Municipalities hosting large-scale indoor and outdoor live events have often required event organizers to prepare comprehensive Event Safety Plans that include specific engineering drawings that address the riggings of stages and roof structures, high wind action plans and comprehensive insurance policies. Those plan may now also be required by insurance providers before approving coverage, according to a prediction made last week at Event Live Expo 2013 by Scott Carroll, Executive Vice President and Program Director of Take1 Entertainment Insurance.
At a heavily attended seminar entitled “Insurance for Major Events: What You Need To Know,” Carroll warned live event producers and organizers to get ready for a new era of greater municipal oversight and new requirements. “Municipalities do not want to be in the news for hosting a live event that goes terribly wrong because of accident, tragedy, or weather and they are putting a greater onus of responsibility on the shoulders of event producers and, in turn, their insurance providers to show that they are ready for almost any contingency,” Carroll said.
Exactly how much more involved and complicated will it get, Carroll asked the audience? “It’s quite possible insurance companies will now begin to look for engineering reports, particularly for events taking place out of doors. They may want to see specifics that address the riggings of stages and roof structures, as well as an action plan in the event of high winds. They may also want to see operations plans, management plans and structural engineering reports.”
The bottom line, according to Carroll? “Gone are the days when the insurance sections of venue contracts are glossed over and rarely enforced. We are entering a new age of intense oversight and greater requirements.”
As a result of both, Carroll predicted, insurance capacity in larger limits is going to become increasingly difficult to obtain from one or even two carriers. “Now it is going to require several carriers to provide limits of $20-million or more. This is the new reality facing the entire entertainment industry in general and the live event industry in particular.”
Carroll urged seminar attendees to take a close hard look at their current insurance coverage and the insurance companies providing those coverages. “It doesn’t hurt to discuss with your insurance providers the kind of claims that can arise from the recent spate of tragedies in South Africa (Linkin Park concert scaffolding collapse), Canada (Radiohead concert stage collapse), Brazil (Santa Maria nightclub fire), and the United States (Indiana State Fair Sugarland stage collapse). These discussions may help you to better understand how they might react and respond on your behalf if tragedy strikes and possibly point out gaps that may exist within your current insurance program. After all, it’s always easier to discuss potential claims with insurance carriers before they actually happen.”