A £750 million government-backed insurance scheme is to launch to give the entertainment and events sector confidence to plan live events in the coming months and into next year.
Despite the easing of coronavirus restrictions, the challenges of securing insurance during the pandemic is proving a barrier to organisers being able to host live events. As a result, the government has partnered with Lloyd’s to deliver the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme that will provide a government guarantee so that insurers can provide sufficient cover.
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 also cover costs incurred in the event of cancellation due to the event being legally unable to happen due to Government Covid-19 restrictions.
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 reopens 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 said:
We’ve been here for live events throughout the pandemic with billions of pounds of rescue funding. Today is an important next step as we develop live events insurance to give them the confidence they need to plan for a brighter future.
“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.
“All part of our plan to rescue, reopen and recover.”
The scheme will be available from September 2021 and run until the end of September 2022. The scheme will be delivered through insurers with events organisers able to purchase cover for government-enforced cancellation due to the event being legally unable to happen due to Government Covid restrictions, alongside their standard insurance.
The Live Events Reinsurance Scheme has been welcomed by the wider events sector. Chris Skeith, CEO of the EIA (Events Industry Alliance) said:
The EIA, comprising of AEO, AEV and ESSA, welcome the Chancellor’s announcement of a new Covid Cancellation Insurance Scheme. The exhibitions sector has been significantly impacted during the pandemic with forced cancellations due to government and local authority restrictions. 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.
“This government-backed insurance scheme will bring some much needed confidence to a sector, and its supply chain, which often acts as the UK’s shop window to the world, and allow the industry to rebuild itself despite the continued uncertainty pandemics bring. Our members provide trading platforms for over 180,000 businesses, fuelling trade and economic impact across the UK and across every market sector, and we look forward to playing our part in driving the UK’s economic recovery. This new insurance scheme will hopefully play an important role in our ability to do that as we reopen in a safe and responsible manner.”
Jane Longhurst, chief executive of Meetings Industry Association, added:
Through our ongoing surveillance of the industry we’re acutely aware of the impact an insurance indemnification scheme will have on the sector, with almost two-thirds of venues (61%) surveyed in August 2020 highlighting the need for this to be introduced.
“In the same year, almost all venues (92%) had zero cover for their lost business, of which for the average venue was a significant £2,398,600.
“Providing reassurance to risk-averse event organisers will be critical in the return of more recognisable booking numbers and the stimulation of the sector’s circular economy, benefitting venues, hotels, destinations, caterers and a diverse range of suppliers within the supply chain.
“The recognition of the business meetings and events sector in this scheme is total acknowledgement of the role it has in supporting the UK’s economic recovery, and we’re confident that the sector can now serve as a catalyst.”