Government-backed major events insurance scheme unveiled

Lack of insurance options in the market prompts government to step up

Government-backed major events insurance scheme unveiled

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

The New Zealand government has created an insurance scheme that will cover costs incurred by organisers for COVID-19-related cancellation of major events this summer.

Known as the Events Transition Support Scheme, the insurance applies to unrecoverable costs from live, in-person paid events with more than 5,000 attendees from Dec. 17 to April 3. The government will cover up to 90% of costs from cancelled events in areas under alert level 2 or higher, red travel level or localised lockdown. Events outside of these geographical areas but with at least half of ticketholders affected by red, alert level 3 or lockdown will also be covered. Events must require COVID vaccination certificates from all attendees.

“Events typically only generate revenue on the day or weekend they take place, yet incur significant costs in advance,” said Tourism Minister Stuart Nash (pictured above). “A quick shift in public health measures could see an event cancelled with no opportunity to recoup costs or generate revenue.”

In February, the Wellington City Council said that it would cover the 2021 edition of the World of WearableArt show in case of COVID-19 cancellation. The event was cancelled in September due to public health restrictions.

According to Nash, there are no insurance options in the market for these event cancellations, so the government will take on the role of underwriter for potential losses. Organisers can check if their event is eligible at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s website.

“Organisers of these festivals are great entrepreneurs who give back to our communities,” Nash said. “They take a lot of risk to deliver fantastic experiences that are part of the cultural fabric of a Kiwi summer and create lasting memories.”

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