events industry
Friday, 6 August 2021
cropredyFairport Convention’s Cropredy Festival was among those forced to cancel this year
UK - The live events sector is set to get a boost with a government-backed insurance scheme worth over £750m, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced yesterday (5 August).
The news comes after many months of campaigning by the events sector and the wider music industry for the introduction of such a scheme. However, it comes too late for many, with over fifty per cent of scheduled festivals – both large and small – cancelled or postponed.
The government has partnered with Lloyd’s to deliver the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme as part of the Plan for Jobs. The scheme will see the government act as a ‘reinsurer’ – stepping in with a guarantee to make sure insurers can offer the products events companies need.
This scheme will support live events across the UK that are open to the general public - such as music festivals and business events. It will cover costs incurred in the event of cancellation due to the event being legally unable to happen due to Government Covid restrictions.
A number of prominent insurers in the Lloyd’s market, including Arch, Beazley, Dale, Hiscox and Munich Re are supporting the scheme which will provide events companies with the option of purchasing cover from next month, alongside standard commercial events insurance.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak said: “The events sector supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country, and I know organisers are raring to go now that restrictions have been lifted. But the lack of the right kind of insurance is proving a problem, so as the economy re-opens I want to do everything I can to help events providers and small businesses plan with confidence right through to next year.
“We have some of the best events in the world here in the UK – from world-famous festivals to your local fair. With this new insurance scheme, everything from live music in Margate to business events in Birmingham can go ahead with confidence, providing a boost to the economy and protecting livelihoods through our Plan for Jobs.”
The Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden added, “Our events industries are not just vital for the economy and jobs; they put Britain on the map and, thanks to this extra support, will get people back to the experiences that make life worth living.”
The scheme will be available from September 2021 and run until the end of September 2022.
The news has been generally welcomed by the industry. “For months, UK Music has been warning about the catastrophic impact of the market failure in insurance for live events,” said Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, chief executive of UK Music. “The inability to obtain insurance has already caused many cancellations this summer – these have been devastating for the entire music industry and there were fears that without action we would have seen major cancellations continuing well into next year too.”
Denis Desmond, chairman, Live Nation UK and Ireland noted, “This vital intervention from the UK Government offers certainty to artists, concert and festival promoters in the live entertainment market. This is very welcome news and will help keep the sector and its employees working.”
The exhibition sector expressed relief at the news. “Our sector has been significantly impacted during the pandemic with forced cancellations due to government and local authority restrictions,” said Chris Skeith, CEO EIA (Events Industry Alliance). “While we understand the necessary public health restrictions that have been in place, the impact on the sector has been devastating. The uncertainty caused by the pandemic has undermined the insurance market for our sector.”
Duncan Bell from #WeMakeEvents concluded, “WeMakeEvents was formed to represent the businesses, organisations and freelancers that make up the Live events supply chain and whose livelihoods have been severely hit by Covid. We are pleased to learn of plans for a government-backed insurance scheme for the events sector, and hope that this will start to re-build confidence and investment in live events, conference, and exhibitions in the UK. WeMakeEvents looks forward to working closely with the Government to fine tune the details of the scheme.”
(Jim Evans)

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