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Take1: Venues Must Reexamine Insurance Coverage

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Following several recent high profile stage collapses and structure failures at live events around the world, many venues and municipalities are taking a closer look at the limits of coverage that are defined in the policies carried by event producers and vendors.

According to Take1 Entertainment Insurance executive vice president and program director Scott Carroll, live event vendors wishing to succeed and grow must carefully review their current insurance policies, or if they have none, consult with an insurance provider.

"Weather and other factors continue to produce worldwide headlines about stage collapses and incidents at public events, and they are vivid reminders of the potential for disaster and how much more tragic these disasters become if they or their partners are not properly insured," Carroll said. "At most public venues, there has always been a requirement for their vendors to carry insurance, but in many cases this requirement was not strongly enforced 100 percent of the time. With the potential for losses growing as live events become increasingly sophisticated and expensive, and as extreme weather wreaks more and more havoc, the venues are beginning to strictly enforce this requirement, or else not allow the vendors to do business on their property.

"I recently received a call from a woman who needed insurance coverage for a flea market she manages, even though she's done it for years and has never needed a policy before. The municipality is now requiring that she carry insurance despite never having enforced this element of her contract in the past. This is becoming a very common occurrence for events of all sizes."

New venue requirements are not the only factor causing live event vendors to seek insurance advice. After "Superstorm" Sandy pounded the northeast U.S., some business owners who thought their potential losses were small ended up losing a lot more than they ever imagined they could. For some, their previously acceptable amount of risk for which they were willing to self-insure (knowingly avoid purchasing insurance for something that is insurable) turned into large, unexpected losses.

"I recommend that every live event vendor contact an insurance representative to discuss the risks they face, the costs of coverage and the cost to their business if they remain uninsured or under-insured," Carroll said. "As we've seen, small probabilities can turn in to big losses. For any owners concerned they might be too small of a company whose insurance needs may not be taken seriously, Take1 just might be the right fit. At Take1 we insure all kinds of companies, from the biggest of the big to the smallest of the small, and we pride ourselves on being a big voice for the little guys. Remember, you are never too small to have a big loss."

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