The ‘Let Live Thrive’ initiative is seeking an insurance solution to enable live events to take place again next year

A campaign spearheaded by independent brokerage EC3 Brokers has published a letter to the secretary of state for culture, media and sport, MP Oliver Dowden, urging the government “to underwrite a Covid-19 contingency insurance product [to] allow the market to recover and events to begin vital preparations for next year, before it’s too late”.

The ‘Let Live Thrive’ campaign seeks to address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on live events.

Due to the risk of coronavirus and the deluge of live event cancellations that have occurred over 2020, many insurers offering contingency insurance are not providing “Covid-specific cover”. The domino effect of this is that many live events cannot go ahead for next year without this coverage.

The letter to Dowden read: “Any event being organised requires contingency insurance in order to plan ahead and be covered in the event of cancellation.

“Unsurprisingly, the threat from coronavirus has decimated the viability of the contingency insurance market for insurers, meaning that event organisers are unable to access Covid-specific cover.

“Without this insurance, major regional and local live events across the UK will not go ahead in 2021.

“But this isn’t just a problem for next year. It’s already nearly too late.

“The planning, insurance buying and decision making is happening now. Though we can’t predict the social distancing requirements for 2021 at this stage, this won’t matter if contingency insurance remains unavailable; live events will simply not take place.

“We cannot stand by and let another year’s festivals, theatre productions, sports tournaments, mass participation events and concerts be cancelled unnecessarily.

“It would destroy not only those industries but also the many local economies and the millions of livelihoods which depend on them in the hospitality and tourism sectors, which have also been heavily impacted this year.”

Calling for government action

The solution, according to Let Live Thrive, is for “for the government to underwrite a Covid-19 contingency insurance product [that] will allow the market to recover and events to begin vital preparations for next year, before it’s too late”.

The letter continued: “We know that the government has already taken unprecedented steps to support cultural businesses, but these temporary grants and funds could be meaningless if we fail to secure this path to recovery.”

Signatories of the Let Live Thrive campaign include John Kinder, director at private equity firm Rivertrade, and Elizabeth Seeger, head of contingency at insurer Hiscox.

As well as a number of MPs, events organisations such as Limelight Sports, UK Athletics, Ryder Cup, England Athletics, Arts Emergency and Garsington Opera have also signed the missive.