On Dec. 15, the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade and Consumer Protection, held a hearing entitled, “Examining the Impact of COVID-19 on the Live Entertainment Industry.” The hearing discussed the pandemic’s impact on the live event entertainment industry and the challenges faced by artists and venues, as well as supporting industries such as lighting and transportation. Legislative proposals on how best to provide relief to the industry and these specific sectors were mentioned by senators and the four witnesses representing the different sectors.
The Business Continuity Coalition (BCC) submitted a statement to be inserted in the hearing record recommending that a public/private insurance program be developed to address the insurance needs of all impacted lines of insurance, including event cancellation, which is key to the live entertainment industry. The BCC statement highlights the magnitude of the shortcomings in our country’s preparedness for, and resilience to, catastrophic events of the scale and nature of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, and suggests this coverage gap in insurance for losses from business interruption be addressed through a federal initiative in order to promote the economy’s recovery. This is especially true for the entertainment industry, including live performance and broadcast, where private insurance alone cannot and will not remedy the current gaps.
In its prepared statement to the Senate Commerce Subcommittee, the BCC advocates for a federally-backstopped availability mechanism similar to the highly successful one which Congress put in place to provide compensation after terrorism attacks nearly two decades ago. Such a mechanism, in the event of a government-declared pandemic health emergency, would enable employers to keep payrolls and supply chains intact, help limit job losses and furloughs, reduce stress on the financial system, and speed economic recovery when government-imposed limitations on business operations are lifted.
The BCC represents a broad range of business insurance policyholders – large and small – from across the American economy, employing more than 60 million workers. The coalition’s members will continue to advocate for a public/private insurance program to limit future economic damage from pandemics that cause business interruptions.
Download a copy of the full BCC statement below.