There’s no denying that 2020 was a difficult year for the events industry. That’s why it’s fantastic to see a number of music festivals being arranged for the latter half of 2021.
Kendal Calling, Parklife, and Reading and Leeds Festivals all recently announced that they would be going ahead this summer, acting as a light at the end of the tunnel for music fans up and down the country – as well as those working in the sector.
But COVID-19 hasn’t gone away (yet). So, how will event organisers manage the risk? Here, we take a look at what you need to consider when insuring your music festival this summer.
How might COVID-19 affect your insurance?
While discussions have taken place about how to provide events with COVID-19 cancellation cover, both the insurance industry and the government have yet to put forward a viable solution to protect against this risk. And with large claims such as Wimbledon’s recent payout still at the forefront of many insurers’ minds, this is unlikely to change soon.
Not only that, but COVID-19 and other contagious illnesses are almost impossible to insure against at the present time. Although communicable disease cover was available as an optional extra pre-pandemic, it wasn’t often purchased. With the landscape constantly shifting, it’s impossible to predict when (or if) this will return – but we expect a much higher take-up if it does.
Liability protection could still be on the table, but every insurer varies. While some companies are removing this option, others are still comfortable including it, so be sure to check the small print.
Where possible, try to ensure that COVID-19 cover is included in respect of both Employers’ and Public Liability insurance. Even though it would be difficult for an individual to prove they caught COVID-19 at your event (and even harder to prove you had been negligent), such accusations still need defending, and costs can quickly add up.
An allegation be made, clear risk-management protocols and documentation matching government guidelines will aid your defence.
What can you insure against?
With COVID-19 covered (so to speak), event organisers must still remember to arrange insurance for the more traditional issues that could arise. There are a number of common risks to be aware of when holding a music festival, but there are policies available to protect you against such occurrences:
Cancellation cover steps in when events are called off, curtailed, abandoned, or forced to postpone, and is widely accessible on the current market. Despite not applying to cancellations caused by COVID-19, it provides valuable protection against the financial impacts of venue closure, public authority or police closure, adverse weather, and terrorism, to name a few.
These policies can either be set up to cover the costs you’re liable for or widened to include any profits you would have received had your event gone ahead.
At most music festivals, headline performances are the key to a successful show. So, if an act is unable to meet their obligations, not only could it ruin the event you’ve spent months (or even years) planning, but you’ll also suffer the financial consequences.
Fortunately, event organisers can insure for eventualities such as illness, death, or transport issues that prevent the artist from fulfilling their commitment.
This is normally the absolute minimum cover needed for an event operator. Not only is it often a contractual specification from the venue or space you’re hiring, it’s also a statutory requirement for employees and even unpaid volunteers.
It’s usually expected that organisers have this type of protection in place, but to ease any cash flow burdens, consider taking out Public and Employers’ Liability cover closer to the event.
While music shows commonly require the use of technical equipment, it’s not always guaranteed that the kit available at the venue will be sufficient. So, whether you use your own gear or choose to hire things like staging, lighting and other apparatus, it should all be adequately insured.
Such property can generally be included within the event package, covering theft or accidental damage. What’s more, a comprehensive policy should also cover the continuing hire charges – so you won’t be out of pocket if you’re required to pay for temporary equipment while yours gets repaired or replaced.
The convenience and security of card payments (not to mention the hygiene aspects surrounding COVID-19) means a lot of music venues have now gone cashless.
We expect this to be a growing trend moving forward, but if that’s not the case for your event, there are still policies available to cover you. Just speak to your insurance provider so you can be confident that you’re protected.
Every event involves lots of moving pieces, not least the number of people working to get everything up and running. Often, subcontractors are engaged to perform certain specialist functions – from erecting staging to on-site security.
To minimise your own risk as the event organiser, it’s crucial you ensure that any subcontractors you take on have the appropriate insurance in place. At RiskBox, we’ve created a questionnaire to help you request this information from them.
Where RiskBox comes in
Whether you’re hosting an intimate gig or a multiple-location festival, careful planning and clear risk-management protocols are key for every operator. As is making sure you’re covered should the unexpected happen.
Need help insuring your event? Get in touch with one of our experts. You can reach us on 0161 533 0411 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, fill in our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
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