Not before time!

News that the UK government has finally decided to help out the beleaguered live events sector by agreeing to act as reinsurer for a new insurance scheme, in partnership with Lloyd’s, will come as a huge relief to many in the sector.

After all, and as we point out in the story this week, the live events sector is worth more than £70 billion annually to the UK economy and supports more than 700,000 jobs, including small businesses and the self-employed.

Huge thanks should be accorded to all those parties involved in putting this scheme together. Indeed, as BIBA executive director Graeme Trudgill noted, there has been a huge collaborative effort across the insurance industry on this difficult issue, with extensive lobbying for many months now.

A special thank you needs to be accorded to Tim Thornhill at Tysers, who played a leading role in convincing the government to intervene.

Indeed, as Thornhill himself said, the constructive approach taken by HM Treasury and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to include the insurance market is “a smart, pragmatic approach and means the swiftest possible transfer back to the commercial insurance market once there is more certainty in the future, to take on the risks directly”.

Amen to that. Just a shame it has taken the UK government so long to put this together. As we have suggested previously, for many events organisers this move will simply be too late.

Back in May, UK festival organisers had issued a ‘red alert’ warning amid claims they had hit a financial brick wall, with more than half of the UK’s festivals cancelled in 2021 due to uncertainty around operating with coronavirus restrictions.

Quite simply, this scheme has been long overdue, as many events would have faced bankruptcy if forced to cancel again at the last minute having already suffered huge financial blows last summer.

Indeed, the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has estimated that a quarter of festivals with a capacity of more than 5000 people have  already been cancelled because of UK government inaction on event insurance.

This scheme could not come soon enough.

Enjoy the read,

Marcus Alcock

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