Insurance is usually a dull and boring subject. Until June 25th, that is. Event insurance is a niche market, and like most other types of insurance, its contracts feature complex language and offer a variety of coverages that can be tailored to meet the insured’s needs.
With the death last month of Michael Jackson, event insurance has taken center stage. Jackson was scheduled to perform in fifty concerts in London starting mid-July. Every concert was sold out and the promoters, AEG Live, spent millions in production costs to get ready for the London shows. Tickets will have to be refunded and huge losses loomed. Getting refunds out may prove daunting and expensive, since tickets were sold to fans world-wide.
Luckily, insurance coverage had been part of the production planning. The well known insurer Lloyds of London has been mentioned in newspaper accounts about Michael Jackson. How exactly the insurance is structured – what is covered and what the exclusions are – will be a subject of intense scrutiny in the coming weeks. There is still much to be pieced together; the exclusions in the policy may well turn out to be as important as the actual coverages.
There is another area where event insurance can be purchased. What if you purchase an expensive ticket for a concert, sports event or a concert, and you are concerned that something could happen to keep you from attending the performance? Can you insure against that? Yes, and about 4 percent of tickets sold through the various ticket outlets include event insurance. The insurance is usually purchased at the same time you buy your ticket, but you can obtain coverage up to twenty four hours before the ticketed event.
Two of the companies that sell insurance to cover your ticket purchase are Mondial Assistance and Travel Guard. The cost of insurance is reasonable. Mondial for example charges $7.00 per ticket, and Travel Guard charges five percent of the cost of a ticket subject to a reasonable minimum.
You will be covered for the cost of your ticket, including taxes and mailing expense. Some examples: you will get a full refund in case of illness or serious injury that keeps you from attending, or if you have a traffic accident, your car breaks down within 48 hours of the event, or if you are on your way to the event and your plane is delayed, if you are called to Jury Duty, or if you cannot use your ticket because you are called up for military duty. These are only a sampling of circumstances that would trigger coverage.
You will receive a policy that describes in detail how the coverage works. There are some common sense exclusions listed, too. These policies resemble trip cancellation insurance and are patterned after that kind of coverage. The maximum amount that can be paid out is $10,000.
Jean Taub has been in the insurance business for thirty years and owns an agency, Taub Farmers Insurance Agency, in Orange County, California.