By Alfred Branch, Jr.
Ticket buyers now have a couple of new options when it comes to insuring their tickets in case of an emergency. American Express recently launched the Event Ticket Protection Plan for its card members. The plan joins World Access’ Event Ticket Insurance program in what is a growing trend.
An increasing number of ticket sellers are adopting the insurance model as a way of assuaging consumers who had long grown weary of “eating” the value of tickets they couldn’t use.
The two programs reimburse ticket buyers if they’re unable to use their tickets for a variety of predetermined reasons, including medical emergency, cancellation of the event or a traveling accident. Ticket buyers with the insurance can receive a reimbursement for the face value of the ticket and other associated fees. To recoup the loss, the ticket buyer is required to provide documentation proving why they missed the event and, in American Express’ case, the unused ticket. The World Access program calls for the consumer to provide the ticket code.
Under the World Access program, a ticket buyer must purchase the insurance for about 5 percent of the value of the ticket. The American Express plan is free to consumer and business Gold, Platinum and Centurion card members who use their card to purchase the tickets, and they are limited to two reimbursements in a 12-month period.
Emily Porter, spokesperson for World Access, said the company’s ticket insurance is sold on 20 different websites, including TicketsNow.com. The program has insured more than $4 million worth of tickets since its inception six months ago. Monica Beaupre, spokesperson for the American Express program, said if a ticket buyer has purchased other insurance, the American Express program would reimburse for whatever is not covered. If no other insurance exists, then their program will fully reimburse the buyer.
“Entertainment is a key interest for our card members, so we felt that this was a great addition to our other entertainment-related programs,” Beaupre said. She said the company doesn’t reveal the numbers concerning how many card members have taken advantage of the plan.
Porter also declined to elaborate on the number of consumers that have taken advantage of the program, but said the amount is in the “tens of thousands.” Ticketing software company EventInventory also recently included support for the program in two of its software packages for the secondary ticket market.