Did anyone predict 2020 to pan out like this? We certainly didn’t!

With the nation working together to protect the NHS, work forces working remotely, daily Zoom calls, DIY projects, virtual birthday parties and weekly quizzes, its safe to the say the event and hospitality industry has been greatly affected.

Here at Graham Sykes Insurance we work with a vast range of Event and Festival organisers and whilst we are sad to see these wonderful events postponed, we can’t help but be fascinated with people’s positivity, creativity and innovation.

We may not be heading out to enjoy these occasions together as a community but that doesn’t mean we can’t get involved. Covid – 19 has encouraged all of us to think outside of the box, work differently and come out of our comfort zones to achieve the impossible.

So, if you are an Event or Festival organiser and you are racking your brains about how you can keep things ticking over during this pandemic, then we might just have an idea for you…

  1. Online Concerts and Performances
  2. Virtual Workshops
  3. Fundraising quizzes and competitions
  4. Online subscriptions for Dance or Yoga classes
  5. Online comedy nights
  6. Baking and cooking demonstrations 
  7. Online forums, meetings and discussion groups
  8. Virtual Dinner Parties
  9. Gardening or floristry tutorials
  10. Online music lessons or workshops

So, whilst the world around us changes, and we get to grips with ‘The New Normal’, we’d love to hear from you to capture your thoughts, ideas and plans for your virtual or online events.

If you are also looking to discuss your insurance needs for these types of events then please do not hesitate to contact the team via email, online chat or calling us on 01395 255100.

All the best and happy event planning!

Coronavirus Covid-19 and Cancellation Insurance

Due to the recent outbreak of Covid–19, we are aware that a lot of people are concerned about their upcoming Events, Gatherings, Festivals and Weddings. We have seen an increase in enquiries about cancellation policies and wedding insurance packages.

Here at Graham Sykes insurance we are here to help find the right cover for you and your events, however some schemes and packages have been withdrawn momentarily whilst we await further guidance. At present we do not have any policies that cover Covid-19.

We are still able to help with the following:

  • Public liability
  • Employers Liability
  • Stock
  • Money cover
  • Property cover
  • Cancellation cover (excluding Covid–19)

A little bit more about Cancellation Cover:

Whilst we can still offer Cancellation cover for your events to protect you from any losses due to adverse weather or non-appearance, this currently excludes Cancellation due to Covid-19.

If you have already purchased a cancellation policy or wedding insurance policy then your policy will remain in place and unchanged.

Please note not all cancellation policies include communicable diseases, we recommend checking your documents to see what you are covered for.

For further information regarding the Coronavirus please go to the NHS Advice web page.

Festival Insurance is designed for anyone organising a festival or an event that is looking for annual insurance cover. Whether you are planning a Festival for a small local community event or something on the larger scale with thousands of visitors then it is likely you are going to need insurance.

Here at Graham Sykes we love working with festival organisers, getting to see the weird and wonderful things you clever bunch are up to really makes our day. We have put together this snippet of top ten tips for sorting out Festival Insurance,  so you can ensure you are well on your way to ticking that off of your ‘to do’ list.

1. Start the job early – Your Festival may be a year away; from experience we know that talking about it and getting things in motion will save you stress as your Festival approaches.

2. Share your vision of the Festival with us – We not only love to hear all about your plans, but we also want to ensure all elements of your Festival are covered.

3. Be prepared to answer some questions – When we have a thorough understanding of your needs, we can provide you with a bespoke quotation that suits.

4. Keep your committee up to date – They may think of something you haven’t or have additional questions you may want to ask us.          

5. Don’t worry about asking your broker for help – We want to support you and guide you in the right direction, so do not hesitate to ask for help.

6. Check you have got it right – If you are uncertain about something, it is best to ask before you finalise the policy.

7. Examine your quotation carefully (and read the policy wording) – Our quotations are easy to read and show you exactly what you have been quoted for, but if you are unsure about anything, please just shout!

8. Check with your committee before finally agreeing the terms- Making sure your team understands the level of cover you have chosen will make renewal processes simpler (especially if someone else is in charge of insurance the following year). 

9. Ask any last questions you may have- Those last minute or ‘quick’ questions you have may prove to be more essential than you thought. So, it’s always best to double check if there is anything you are unsure of. You can call, email or chat to us online and our dedicated Festival team will be happy to help you.

