The risky business behind live events

By Denny Jacob for Property Casualty 360

In the U.S., the world’s largest market for live events, revenue from events of all types are expected to show an annual growth rate of 8.8%, resulting in a market volume of $16.7 billion in 2022, according to a report from Take1 Insurance.

When it comes to live events like concerts or sporting events, many consumers till prefer to actually ‘be there’ in the moment. Even as technology advances — particularly with virtual reality (VR) — attendees tend to prefer live experiences for the sense of community and a level of authenticity that VR is unlikely to offer.

Recent incidents in 2017, however, have displayed the nefarious side to such events. From the Fyre Festival — which cost investors $26 million in losses — to the Route 91 Harvest Festival — projected to cost insurers more than $1 billion — live events are one disaster away from economic ruin.

“I think this could be a seminal moment in the insurance world,” says Scott T. Carroll, program director for Take1 Insurance’s entertainment division.

Live events have plenty of exposures

There are three main exposures in the world of live events, according to Matt Helm, contingency practice leader at CFC Underwriting: cancellation, liability and property.

Cancellation is effectively an instance of business interruption and is treated fairly similarly. They can occur due to adverse weather, performers not arriving and the threat or act of terrorism.

“If there is a threat of terrorism, the first call of action might be to add more security or run an area sweep — with cancellation as a last resort,” says Helm. “The terrorism (act or threat) also might not necessarily be at the event venue, but in the surrounding area and therefore impact whether an event can continue.”

Additionally, Helm says there is “a growing conversation around cyber exposure for live events,” but notes “the industry has yet to really see claims to this effect.”

Some examples of possible targets via cyber attack during live events could be:

  • Electronic wrist bands (with cash and personal details attached);
  • Computer systems going down (meaning tickets can’t be checked, or lighting and display systems not functioning properly); and
  • Transmission is disrupted (meaning performances or sporting events aren’t able to broadcast)

3 ways to mitigate risks

Live-event producers and the vendors and service providers that support them can follow a set of principles to mitigate and minimize the changing array of risks faced by that industry sector.

  1. Assess: Stay alert to the most dangerous challenges facing live-event products today. Compare what’s been taking place with your own situations. For instance, the report notes, a catastrophic fire in 2003 at a nightclub in West Warwick, R.I., uncovered a number of problem areas that other event producers could and did address, including the location, condition and markings of exits.
  2. Implement: A number of resources for live-event safety have emerged in the wake of various disasters. The Event Safety Alliance (ESA) has created guidelines event producers can follow to minimize risk. Its Event Safety Guide is the most widely used operational practices currently available in the live-event industry.
  3. Insure: Insurance is the single biggest factor in the aftermath of an adverse incident, thus it ought to be one of the first to be considered ahead of time. But coverage can become tricky, particularly with mass shootings. Companies and individuals who experienced business losses stemming from those events could look to the federal government’s Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (assuming they had opted for it in the first place) only if the incident was declared a terrorist act. And even if their losses met that condition, those losses would have to have exceeded a minimum of $5 million in aggregate loss.

Unseen costs

Most of the attention post-disaster has focused on monetary awards resulting from lawsuits and settlements. While unsurprising, they often don’t tell the whole story.

Event production vendors looking to protect themselves must focus on tools of the trade — sound systems, cameras and entire production trucks, among others — because they can be rendered unavailable for periods of time. Until they are either released by authorities or become available to be evaluated and declared total losses, service providers and vendors — as well as the venue themselves —experience a degradation of their ability to generate revenue and absorb the costs of these business interruptions.

The world of live events has changed — much for the better, but dangers still lurk. Risk management around live-event production also must change to ensure that attendees, vendors and venues themselves are safe and secure.

You can read the article on Property Casualty 360 here

CFC launches event package policy

CFC launches event package policyWe’re happy to announce that we have expanded our contingency insurance offering with the launch of a brand new event insurance package policy in the US and Canada.

This new solution enables brokers to deliver to their clients comprehensive event cancellation as well as general liability and property cover for the event all under one policy. Also available on a standalone basis, the event cancellation component covers the costs associated with an event being cancelled, abandoned, postponed, or relocated for reasons outside of the insured’s control, including the non-appearance of a participant.

Matt Helm, Contingency Practice Leader at CFC, explains: “When it comes to events, there are a lot of moving parts and a lot can go wrong if the unforeseeable happens. Historically, brokers have had to pull a patchwork of policies together to provide their clients with comprehensive cover. That has changed with the introduction of our new event insurance policy. Our broad package solution provides limits of up to $5m in the US and $10m in Canada, and gives brokers and clients a one-stop-shop saving them both time and money.”

