Fans cheer a racing event

Insuring your summer

There’s a lot to making sure your favourite concert, movie or sporting event goes off without a hitch — and Corporate Solutions plays a starring role

Corporate Solutions has built up the capacity, product design skills and underwriting expertise to provide contingency cover for some of the most well-known sports and entertainment events in the world.

Each summer millions of people enjoy blockbuster films, concerts and sporting events. Some of those people may be surprised to learn that the support staff contains more than coaches, film crews and make-up artists.

Corporate Solutions provides contingency coverage for some of the most renowned entertainment and sporting events in the world. We’re particularly well-known for deploying large net capacity for global sporting events, says Tom Phillipson, Head of Contingency for Corporate Solutions.

Event organisers face enormous expectations and inviolable deadlines – and they can’t be slowed by every what-if scenario. Corporate Solutions supports the successful execution of such events by helping to manage the risks intelligently.

Drawing on more than twenty years of experience in handling the insurance needs of world sport and entertainment events, Corporate Solutions has built up the capacity, product design skills, and underwriting expertise to cope with challenges ranging from a multi-site sporting festival taking place in one city or country over just a few weeks, to a months-long tour covering the world’s biggest cities by some of today’s most famous musical acts.

Tom explains further: “Our clients put on very big, very complicated events that absolutely have to happen. They can’t just decide to start a week late because one of their venues is behind schedule. The organisers need insurance partners with the capacity to match the scale of their projects, as well as the knowledge base to structure covers that accurately reflect the risks on the ground.”

For sporting events, potential clients extend beyond the organisers, who would typically have to meet the costs of any interruption, curtailment, relocation, or boycott. Broadcasters also require cover for revenue lost if they fail to televise the event, while caterers, hotels and merchandisers have their own financial interests at stake. For Corporate Solutions, the range of potential business extends beyond the event itself to include surety and engineering cover for facilities construction and infrastructure projects.

As Tom explains, “With so many separate risks and insured parties, it’s not just a question of having enough capacity — although that’s essential. It’s also having the ability to create custom coverage to fit the exposure. Our covers are entirely custom made.”> 

Tom Phillipson – Corporate Solutions Head of Contingency (photo)

Tom Phillipson, Corporate Solutions Head of Contingency

>With events on the world stage, terrorism is an unfortunate but ever-present concern. Of course this is a special concern for host governments, who already run a reputational risk if the events they host aren’t ready on time. Some will take out their own insurance to make sure everything stays on track. Emerging markets are arguably under even more pressure to show that, as emerging economies, they can still host successful events on the world stage.

Ultimately Tom takes a positive view. These events do typically go ahead and the preparations manage to get completed, he says. As underwriters, we take a huge amount of comfort from the experience that our clients have in hosting the events that they put on, whether they are private companies or government entities.

“With so many separate risks and insured parties, it’s not just a question of having enough capacity – although that’s essential. It’s also having the ability to create custom coverage to fit the exposure.”

Tom Phillipson

Corporate Solutions Head of Contingency

Movies present a different set of risks. With production companies continually pushing the envelope further in terms of stunts and special effects, injuries and set damage can put a production’s completion in danger. Here too, Corporate Solutions helps to make sure that the show goes on.

When we look at a film, we begin by considering where it lies on the danger spectrum. At one end you have romantic comedies (so called walk and talk movies). At the other end of the scale, you’ve got the full-blown action films, Tom says.

It’s a common misconception that big stars do their own stunts.

Most importantly, Corporate Solutions looks for production companies that have experience, are up to date with the latest technology and are well prepared to meet issues as they arise – in other words, moving from a purely contractual arrangement to a creative collaboration between peers.

Spectators at a rock concert (photo)

Spectators at a rock concert

Musical acts flip the script once again. Rather than concentrating all the pressure in one small area over a few days, musicians and their promoters are asked to put on an equally complex and high quality performance night after night, city after city. Today bands put on ever-more spectacular and more tightly orchestrated performances, often playing to millions of fans across dozens of cities in the course of their world tour. Lights, staff, machinery and other attractions drive operating costs up and up, sometimes approaching nearly USD 1 million per day. Transport, cancellations and failures (whether of performers or their equipment) can all undermine the most best-laid plans. Such instances provide classic illustrations of how the insurance industry can play a backstage but critical role in entertaining millions.

For Tom, ensuring enjoyment can take on a personal touch. An avid concert goer himself, he says he’s proud to be associated with events that bring so much pleasure. “There’s a little sprinkling of stardust over my department generally, which makes it fun to be in and attracts talent.”

Further reading: Our experts reflect on the larger themes underlying this business beginning in the chapter Expert Views