LIVE chief executive Greg Parmley has said that while the UK Government-backed £800m (€929m/$1bn) reinsurance scheme for the live events industries is welcomed, there are still gaps in the cover available to provide real security. 

The Live Events Reinsurance Scheme was announced at the beginning of August, with the Government partnering with insurers to offer a cost indemnification insurance scheme, which makes cover available in the case of a cancellation due to COVID-19 and Government-induced rules.

The scheme has launched today (Wednesday) and allows for cover to be purchased against the cancellation, postponement, relocation or abandonment of events due to any COVID-19 restrictions. 

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “The events sector supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country and as the economy reopens, we’re helping events providers and businesses plan with confidence right through to next year. 

“It’s great to launch the scheme today, giving our fantastic events sector a boost, helping the economy, and protecting livelihoods through our Plan for Jobs.”

Nadine Dorries, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, added: “The pandemic has been a unique challenge to live events, from gigs to business conferences. It’s a huge relief that so many are now back up and running, but it is crucial that they can also plan for the future with confidence and this scheme helps them do exactly that. 

“With the sector contributing over £70bn annually to our economy, it is right that we do all we can to support it and the talented people that work in it.” 

The scheme will run until September 2022. 

Parmely, CEO of LIVE (Live music Industry Venues and Entertainment) said: “The live music industry welcomes the introduction of a Government-backed insurance scheme, which we have been calling for since the start of the pandemic. 

“Whilst there are still gaps in the cover available, which leave the industry vulnerable to some of the most likely impacts of COVID-19, this is an important and valuable step in the right direction and provides additional security as we head into autumn and winter.”

He added: “After a year of almost total shutdown the industry needs a period of time where it can get back on its feet by providing the live experiences that fans are desperate for.” 

The scheme was developed alongside insurance market Lloyd’s and will be delivered through insurers including Arch, Beazley, Hiscox and Munich Re among others. 

If events do have to cancel due to the ongoing pandemic and restrictions, organisers have to cover the agreed excess, while the Government and insurers have agreed a risk share per claim. 

The Government starts by paying 95% and insurers 5% progressing to 97% and 3%. Finally, the UK Government will cover 100% of the costs and the split depends on the losses incurred by the insurance from the scheme to date. 

Image: Kai Kuczera on Unsplash