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Enterntainment Insurance
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 10:10
Controlling sold-out concerts

Complaints regarding a lack of organisation and crowd control measures from ticketholders at the recent Red Hot Chili Peppers show in Johannesburg highlight the need for having a proper risk management strategy in place when organising large scale events.
The music group played to a packed-to-capacity FNB Stadium, although media reports suggested some ticketholders left early as they feared for their safety.
Clive Shelver, Managing Director at Film & Entertainment Underwriters - a specialist insurance underwriter, writing on behalf of Compass Insurance Company Limited (“Compass”), says it is imperative for those who work within the entertainment industry to consider all the potential risks and to implement a sound plan to address these.
“Some things are simply out of an event organiser’s control, such as freak weather conditions. But if people are complaining about a lack of crowd control, that does need to be taken very seriously and addressed, particularly with so many big name acts now visiting South Africa’s shores,” he says.
He says one of the insurance considerations that can be bought is cover against the cancellation of an event due to adverse weather conditions. “This is critical for organisers of large scale events that involve international stars as these can be costly to stage and it may not be possible to postpone it to a later date. A specialist insurance policy provides the reassurance to event organisers that they can postpone or cancel an event, and recoup the costs, if there is a legitimate reason to do so.
“This can be essential as film, television and live stage productions can be hugely expensive to stage and if the costs are not recouped then it may be impossible to put on the same show for a second time and the organiser is then left to pick up the bill.”
He says it is also vital for any event organiser to have some form of liability cover in place should an accident happen during the shooting or staging of a show. “It is almost impossible to host an event nowadays without producing evidence of liability insurance. If someone gets killed or permanently disabled during a show then the liability rests with the organiser. This could easily run into millions.”
Shelver says there are a number of additional insurance covers that one can take out including personal accident insurance for members of a crew, which incorporates death, permanent and temporary disablement and medical expenses benefits. “This kind of cover varies considerably depending on the particular job that one is doing. For example, insurance cover for a gaffer would be significantly less than insurance for a stunt man.” (A ‘gaffer’ is usually the chief electrician responsible for managing the lighting scheme).
He cautions, however, that while the staging of an event can be insured, the costs will not be covered if the abandonment of it is due to the organiser’s failure to meet normal deadlines such as delivery dates, release dates, air dates or any other deadline that did not allow a reasonable margin for safety. “As with any insurance policy, there are always stipulations in the terms and conditions and it is critical to speak to a qualified broker who specialises in this particular kind of insurance and can also explain the client’s responsibility.
“Film and entertainment insurance is a specialised form of insurance cover and it is critical for production companies to ensure that they engage the services of a qualified and specialised broker to ensure that they have a proper risk management strategy in place.”

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:26.3 1st March, 2013
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