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UK festival ticket buyers warned insurance may not cover COVID

Ticket holders warned to "check the small print" of insurance purchased with big vendors

  • Paddy Edrich
  • 6 July 2021
UK festival ticket buyers warned insurance may not cover COVID

Festival ticket buyers in the UK have been warned to check the small print before buying insurance to cover cancellations, following a survey that found many did not know what they were paying for.

Research from Which? found although more ticket buyers were paying for insurance than before the pandemic, many did not know what was covered.

Read this next: Lack of government insurance could lead to "survival threat" for festivals

Insurance is an optional extra sold by ticket websites that refunds the buyer if they cannot attend an event.

The survey of 2,000 people found two-fifths thought insurance would cover them if a national lockdown meant the event could not go ahead as planned, while a third thought it would payout if the event could not go ahead due to a local lockdown.

Read this next: More than a quarter of UK festivals cancelled due to lack of insurance

A quarter also thought they would be covered if they were told to self-isolate by the NHS app.

Which? states in all of these cases, ticket holders should be refunded regardless of whether they purchased insurance or not.

Read this next: Houghton "needs to raise money quickly" for 2021 festival to go ahead

But the rules are less clear when government advice tells people not to travel outside their local area, with customers potentially not being entitled to a refund.

Which? research checked the terms and conditions of five insurers used by the UK’s biggest ticket sales and found not all policies offered payout.

Read this next: UK government will not consider festival insurance until lockdown ends

While XCover used by AXS was the most comprehensive, Eventim’s website states under their “protect my ticket purchase option” that it does not cover any Covid-related claims.

In a situation where one person tests positive for Covid and everyone else wants to cancel, Booking Protec - used by Festicket - would not cover losses.

Read this next: Will music festivals actually happen this year?

Meanwhile, TicketPlan, used by Ticketmaster and See Tickets, offered cover in all the scenarios Which? looked at.

Adam French, the Which? consumer rights expert, said: “Consumers should check the terms and conditions carefully to see if it’s worth buying insurance and should remember that if an event is cancelled or postponed due to lockdown rules, primary ticket sellers have to offer a refund.”

[Via The Guardian]

Paddy Edrich is a freelance writer, follow him on Twitter

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