(Reuters) – The UK launched a government-backed reinsurance scheme totaling more than £ 750 million ($ 1 billion) on Thursday to cover live cancellation events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, following intense lobbying in the industry.  Insurers removed coronavirus protection from event cancellation policies after the pandemic took hold last year, prompting top entertainment industry figures such as Andrew Lloyd-Webber to demand a government-backed event-enabled system.
Festivals, concerts and exhibitions have already suffered cancellations due to the lack of insurance during the pandemic, despite intensive efforts to limit the health risks for artists, event staff and ticket holders.
The Womad Music Festival canceled its event in July 2021
The UK government is now working with Lloyd & # 39 ;s specialist insurance market in London to provide the system, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
And event organizers will from September be able to purchase extra insurance against cancellation due to the government's COVID-19 restrictions, along with regular event insurance.
The insurance will be available from Lloyd & # 39 ;s of London syndicates including Beazley, Hiscox and Munich Re, with the government as the reinsurance company.
"With this new insurance system, everything from live music in Margate to business events in Birmingham can continue with confidence," said British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak. .
Tim Thornhill, head of insurance broker Tysers, said the system was "the news that the event industry needed." 610 independent film and television productions.
However, some industry sources argued that the new live event program was limited, as it covered government closures but did not cover broader social d istancing restrictions, or artists' or staff's illness due to COVID-19.
Paul Reed, president of the Association of Independent Festivals, said it was "absolutely necessary" that the government continue to work with the industry to "ensure that organizers can plan with increased confidence for 2022."