With the welcome return of the PLASA London Show only a couple of weeks away, Yutree’s Director Simon Miller takes a look at how developments in the insurance world are affecting the events and entertainment sector, together with our thoughts on some specific areas:
Live Events Reinsurance Scheme
After many months of lobbying by #WeMakeEvents and other campaign groups the government has now announced funding for a new scheme which will pick up losses resulting from cancellation, postponement or abandonment of events due to new UK Civil Authority restriction in response to Covid-19. The scheme is due to go live in September and we remain cautiously optimistic that the coverage will provide the sector with the confidence to plan and run events in the months ahead.
On initial review, there still appears to be some clarity required around the full scope of the cover and the pricing model might mean companies need to pass on extra cost to customers, but the scheme will certainly offer more financial security should variants push us into future national or local lockdowns again.
This is not something many of us have had to consider in the last 16 months but we are starting to see more travel insurance enquires from our clients as they look to work abroad. Whilst most insurance products and insurers have looked to exclude losses arising from Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, travel insurers have been refreshingly quick at re-instating their usual policy coverage.
Yutree’s preferred travel insurers Aviva, Chubb and Zurich all provide full cover in respect of any cancellations or medical issues arising around Covid-19 with the only caveat that you must follow Government advice as per the FCDO website. Where travel is planned to countries which the FCDO advises against all but “essential” travel, please refer to us to obtain insurers agreement but by way of an example, we were able to provide full cover to our clients who worked at the Tokyo Olympics.
What is happening generally in the insurance sector?
The insurance market is going through what is known as a hard market, which unfortunately means increasing premium rates, lower limits and higher excesses. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story as it very much depends on the type of business activities and insurance product. In general, we are seeing substantial rating increases (irrespective of no claims) across Directors & Officer liability (see our tips here for ensuring the best terms), Professional Indemnity (Errors & Omissions), Group Travel and higher risk trades in respect of Employers & Public liability (particularly riggers, crewing and the like).
Away from those classes of business the situation is thankfully far less dramatic. With low volumes of vehicles on the roads in the last 12 months, motor insurers have paid around 30% of their normal claims costs so motor rates should remain constant for some time and commercial combined policies for most in the sector should see only modest increases of 5% region in the coming months.
Looking much further ahead, we would expect to see appetite return for insurers to offer Covid-19 cover in respect of event cancellation once they can map the impact of the virus over a longer period of time. We wouldn’t anticipate this to happen for 18-24 months particularly with the governments live event fund in place until late 2022.