Treasury Gathering Info on Impact of Covid-19 on Events Industry
We have received a notice that “The Treasury is interested in gathering evidence on the impact of Covid-19 on events insurance.” This info is however required by 13th August.
We assume they will be interested to hear examples where event organisers have been reluctant to book events for 2021 due to concerns over a resurgence of Coronavirus, without any possibility of protecting themselves as currently insurers won’t be offering Covid-19 Cancellation cover.
We fear that this uncertainty will cause major problems in the industry next year. Event organisers will be reluctant to pay advance non-refundable deposits for services, including temporary structures and mobile toilets. At the same time, suppliers will be hesitant to reserve equipment unless they have taken a non-refundable deposit. With many suppliers already financially stretched from this year, unless they are able to take new bookings with non-refundable deposits, they may not survive another disrupted Summer.
We strongly believe the Government needs to do more to support the events industry. Being so seasonal the industry has generally suffered much more than most other industries, including other hospitality sectors. For example whereas pubs and restaurants might have lost 5 months’ income, suppliers to the events industry have lost almost an entire year’s income.
We are responding to this request for information from the Treasury with a proposal that the Government should underwrite the provision by event Insurers of Covid-19 Cancellation cover. We are aware that currently there is much lobbying of the Government to support businesses in general with the provision of a “pandemic re- arrangement”, along the same lines as terrorism cover. However, we believe that irrespective of such an arrangement the events industry needs a more targeted support, much in the same way that restaurants have been supported by the “eat out to help out scheme”. An arrangement to helping Insurers to offer Covid-19 cancellation cover could be implemented quickly and would be an effective solution to the problems.
If event organisers are able to affordably arrange cancellation cover including Covid-19, then they will be willing to book event services with significant non-refundable deposits.
It would support our proposal if you could submit any evidence you have that Event Organisers are being hesitant to make bookings, and/or have indicated that they won’t be willing to pay a non-refundable deposit.
“Please could you share examples and intelligence on the impact of the lack of Covid-19 insurance cover in the events industry, in particular for planning for 2021.”
Thank you very much for your time.