Featured News

COVID-19 underscores the value of ticket refund protection

Insurance provider TicketPlan, whose clients include the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, explains how these “uncertain times” have emphasised the value of its services to both ticket buyers and sellers.

The firm, which also works with 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 told TheTicketingBusiness.com the company has been working over the past couple of months to widen its coverage in relation to COVID-19 and other areas of the protection provided to ticket buyers.

Bray, who believes that ticket protection is “genuinely a customer expectation,” said the expansion “enhances the value of TicketPlan to ticket buyers which in turn leads to additional take up and further revenue for our partner ticketing companies. We have also started to have conversations with a wider group of organisations, that may be selling tickets in advance for the first time, or at a more important scale than previously.”

After recently conducting market research to get more detailed insight as to how ticket refund protection and insurance is perceived, TicketPlan found that 74 per cent of people surveyed would be more likely to purchase tickets from a ticket seller that offers ticket protection than from a ticket vendor that does not offer TicketPlan.

The ticket insurance firm currently 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 noted that the current situation within the live events industry due to COVID-19 has highlighted the value of TicketPlan more than ever before, as it has seen an uptick in interest from clients which has led to a number of ongoing enquiries and potential launches currently in the pipeline.

“Despite this being a horrendous year for everyone, whilst we have had to navigate the challenges that have been presented we’ve also been fortunate to be able to keep moving forwards and develop and enhance our solutions and launch with a number of new clients,” Bray said. “The uncertain times in which we are currently living have really emphasised the value of our services to both ticket buyers and sellers.”

Last month, TicketPlan announced a partnership with the 2021 Rugby League World Cup to guarantee fans a refund for all ticket buyers including hospitality sales if they are unable to attend, while the RLWC offers a guarantee should there be restrictions on crowds or if the event has to be postponed or cancelled.

Bray said its research suggests that the majority of people have missed live events and are willing to return as soon as practical.

“By offering TicketPlan protection, this provides fans with the confidence to book further in advance for an event that they are excited to attend like RLWC2021 safe in the knowledge that should something unexpected happen that prevents their attendance, they can get a refund via TicketPlan,” he said.

“We will continue to work with our partner ticket sellers to provide their ticket buyers with as much confidence as possible to book tickets into 2021 and help them welcome fans back to live events as soon as is safe to do so. We, as an industry, will get through these difficult times together and as treatments and vaccines develop and we learn to live alongside the virus more, we can hopefully all look to a brighter future.”

Image: Andrew Egerton / CC BY 2.0 / Edited for size