Ticket Insurance

I have always taken quite a dim view of ticket insurance. Surely, I thought, lovely box office staff being sensible and humane about giving credits and refunds is all we need, not giant insurance companies getting rich off people paying a couple of extra quid for peace of mind in case they couldn’t use their tickets.

Also, insurance is for car crashes and house fires, when a disaster you couldn’t possibly afford befalls you; if you can afford to self-insure you always should, so why do you need insurance on a theatre ticket?

Anyway. In spite of my own feelings, at a customer’s request, we built an integration with Booking Protect - now X-Cover - and if you want to use them to offer ticket protection insurance to your customers, you definitely can, and they will take some admin hassle away and give you a share of the revenue.

And then I stopped thinking about it.

But at the Ticketing Professionals Conference #TPC2024 last week, as I wandered around the exhibition hall and saw no fewer that four competing ticket insurance vendors - X-Cover, Protect Group, TicketPlan, and at least one more - it reminded me they existed, and I started wondering again - why?

Even if an individual ticket buyer can’t afford to self-insure a single ticket, surely the venue can? When I book a hotel or a train ticket, I am presented with multiple prices, a low price for an inflexible ticket and a higher price for a flexible, refundible ticket, and there’s no insurance on offer - it’s just the hotel selling me different products. And then I thought, given that we had the architecture to do Refund Insurance via X-Cover, why don’t I just create another plugin there that offers it to the customer… and then does nothing?

That is - at checkout, there’s an upsell prompt, and it offers an upgrade to “flexible” tickets for perhaps 10% the cost of the basket, and if they click it, you the venue just keep the money. We don’t talk to any API, we don’t send the details to an insurer. You just keep the money. And then if a customer who hasn’t bought the premium flexible ticket asks for a refund you can say “no” with a clear conscience, and if someone who has bought a flexible ticket asks for a refund you say “yes, of course”, safe in the knowledge that this is more than paid for by the people who paid extra and did not want their money back.

So I’ve just done that. It took about half a day.

Give us a shout if you want us to switch it on.