CFC’s new product enables organisers to protect the financial investment of their event including everything from agreements with spectators, staff and performers to building and contents damage. Optional extras include cover for terrorism, adverse weather, earthquakes, communicable diseases and non-appearance.

The policy will be available in other territories in the following months. Stay tuned!

Ideas for trade show and prize promotions

Ideas for trade show and prize promotionsAre your clients looking for interesting new ideas to help promote their business at trade shows? Promotional insurance is a class of business that is still not widely known about or understood in the market. It can be used to create some innovative promotions, with attractive prizes far bigger than most clients could normally afford.

Ever wondered how small companies can offer jackpot prizes like a top of the range sports car or a once-in-a-lifetime holiday on a free to enter game on their exhibition stand? Promotions insurance makes all of this possible. By finding fun games that have a very low probability of any individual winning the top prize, insurance can be used to offer high value prizes for the cost of only a small premium. Hole-in-one prizes have been a popular feature on many corporate golf days and now these same concepts are becoming increasingly popular in the competitive world of conferences, exhibitions and trade shows.

To give you and your clients some creative ideas we’ve created a brand-new microsite packed with examples of how you can use promotions insurance. From prize draws and giveaways to crack the safe and guessing games, head on over to and feel free to share relevant case studies with your clients. If you’d like to speak to a member of the Contingency team directly, email Matt Helm at or Rob Tuttlebee at or call 0207 220 8500.

CFC launches into the contingency insurance market

CFC launches into the contingency insurance market16 Mar 15: Specialist lines underwriting agency, CFC, has announced the launch of two new products from its recently established contingency team.

The launch of its prize indemnity and over-redemption policies follow on from the appointment of Matt Helm as Contingency Practice Leader in October last year who comments: “Prize competitions and coupons or free product offers have become an increasingly valuable marketing tool for a huge range of companies, both on and offline. As a result, the contingency market is rapidly growing and there is real potential for brokers to develop profitable business in this arena. However, in my view, many have been constrained or put off by the lack of innovation and low limits.”

He continues: “In launching these products, CFC is bringing a fresh approach and new capacity with meaningful limits that will help brokers keen to grow their presence in this line of business. We are delivering specialist products straight to brokers, saving them the hassle of trying to place business across several different providers. This means they get a fast turnaround and central underwriting contact, which is a big plus given the nature of what they’re trying to cover.”

Both policies offer up to £20m in the UK, €25m in Europe and $30m in the US and Canada, and capacity is provided by Lloyd’s of London. The prize indemnity policy covers everything from hole in one and other sports skill competitions to conditional rebates and lotteries. The over-redemption policy, by contrast, covers on pack and in store promotions, electronic and paper coupons, loyalty schemes and more.

For more information on these products, visit our products page, select your territory by clicking on the map, and choose either over-redemption insurance or prize indemnity insurance from the list. Alternatively, get in touch with our contingency team directly by clicking here.

CFC appoints Matt Helm to spearhead its expansion into the contingency insurance market

35f99c5 (1)2 Oct 2014: Specialist lines underwriting agency, CFC, today announced the appointment of Matt Helm as Contingency Practice Leader. This new role will see Matt spearhead CFC’s expansion into this rapidly growing marketplace.

Matt has over 20 years London Market broking and underwriting experience, placing risks within both the Lloyd’s and wider general insurance markets. He joins CFC from PIMS-SCA, a global risk management company in the digital, gaming, lottery and sports markets where he was a board director and business producer underwriter.

In this newly created role, Matt will direct his expertise towards defining and building CFC’s new specialist range of contingency insurance market products including over redemption, prize indemnity, and event cancellation insurance.

CFC Underwriting Director Andrew Holmes comments: “The contingency market has vast potential and is a great fit for CFC. We don’t shy away from pushing the boundaries and tackling markets where businesses have huge financial exposures that need to be addressed with specialist products. With his extensive relationships across the digital, gaming, lottery and sports markets, as well as his board level management experience, Matt is well placed to spearhead our latest expansion and we are delighted to welcome him on board.”

Matt Helm commented: “I am excited at having the opportunity to bring a fresh approach to the contingency insurance market and develop this new practice for CFC. I have many ideas as to how we can deliver new levels of innovation in insurance and risk management for businesses in this sector of the market, and see real opportunity for CFC to become a leading player both within the UK and across the the world.”