The UK government has announced a £750 million insurance scheme for festivals and live events to help them restart and plan events with confidence through to next year as the economy reopens.
The government has partnered with Lloyd’s to deliver the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme as part of the Plan for Jobs. The scheme will see the government act as a ‘reinsurer’ – stepping in with a guarantee to make sure insurers can offer the products events companies need.
Commenting on the scheme, Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, 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.”
The Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, added: “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. 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.”
Industry figures have been calling for a scheme of this nature to help them recover from the pandemic and be able to plan events without the risk of a coronavirus outbreak leaving them out of pocket.
Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, Chief Executive of UK Music, said: “For months, UK 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.
“We are extremely grateful to government for listening to the calls of the sector and delivering a solution to the market failure in the insurance industry. Ministers deserve huge credit for action that will protect jobs, stimulate activity, and help kickstart the sector into playing a leading role in the post-pandemic economic and cultural recovery.”
The scheme will cover the live events sector, which the Treasury said was worth more than £70 billion annually to the economy and supports more than 700,000 jobs and is due to be available from next month alongside standard commercial events insurance.
A number of prominent 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 from next month, alongside standard commercial events insurance, giving them the reassurance they need to plan ahead while also ensuring value for money for taxpayers.
Lloyd’s CEO, John Neal, said: “Lloyd’s has stood by its customers throughout the pandemic, and we are pleased to strengthen those efforts by partnering with the UK government to deliver the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme. This unique and critical cover will enable live events to resume around the country with confidence as society begins to reopen and begin its recovery, and we are proud to be playing our part.”
The scheme will be available from September and run until the end of September 2022.