We’ve already established that the arts have suffered more than most sectors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and that live-streaming performances have proven something of a lifeline for hundreds of orchestras, promoters, and performers across the world.

Some artists, however, might not be familiar with the specifics that streaming online might entail from a legal perspective.

This is why we focused on the importance of securing media liability insurance in our first piece, “Media liability for arts organisations streaming their performances online.”

In recent weeks, however, La Playa has gained access to several new insurance products for virtual events and performances, covering risks including non-Covid-related factors, non-appearance and cancellations, non-transmission and media liability.

Professional Indemnity and Media Liability

Traditionally speaking, Professional Indemnity policies were always focused on the provision of advice. As a performing orchestra, for example, you might understandably think that you don’t need it.

However, with the rise in necessity of online streaming throughout 2020 and now moving into 2021, media liability and more general professional services cover has become a more relevant concern for the following reasons:

  • Professional Indemnity policies give comprehensive media liability protection against claims of breach of copyright, theft of ideas, negligence or defamation. During a live online performance, artistic content may occasionally be used without the appropriate permissions required, or another party could claim you’ve stolen their concept. These are just a couple of examples where this cover would provide protection.
  • The more content you are adding to your website (your own images and music as well as third party content), the more you will naturally be exposed to claims regarding where you sourced that content, how you’re sharing it and how it was compiled.
  • Performing arts organizations often have high profile client bases who may take any breach of their privacy very seriously. PI/Media Liability policies provide public relations assistance (to remedy reputational damage) and some limited cyber coverage for accidental privacy data breaches – which can prove not only costly but damning on a repetitional level.

Cyber Liability

A cyber policy doesn’t just protect you from the financial impact of accidentally losing your data or letting loose valuable customer data through a cyberattack.

A cyber policy addresses the greater risk exposure you have as a result of more activity online, activity including charging customers to view performances.

Because, even if you don’t process card payments yourselves, you can still be held liable for the failure of a third-party service provider. 

Cyber liability has become a more relevant concern for the following reasons:-

  • It covers against damage caused by malware or ransomware attacks. As an institution with a high profile database of members, orchestras are particularly vulnerable here. Any malicious software infecting your systems from a widespread phishing attack or from a more focused and targeted attack could prove financially devastating unless insured.
  • The threat of extortion or actual theft of funds via hacking is also covered with a cyber liability policy. These attacks are often used to divert your funds or your clients’ payments to a bad actor’s account.
  • Service outage caused by an attack or even a weather-related incident can interrupt your services and could be critical to your reputation and income if a streamed performance is affected. That’s why a cyber liability policy covers all damages to networks and business interruptions.
  • Cyber insurance policies also come with forensic expenses to immediately triage an attack, as well as a raft of mitigation advice, risk management services, and staff training.

Virtual Event Cancellation

With the pandemic still running rampant and thousands more of us falling ill by the day, cancellation even of online events is sadly an increasingly regular occurrence.

That is why our insurers are now able to offer contingency cancellation cover for events not taking place through no fault of your own, even when the event does not have a ‘traditional’ live audience.

Virtual Transmission is now covered for cancellation, abandonment, postponement, curtailment and relocation of events, and is vital for performers in 2021 because:

  • Your hard-earned income can be covered if your live-streamed performance is unable to go ahead due to standard perils such as bad weather, or the non-appearance of a key performer due to illness.
  • Event cancellation insurance can now cover a cyber Incident relating to a computer system failure or systemic infrastructure failure. This does not include deliberate acts such as hacking, though they would be covered by the aforementioned cyber liability cover if purchased.
  • Coronavirus is still absolutely excluded, but in some cases, policy premium may be returned if the policy is cancelled within a certain time frame due to a local lockdown or similar occurrence.

Image: Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com

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