LIVE events are to be offered government-backed insurance to mitigate the costs if they have to be cancelled.
The Chancellor will announce tomorrow that festivals and other large events, which could be called off due to legal restrictions resulting from the pandemic, will be able to buy indemnified insurance.
The new Live Events Reinsurance scheme, worth £750m, has been set up as part of Rishi Sunak’s jobs-boosting plans, which he hopes will give organisers more confidence to start scheduling events over the next year as the level of double-vaccinated people rises.
The scheme will run from 1 September this year to the end of September 2022, and will see the UK Government give a guarantee to insurance companies in the case of events having to be cancelled.
The ‘reinsurance’ plan will be an optional extra for businesses to purchase alongside their normal insurance and does not have a cap for the total amount covered. It will apply of organisers are forced to cancel events if the government legally imposes restrictions on gatherings due to the pandemic, meaning they cannot take place.
Announcing the plan, Mr 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.”
Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, added: “We’ve been here for live events throughout the pandemic with billions of pounds of rescue funding.
“[This] 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, which is being run with Lloyd’s, is open to organisers of events for the general public, such as music festivals and business events.
The UK Government said the sector is worth more than £70bn a year to the economy, supporting more than 700,000 jobs.
Several firms within the Lloyd’s market, including Arch, Beazley, Dale, Hiscox and Munich Re, will be offering the government-backed ‘reinsurance’ policy from September 1, 2021.
Sacha Lord, co-founder of the Parklife Festival and The Warehouse Project events, and Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester added: “I’m really pleased that the government has decided to introduce an insurance scheme for the events sector.
“DCMS has worked alongside and listened to event organisers throughout the crisis, and I’m grateful that they have now been able to introduce this support today.
“The events sector has been in dire straits throughout this crisis and this move will not only save hundreds of upcoming events, but will support the thousands of freelancers behind the scenes who depend on the sector for their own livelihoods.
We can start to rebuild the sector with confidence, and renew the UK’s status as a global leader in entertainment and cultural events.”