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Ticket refund protection surge expected post-COVID-19

Insurance provider TicketPlan said it has seen an increase in enquiries from operators looking to add ticket refund protection plans following the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

TicketPlan, whose clients include Glastonbury Festival, provides insurance cover to ticketing agents, venues and locations across the UK, enabling those ticket sellers in turn to offer a refund facility to their customers following cancellation of tickets or packages as a result of specified unforeseen events.

The UK has seen a live events blackout since mid-March, with Glastonbury among the major events forced to cancel due to COVID-19 lockdown measures.

TicketPlan’s development director Ben Bray predicts ticket refund protection will become more popular as additional revenue streams and protection for ticket buyers are going to be “increasingly important once we all return to some form of normality.”

Bray told TheTicketingBusiness that the industry needs to learn from the COVID-19 situation by reviewing and potentially amending processes and policies going forward, “to ensure that should something like this ever happen again, we, as an industry are in as strong a position to deal with the fallout.”

He added: “This has been a challenging time for us, where we have had to have been fleet-of-foot and rapidly adapting. We will continue to work with our partner ticketing companies to ensure that we can all come through the COVID-19 epidemic in as strong a position as possible.

“This is a ‘black swan’ event but together we can come through this stronger and the future can be bright for our industry.”

The ticket insurance firm protects against issues such as illness, bereavement, and transport breakdown, but does not protect fans against COVID-19 event cancellations as refunds are available via the event organisers.

Bray added: “With this in mind, it’s been key for us to work closely with our partner ticketing companies in relation to this and to make sure they have all of the support they need from us in what has been an incredibly difficult time for our industry.”

Bray said the COVID-19 crisis will lead to live events becoming more multi-channel going forward as the lockdown has led to an “acceleration of engagement” with audiences and fans via digital channels, as promoters, venues, resellers and producers have sought to engage directly.

He added: “I’ve seen ticket protection become a fan expectation when booking tickets in advance throughout my nine-and-a-half years with TicketPlan.

“As the original innovators and market leaders in providing ticket refund protection solutions for the past 20 years, TicketPlan is synonymous with ticket insurance and protection,” he added.

“I think that our reputation for delivering high levels of account management and customer service together with the difficult current situation has led to more and more companies in the ticketing industry reaching out to us.”

Image: Andrew Egerton