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Workshop: Cancellation insurance

Workshop: Cancellation insurance


Hosts: Tim Thornhill & Gary Brooks, Tysers (formerly Integro Entertainment & Sport) (UK)  

Until a few weeks ago, mention of corona is likely to have prompted thoughts of a Mexican cooking lager or the Italo-house crossover hit, ‘Rhythm of Night’. And when Gary Brooks and Tim Thornhill from Tysers first agreed to host a talk about insurance cancellation, they could never have anticipated that a seafood market in China would make it standing room-only at their workshop.

As delegates continued to pour into the room, they began by running through what can be insured: cancellation, abandonment, postponement, interruption, curtailment, relocation and additional costs.

Unfortunately, when it comes to many things that might cause these – adverse weather, war, terrorism, political risk, non-appearance of speakers/artist, national mourning and communicable diseases – there is a hefty premium as they are classed as exclusions. And that’s assuming that “buy back” is possible.

According to Tim Thornhill, the likelihood of getting coverage for cancellation policies now due to coronavirus is very unlikely.. And while emphasising that he did not want to appear flippant, Gary Brooks summed up the chances of currently getting cancellation insurance due to corona.

“Someone described it to me like your car being on fire and you ringing up to insure it,” he said.

Although this will provide little comfort for anyone due to host a festival or event – unless they bought additional coverage for communicable diseases before February – the workshop was useful in clearing up other questions.

Promoters worried about the possibility of artists pulling out are advised to opt for an assured (rather than an assured/insured) policy, although this comes at a higher premium, in particular if the act in question has a reputation for capricious cancelling. And the precautious consumer can be offered additional insurance (estimated at 2.5–6% of ticket prices) to get a refund in the event of illness.

The session ended with Thornhill and Brooks explaining that they were there to guide clients on getting the best insurance for their needs. “We’re on your side,” they explained.

Free drinks followed, with the bill for catering for the crowd likely to have been a lot higher than anticipated. Tempting as it was, nobody inquired which brand of lager was being served.