Victoria announces COVID Event cancellation insurance scheme

Simon Thewlis “hopefully this will cause other states to also put in place similar schemes for events in their states

Yesterday (14th November) Victoria’s Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson announced the launch of COVID-19 event insurance to give “organisers of creative, sporting, business and community events the confidence to plan and stage future events.”

The initiative, which will initially run for 12 months, will insure against event cancellation due to public health measures, or reduced capacity events due to restrictions.

The announcement follows persistent campaigning by event industry groups, such as the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) and Save Victorian Events, on behalf of Victoria’s frustrated event organisers and their clients, who have faced substantial losses after forced cancellations of their events.

“Save Victorian Events began campaigning on this issue back in August 2020. Back then we were a pretty lonely voice on this critical issue.  Most told us it would never happen and we shouldn’t bother.” Said Simon Thewlis of Save Victorian Events.

The group mobilised event organisers and suppliers to contact their local MPs, which resulted speeches in parliament about the plight of the Victorian events sector. In the subsequent Victorian inquiry into tourism and events the group was able to get the subject of event cancellation insurance raised. The Inquiry’s final report recommended that the Victorian government set up a government backed COVID cancellation event insurance scheme.

“Obviously, we are a national industry and most of us work right across Australia” said Thewlis. “hopefully this will cause other states to also put in place similar schemes for events in their states. Or, better still, for the federal government to coordinate a national scheme for the long term – as it has done with reinsuring terrorism risks through the $12b Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation after 9/11.”

The insurance scheme will run through The Victorian Managed Insurance Authority and more information can be found here https://www.vmia.vic.gov.au/insurance/policies-and-cover/covid-19-event-insurance