Live Music

UK Government’s live events reinsurance scheme paid out just once

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The UK Government’s live events reinsurance scheme, which was designed to help keep the live events sector going through the pandemic, paid out just one claim, according to a report from the Financial Times.

The Financial Times reported that one claim of £180,500 (€204,000/$225,000) had been paid out, generating almost £6m in premiums, according to official data.  

The details were published by the Treasury following a freedom of information (FOI) request by the newspaper, which found the scheme collected £5.9m in premiums to cover 169 events, but received just one successful claim. The FOI request did not reveal the number of unsuccessful claims.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who was then Chancellor, unveiled the live events reinsurance scheme in August 2021, as festivals and events faced uncertainty just after COVID-19 restrictions had been lifted in England. 

The scheme had been designed to fill the gap after insurers had withdrawn cover for COVID-related cancellations. The UK Government acted as the ‘reinsurer’ of last resort and the scheme was backed by insurers including Lloyd’s of London firms Beazley and Hiscox. 

Major events such as Wimbledon and the Brit Awards were insured through the scheme.

The only payout, according to the Financial Times, was made to promoter Terminal V for its event, Trick Scotland. The event had been planned for late December 2021 but was cancelled due to the Scottish Government extending its vaccination campaign at Edinburgh’s Royal Highland Centre.