The U.K. government has unveiled a £750 million ($1.04 billion) insurance scheme to help music and live events affected by COVID restrictions.
The Live Events Reinsurance Scheme, delivered in partnership with the Lloyds banking group, will see the government act as a reinsurer – stepping in with a guarantee to make sure insurers can offer the products events companies need. It will support live events across the U.K. that are open to the general public, including music festivals and business events and will cover costs incurred in the event of cancellation due to the event being legally unable to happen due to COVID restrictions.
The scheme will be available from Sept. 2021 and run until the end of Sept. 2022. Several insurers in the Lloyd’s market, including Arch, Beazley, Dale, Hiscox and Munich Re are supporting the scheme which will provide events companies with the option of purchasing cover, alongside standard commercial events insurance.
The live events sector is worth more than £70 billion annually to the U.K. economy and supports more than 700,000 jobs, including small businesses and the self-employed. There is no cap on costs claimed per event.
U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said: “The events sector supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country, and I know organizers 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.”
U.K. Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “We’ve been here for live events throughout the pandemic with billions of pounds of rescue funding. Today is an important next step as we develop live events insurance to give them the confidence they need to plan for a brighter future.”
Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, chief executive of U.K. Music said: “For months, U.K. Music has been warning about the catastrophic impact of the market failure in insurance for live events. The inability to obtain insurance has already caused many cancellations this summer – these have been devastating for the entire music industry and there were fears that without action we would have seen major cancellations continuing well into next year too.”
“This new government scheme is therefore incredibly welcome news – not just for the millions of music fans who have been looking forward to the return of live events, but also for the tens of thousands of musicians, crew members and wider supply chain workers whose jobs depend on continued live activity,” Njoku-Goodwin added.
The insurance scheme joins existing U.K. government initiatives including the £2 billion Culture Recovery Fund and the £500 million Film and TV Production Restart scheme – which has seen 610 independent film and TV productions and more than 50,000 screen sector jobs supported by the scheme in the last 12 months.
More than £1 billion in support has also been provided to the sport and leisure sectors, including a £600 million survival package for a range of spectator sports severely impacted by coronavirus restrictions.