(Bloomberg) -- Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak unveiled a state-backed insurance plan worth more than 750 million pounds ($1 billion) to boost the U.K. events industry in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The program, called the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme, will run from next month until the end of September 2022, the Treasury said on Thursday in an emailed statement. The government is working with Lloyd’s of London and will act as a reinsurer to give insurers the confidence they need to provide cover.
The plan is designed to get the 70 billion-pound live events sector up and running again after 18 months of coronavirus restrictions. Music festivals and other businesses have been calling for such a program to reduce the risks of organizing an event in the face of the threat of a resurgent virus.
“The events sector supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country, and I know organizers are raring to go now that restrictions have been lifted. But the lack of the right kind of insurance is proving a problem,” Sunak said. “With this new insurance scheme, everything from live music in Margate to business events in Birmingham can go ahead with confidence, providing a boost to the economy and protecting livelihoods.”
Insurers in the Lloyd’s market including Arch Insurance Co., Beazley Group, Hiscox Ltd. and Munich Re are supporting the program, according to the Treasury. Events companies will have the option of purchasing cover from next month, alongside standard commercial events insurance, it said. It will cover costs incurred if an event is legally unable to happen due to government Covid restrictions.
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