10. Pay your premium and double check your documents carefully – With straight forward payment methods you can have your documents within minutes, then you are ready to go!

Need to know more or totally confused and not sure where to turn? Click here for some more information, call the Graham Sykes Insurance team on 01395 255100 or chat to us on live chat @ www.graham-sykes.co.uk

Wedding planning top tips:

  • Start planning early! With so much to think about it can seem overwhelming, but with help from your other half, friends and family, making plans and assigning duties to people at the early stages will definitely pay off (and help you keep calm).
  • Set the budget!  Deciding on how much you want to spend on the whole wedding is a must, you don’t want to get carried away with the bills stacking up. You can then break down the budget for each individual element such as entertainment, flowers, favours and decorations.
  • Keep note!! There are tons of wedding planning apps available which help you to keep track of the planning process, these are available on your smart phone so you can update the ‘to do list’ when you are out and about. If pen and paper is more your thing then a chunky notepad will do the job, be sure to write down any light bulb moments, important dates and keep your eye on that budget!
  • Get Creative! Whether or not you have a creative eye or love a bit of arts and crafts, small homemade touches can really personalise you special day (and also save some money). Check out site such as www.pinterest.com for inspiration overload.
  • Take time for yourself. It’s easy to get wrapped up in everything wedding related, but make sure you have time for yourself. You will probably be feeling a mixture of emotions during the build up to the wedding, so be sure to step away from it all now an again and relax.
  • Wedding insuranceit’s not just the financial element you want to cover, this is a very special day for you, that you want to run smoothly. With general cover often including (dependant on level of cover) :
  • Cover for adverse weather
  • Loss of or damage to gifts
  • Rings, flowers and wedding cake
  • Ceremonial attire
  • Cover for financial failure of wedding service suppliers
  • Why not ask Graham Sykes Insurance 😊?

Planning a wedding in the UK or even abroad? Then contact us on 01395 255100 for a Wedding Insurance Quotation.

Has the January blues got you dreaming of Sunnier days? Check out our travel top tips to make your holiday planning a breeze.

Counting down the weeks until your summer holiday? Do not fear, January is nearly over and you will be feeling the sand between your toes in no time.

Whether it’s a family get away, a once in a lifetime cruise or a short city break, make sure you are beach ready with our Travel Top Tips holiday guide.

  • Write a packing list: It may sound disciplined but writing it down and being able to tick items off will ensure you don’t forget any essentials (or over pack). This will hopefully ensure that you have some room in your suitcase for those ‘Must have’ Souvenirs.
  • Do your research: Going somewhere new? Then browsing the web to find exciting things to do will help you to make the most of your time away. Using apps such as Pinterest or Instagram will lead you to breath taking new sights and original places to eat and drink.
  • Get Tech Savvy! What a world we live in, with reservations, boarding passes and tickets accessible via your smart phone – who needs to print? There is no need for folders, binder or paper documents falling out at the check in desk. Saving your documents to your smart phone makes for a smooth transition through the airport.  Although, we would recommend printing anything that’s super important such as Visas or Esta (just in case of any technical faults).
  • Take out that all important travel insurance: It may not be the most exciting part of your holiday planning, but don’t leave it to chance when it comes to your travel insurance. Medical emergency? Flight Cancellation? (we could go on), being uninsured will be sure to wipe out your spending money…and much more.
  • Have a Blast! Switch off, unwind and enjoy every minute of it, you deserve it.

Safe travels and happy holidays from everyone at Graham Sykes Insurance!

If you’d like to chat to someone about your travel insurance then please call us on 01395 255100, or email info@graham-sykes.co.uk.

Overview

Thomas Cook Group, including the UK tour operator and airline, has ceased trading with immediate effect (announced approximately 2am 23/09/2019). All Thomas Cook bookings, including flights and holidays, have now been cancelled. There are currently more than 150,000 Thomas Cook customers abroad. This is almost twice the number that were repatriated following the failure of Monarch.

• Thomas Cook has ceased trading so all Thomas Cook flights are now cancelled

• Customers in the UK yet to travel must not go to the airport if their flight was due to be fulfilled by Thomas Cook

• UK Civil Aviation Authority to launch biggest ever peacetime repatriation

• Customers currently overseas should check thomascook.caa.co.uk for advice. Only go to the airport once they have an alternative flight confirmed.

