The Covid-19 impact on live events since March has been devastating and it’s hard to accept that we live in a country where singing is now banned. In the long term, the insurance industry needs to figure out a way to underwrite live gigs, festivals and other events. For a healthy arts sector to exist, we need to live with the background threat of Covid-19, because a 100% effective vaccine is highly unlikely. So, here’s an idea we saw in the email inbox;
COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the UK economy, and live events has been one of
the industries most affected by the pandemic. The UK’s live events industry contributes
significantly to both national and local economies, providing thousands of jobs and supporting
local communities and small businesses.
One of the primary challenges that threatens the future of the UK’s theatres, sports clubs,
conferences, exhibitions and entertainment groups is that it is incredibly difficult to insure
any events against cancellation due to a lockdown or other precautionary public health
If this remains the case, the iconic events that embody the spirit of the United Kingdom’s
sport and arts sectors such as Wimbledon, Glastonbury and the Edinburgh Festival as well as
locally-organised grassroots events that form the bedrock of our communities will be unable
to take place or even to plan for the future, owing to the lack of contingency insurance.
This is a situation that we must avoid at all costs by working together to safeguard the
future of live events.
Our proposal to Let LIVE Thrive
When UK businesses could not secure the cover they needed for terrorism insurance in the
1990s and early 2000s, the Government stepped in to get people back to work.
Let LIVE Thrive proposes a similar partnership with Government, so that when the restrictions
are lifted, the UK can enjoy live events once again and enjoy the benefits that they bring to
our economy and society.
For live events to resume, organisers need to be able to obtain contingency insurance.
However, the insurance market for this product has become completely unviable due to the
widespread cancellation of events which continues to threaten the future of the arts, sports
and hospitality sectors.
We’re calling on the Government to work together with the insurance sector to provide the
necessary insurance cover for live events. In such an arrangement, HM Government would:
■ Become the insurer of last resort for event cancellation due to communicable diseases –
solely in the sport and entertainment sectors – in partnership with a consortium of London
■ Underwrite a portion of the risk at an agreed percentage in contingency insurance
contracts – with the insurer underwriting the remaining percentage.
■ Benefit from a financial boost as the Government would receive the agreed pro-rata
percentage of the profits made on premiums, plus Insurance Premium Tax on the
Contingency Policy (12%) in accordance with the risks it takes on.
This policy would provide the insurance industry with the confidence and financial backing to
resume offering contingency insurance. In so doing, the premiums collected by the industry for the standard Contingency risks and
the Covid endorsement would allow the accumulation of capital and in the longer term, a
return to a normalised market whereby the Government would no longer be required take
on a portion of the risk.
A campaign for national and economic wellbeing
At the point when restrictions are finally relaxed, people will be anxious to rediscover the
aspects of life that they have gone without for a long period of time. The live events industry will be extremely important at this time, playing a prominent role
in the recovery of the hospitality, sports and arts sectors and restoring national morale in
the closing stages of one of the most testing times for our country in living memory.
Furthermore, the live events industry directly supports thousands of jobs across the UK for
performers, managers and event staff. It also generates significant revenue for the hospitality,
media and transport industries. Government backing for our proposal would:
• Inject £1.1 billion generated annually from live music events back into the economy
• Generate £1.28 billion through the UK’s major arenas and venues next year
• Boost public finances by £1 billion in annual VAT payments from the entertainment