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Community & Business

28 July, 2021

Shows in trouble as showmen struggle to secure insurance

SHOWS in Australia could grind to a halt as showmen struggle to secure insurance for their rides and amusements potentially jeopardising Australia’s show industry.

By Rhys Thomas

SHOWS in Australia could grind to a halt as showmen struggle to secure insurance for their rides and amusements potentially jeopardising Australia’s show industry. 

Showmen all around Australia and around the world have been facing an insurance plight since midyear 2020 due to COVID, causing a sleuth of cancelled shows around the country and around the world. 

This caused many showmen to cancel their policies with no need for rides or amusements, leaving insurance brokers with ongoing claims and payouts. 

Around the world there was a tightening of the insurance market and brokers didn’t want to enter the higher risk categories of the bigger rides.

Since most of the reinsurers are based out of London once the world gets affected so does the smaller niche Australian market. 

Trustee of the Showmen’s Guild Australasia Lewis Osborne has said that without an alternative insurance option, shows around Australia will stop completely. 

“We’ve got a lot of members now out of work because they cannot get insurance,” he said. 

“If we can’t get insurance there probably won’t be a show because without the amusements and high caliber equipment we provide, there is no sideshow alley. 

“We’re probably about 80 percent of what the show is all about at the end of the day.” 

There is a potential light at the end of the tunnel however as the Australian Amusement Leisure and Recreation Association (AALARA) is attempting to establish a DMF fund that would be owned and managed by the showman. 

This potential $20 million pool would serve as a support for the showmen’s guild to fall back on and act as an insurance pool whilst other brokers pursue alternative insurance options. 

“What the DMF creates is futuristically is when the market hardens again we won’t be caught up in it,” Mr Osborne said. 

“A DMF fund is member controlled so with the assets we have within that fund we will be able to get through and survive the next onslaught of a hardening market.

“We’ve got to take whatever we can.”


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