A day later than expected, the Government has announcement that the long-awaited Live Events Reinsurance Scheme has launched today, 22 September.

The initiative was announced on 4 August and led to the chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak sending a personal message of support to Access All Areas’ readers.

The £800 million scheme offers cost indemnification if an event has to be cancelled, postponed, relocated or abandoned due to new UK Civil Authority restrictions in response to Covid-19. It will run to 30 September 2022 with a review point in spring next year.

The Government said it had partnered with Lloyd’s Market Association to deliver the 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. Insurers Munich Re, Beazley, Arch, Dale, and Ark are carriers of the scheme with more firms coming on board in the weeks to come.

The scheme has been welcomed by the events industry, despite it not covering against a festival needing to reduce capacity or cancel due to social distancing restrictions being reintroduced.

LIVE CEO Greg Parmley said, “While there are still gaps in the cover available, such as for an artist withdrawal due to catching Covid or enforced social distancing, this is an important and valuable step in the right direction and provides additional security as we head into autumn and winter. After a year of almost total shutdown the industry needs a period of time where it can get back on its feet by provide the live experiences that fans are desperate for.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said, :The events sector supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country and as the economy reopens, we’re helping events providers and businesses plan with confidence right through to next year.

“It’s great to launch the scheme today, giving our fantastic events sector a boost, helping the economy, and protecting livelihoods through our Plan for Jobs.”

A government overview of the scheme is available here.

Full details of the scheme are available here.

The scheme’s key features are:

  • It will cover live events that are open to the general public and are physically located in the UK. This includes live music events, festivals, sports events, trade shows and business events. Private events such as weddings and parties would not be covered.
  • In order to be eligible, event organisers must purchase the relevant cover from participating insurers within the scheme. Event organisers must also have or purchase a standard events cancellation policy (or a policy which includes event cancellation coverage) provided at least in part by a participating insurer – the cover backed by the scheme will not be offered on a standalone basis.
  • Premium is set at 5% of the total value of insured costs (plus Insurance Premium Tax).
  • Claims will be subject to an excess of 5% of the value of the insured costs or £1,000 (whichever is higher) per policy.
  • Event organisers can purchase cover up to the full cost of their event, irrespective of when those costs are incurred.
  • Cover must be purchased at least 8 weeks prior to the event taking place. This requirement will however not apply for the first 12 weeks of the scheme.
  • The government’s expectation is that participating insurers will pay no brokerage in connection with the scheme and no deductions for such brokerage will be made to any premiums paid by insurers to DCMS in connection with the scheme.
  • The Scheme will run to 30 September 2022 with a review point in Spring 2022. Cover will be available to purchase through participating insurers which include Arch, Beazley, Dale, Hiscox and Munich Re (more are expect to follow). Event organisers can now start approaching these insurers to discuss their cover.