Only cancellations caused by new restrictions will be covered by government’s COVID event insurance scheme

The government's £750 million Live Events Reinsurance Scheme began this month

The government-backed COVID insurance scheme for live shows and festivals will only cover events that are cancelled or pushed back due to official coronavirus restrictions, it has been confirmed.

It was announced last month (August 5) that the UK government had partnered with Lloyd’s to deliver the £750million Live Events Reinsurance Scheme as part of the ‘Plan for Jobs’.

The scheme, which launched this month and runs until September 30, 2022, sees the government acting as a ‘reinsurer’ – “stepping in with a guarantee to make sure insurers can offer the products events companies need”.

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A government spokesperson said that the scheme would be “delivered through insurers with events organisers able to purchase cover for government-enforced cancellation due to the event being legally unable to happen due to Government COVID restrictions, alongside their standard insurance”.

It came after a year of pleas from the live music industry, with many UK festivals (including Glastonbury, YNot and Truck) having to cancel for a second year running in 2021 due to a lack of guidance and financial protection.

glastonbury
Glastonbury Festival in 2019. CREDIT: Matt Cardy/Getty Images.

As Mixmag reports, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has today (September 28) revealed that the new insurance would cover “cancellation, postponement, relocation or abandonment of events due to new UK Civil Authority restrictions in response to COVID-19”.

However, the scheme “does not cover self-isolation” of artists, touring crew and staff – meaning that many in the industry are still at risk of losing income. This summer saw the likes of Arlo Parks, Fontaines D.C. and more scrap planned live appearances after contracting COVID.

Per the DCMS’ report, the scheme will also “not cover loss of revenue prompted by lower demand for tickets or venue capacity”.

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It adds: “The scheme will cover a limited series, or run, of linked events, provided that the event organiser specifies which event dates from that limited series, or run, require cover and how much cover they are purchasing for each.”

Live event organisers who want to apply are required to purchase cover “at least eight weeks prior to the event taking place”, although this will “not apply for the first 12 weeks of the scheme”.

Cover can be purchased up to the full cost of the event, irrespective of when those costs are incurred.

The government will review the scheme “periodically” to ensure that it “achieves its objectives to support live events following the impacts of COVID-19”.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak. CREDIT: Getty

The rules for the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme can be read in full here.

Speaking to NME last month, chancellor Rishi Sunak said he was “delighted” to announce the scheme.

Although Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the easing of all restrictions in England was “cautious but irreversible”, Sunak explained that the scheme would help protect live music events should restrictions need to be reimposed.

He told NME that “hopefully now events can plan with confidence, regardless of circumstance”, and that the system would also help secure hundreds of thousands of jobs in the events supply chain.

Back in June, it was reported that more than half of UK festivals for this summer were cancelled due to the ongoing uncertainty around COVID.

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