• 24-hour helpline: 0300 303 2800 from the UK and Ireland and +44 1753 330 330 from overseas

FAQ’s

Q How do I know whether my flights / holiday have ATOL Protection?

A If you have ATOL Protection your documentation would have included an ATOL Certificate.

Q What is the ATOL protection certificate?

A When selling package holidays travel agents and tour operators must now give you a certificate explaining how your holidays are protected.

Q I am due to fly tomorrow/in the future with Thomas Cook, am I covered?

A The CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) have advised any flight due to be operated by Thomas Cook will no
longer be flying. If you hold ATOL protection as part of your booking, then you will be covered by them for your unused trip.

PLEASE NOTE: Some of Thomas Cook’s package holiday bookings include flights with airlines unrelated to the Thomas Cook Group. If your return flight is not with Thomas Cook’s airline it may still be valid. However other elements of the package, such as accommodation and transfers might be affected

FAQ’s – If Abroad

Q I am abroad at the moment and scheduled to return to the UK with Thomas Cook, what should I do?

A If you are on a package holiday and due to return on or before 6th October 2019 then the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) will arrange your repatriation back to the UK. Further details can be found on the following link –

https://thomascook.caa.co.uk/customers/if-you-are-currently-abroad/
    
PLEASE NOTE: Some of Thomas Cook’s package holiday bookings include flights with airlines unrelated to the Thomas Cook Group. If your return flight is not with Thomas Cook’s airline it may still be valid. However other elements of the package, such as accommodation and transfers might be affected.

Q Will the customer return home on the same flight?

A For those customers who are ATOL protected historically the CAA has arranged new flights at no extra cost to the customer. Details of new flights should be published at least 48 hours in advance of the original departure time, so they should monitor the CAA website.

Q Will the customer still be able to stay in their accommodation?A Previously when tour operators have gone into liquidation, if the customer has ATOL Protection, the CAA have contacted accommodation providers to make arrangements for the customer to stay in their accommodation, on the same board basis for the duration of their holiday, at no extra cost to the customer.
If you are currently abroad on an ATOL protected package holiday with Thomas Cook or any company part of the Thomas Cook Group, the Civil Aviation Authority will seek to guarantee your stay directly with your hotel. If you are experiencing difficulties with your ATOL-protected hotel, or your hotel is requesting payment from you, please call our call centre on +44 1753 330 330. Please note that it may take the CAA a few days to secure these arrangements.
While arrangements are being made, please do not make a payment to your hotel unless instructed otherwise by the CAA team. If our guarantee is not accepted by the accommodation provider, we may need to relocate you to another hotel for the duration of your stay. In these circumstances, the CAA will inform other suppliers, such as transfers, of the change to your accommodation and flight details

Buying Insurance, who’d have it? Love it or hate it we all need to protect ourselves against risks that we cannot afford to pay for ourselves. Whether you sell handmade jewellery or put on a stage show, if it involves people you will need to deal with the risk of bodily injury or damage.

I could write a book on the number of different views and experiences people have told me over the years. Some have lucky escapes and some are not so lucky! Let’s face it, obtaining insurance is probably one of the only things you buy up front. You do this before you have earned any money and you really hope that it is a complete waste of time.
So what’s in it for me? Well that depends on how much money you have already. Self insurance, where you pay for everything that goes wrong is certainly an option. However this depends on if you are allowed to in any contract you agree to. Most of us however, could not afford to pay for the fees and ongoing care that a person needs if they get injured. And remember that does not include the legal costs!

The best and worst stories of all are the ones that begin with the statement “my mate says I need”. Or even “I have spoken to an insurance guy and he just tried to sell me”. Both statements strike fear into my heart because, bottom line you carry the can!

Buying insurance is all about two things. Firstly, having someone else decide if it was actually your fault. And secondly not having to give up your livelihood should the worst happen. These might sound harsh but when you think your actions may have had some nasty consequences. I would feel bad trying to make decisions about what is best for another person. The other thing of course is, it might not have been your fault.

Insurance policies are set up as “good faith contracts. This means you must tell the insurer or broker everything they need to know about the cover you want. It is important to answer any questions as fully as possible. Whilst you might have a cheaper premium by leaving out important information, if someone tries to make a claim against you then you may have to pay the whole claim yourself, including those legal costs.

If you have any queries we will be only too pleased to help, call us on 01395 255 100.

You can also make contact by sending an email to events@graham-sykes.co.uk.