UK Offers Events Reinsurance Plan

Jeff Heilman, Senior News Editor
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Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak

LONDON — As the pandemic keeps hampering the full reopening of the UK’s £70 billion-plus events sector, the UK government has created an umbrella of protection to help keep business, entertainment and other live events rolling as the climate continues to improve.

Announced in August, the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme indemnifies organizers against costs incurred when an event is cancelled due to government-imposed COVID-19 restrictions.

Created in partnership with Lloyds of London and other prominent insurers as part of the government’s far-reaching Plan for Jobs program, the scheme gives organizers a supplemental coverage purchase option in addition to standard commercial events insurance. The coverage provides progressive risk share per claim, up to full coverage by the government.

Valued at over £750 million and extending from September 2021 through September 2022, the scheme positions the government as a ‘reinsurer’ that can intervene when necessary “with a guarantee to make sure insurers can offer the products events companies need.”

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Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is fully behind the initiative.

“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,” Sunak said. “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.”

Following other government-backed rescue and relief packages such as the £2 billion Culture Recovery Fund and more than £1 billion in support for the UK sports and leisure sectors, the scheme is attracting high praise from key sector stakeholders.

Events Industry Alliance CEO Chris Skeith stated, “This government-backed insurance scheme will bring some much-needed confidence to a sector, and its supply chain, which often acts as the UK’s shop window to the world, and allow the industry to rebuild itself despite the continued uncertainty pandemics bring.”

The U.S. government is similarly focused on boosting travel as part of events industry recovery efforts.

Speaking on a recent virtual forum conducted by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo stated her intent “to revitalize domestic and international business travel through agencies that report to me.”

At a July 2021 White House press briefing, Raimondo announced a $750 million aid package to “accelerate the recovery of…travel tourism and outdoor recreation” as part of a “transformative $3 billion economic development initiative” run by the Department of Commerce.

Reach Chris Skeith at + 44 (0)1442 285 804 or chris@aeo.org.uk