Leadership / 04.26.22
Ticket Insurance Evolves as the World Revolves Around New Threats and Risks, Part 1
Before the pandemic, ticket insurance was certainly a type of coverage offered by various firms. But once COVID-19 hit and scores of top-dollar concerts, sporting events and other live performances were either postponed indefinitely or canceled altogether, it became something a lot of people were interested in.
Just ask Casey Callinsky, President and Chief Growth Officer of Protecht Inc. “There is little question that the past few years have changed how consumers think about making their investments into the experiences they seek,” he says. “The pandemic has shaken sensibilities. While consumers plan for the ideal, there is a palpable reality that something less than the ideal may occur. While insurance, historically, has been viewed as a grudge purchase, the option to now protect one’s investment from the unforeseen has become something they expect. Simply said, the offering has gone from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘need to have.’”
Peter I’anson, Head of Partnerships & New Business at SecureMyBooking.com, has also witnessed first-hand the explosion in interest. “Overall,” he says, “we have seen huge increases in opt-in from customers, with some venues/agents advising us of 50% of purchases adding protection. While I am not sure if it will remain at such high levels, many customers will not settle for ‘No refunds/No exchanges!’ They want to see either the venue/agent offer a policy that has flexibility or offer a product like ticket refund protection.”
Stuart Barclay, Sales Director for Protect Group, says, “Now more than ever, customers are looking for additional assurances when making online purchases such as buying concert tickets, event entries and [so forth]. We’ve observed from our customers globally that they are not only more conscious of how and where they are spending their money but also more conscious of how unforeseen circumstances could affect their lives and consequently their purchases. Therefore, refundable ticketing and booking solutions are more relevant than ever.”
Barclay’s firm offers refundable tickets as part of its Refund Protect solution. In doing so, he says, “not only are we helping our partners offer an additional benefit of booking with their platform, but we are also helping preserve their brand image when refunds are needed and requested by customers. We remove the frustration, confusion and downtime that negatively impacts customer satisfaction. Simply put, Refund Protect is a solution that satisfies both the business and consumer.”
For those not overly familiar with such coverage, what does ticket insurance cover and what doesn’t it cover? Tom Trotta, Vice President of Sales & Partnerships, USA for Allianz Partners, was quick to answer. “Our event ticket insurance provides coverage for many common causes that prevent someone from attending an event,” he says. “As a named peril plan, for a loss to be covered, it must be included as a ‘covered reason.’ Having worked with some of the most iconic event ticketing brands, venues and teams around the world for over a decade, we have designed our plans to cover common unexpected situations.”
Indeed, most of Allianz’s plans cover between 25 and 40 unique reasons for cancellation. Examples of covered reasons include injury, illness, death of the ticket holder, family member or event companion; emergency pet care; ticket holder’s pregnancy; traffic accident en route to the event; employer termination; military obligations; and more.
“Our protection covers illnesses including COVID-19 and pre-existing illness,” I’anson says. “What that means is if a customer has cancer, for example, and is in between treatments and needs a good night out at the theatre to lift their spirits, they will be covered if they suddenly find themselves too unwell to attend when the date of the show comes. We also cover extreme weather, travel delays from public transit, transport failures like your car breaking down, being called up for military service or jury duty, and we even cover people who have been relocated for work or suddenly find themselves being made redundant from their jobs.”
He adds, “We do not cover situations such as if a wedding is planned by a family member or friend, and you decide to attend. The rules on travel have changed. And instead of heading to that show on Broadway, you decide to go on vacation to France instead. Or you booked tickets for your teen daughter two years ago to see Harry Styles but she’s moved on and is no longer a fan.”
I’anson cited several other “weird and wonderful” reasons he and his staff have heard. His favorite? “I have a sick horse that is having to stay in my house, and I can’t leave him in the house alone. He could cause a lot of damage!”
Barclay of Protect Group concludes, “Our refundable booking product, Refund Protect, protects the individual ticket holder should an unforeseen or uncontrollable incident occur that might prevent them from attending their event or travel. Examples include COVID-19, other sickness, pre-existing medical conditions, injury, transport issues or family emergencies. In some instances, our protection even extends to close family members, as well. . . . Our goal as a refundable ticketing provider is to award as many refunds as possible, as that’s what drives customer satisfaction and repeat purchases.”
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Tags: Leadership , COVID-19 , Coronavirus , insurance