App offers live music insurance crisis fix

·2-min read

Australian live music venues grappling with an insurance crisis will soon be able to turn to an app to secure competitive policies.

As of June, at least 30 venues around the country were facing problems with insurance renewals.

Some were dealing with premium hikes of up to 300 per cent because insurers changed their policies to deem them "high-risk" while others had their coverage withdrawn altogether.

The problem has since escalated to affect nearly 100 businesses, according to the Australian Live Music Business Council, with premiums increasing up to 1000 per cent.

"Coming on the heels of the heartache of COVID, the public liability crisis has been devastating for businesses in the live sector," council chairman Stephen Wade said.

"They're having to go from one insurer to the next only to be told they can no longer get coverage for a live music business ... and when they find an insurer of last resort, premiums are off the chart."

The council has for six months been in talks with overseas underwriters to secure more affordable policies, and on Tuesday announced an app - to be released on October 1 - to offer live music venues relief.

Businesses can use the app to collect the information insurers need to assess their applications and, once they hit submit, the council's brokers will match them with underwriters ready and willing to insure live music companies.

The app, the ALMBC Insurance Gateway, will be free for business council members and the council is confident premiums will be competitive given they are bringing hundreds of businesses to the table.

However Mr Wade warned legislative reform is ultimately needed to fix what is clearly a broken system.

"When you no longer have a single Australian insurer willing to take on public liability in not only our sector but a host of others, clearly there's a larger issue at play," he said.