What Is Event Ticket Insurance and Is It Worth It? – Pas Trusted News

I was once a dedicated purchaser of ticket insurance. I go to about a dozen concerts annually, and I liked the peace of mind that I thought ticket protection offered.  

Last March, I planned a weekend trip to Nashville with my best friend, a trip that was to conclude with a concert at the Grand Ole Opry. But a work emergency thwarted the entire trip a week before we had planned to leave.

I called the Dolly-Parton-themed hotel and canceled our stay with no problem: it was fully refunded. I called American Airlines and canceled our flight with no problem: it was fully refunded (in future trip credit).

But when I tried to get a refund for my insured concert tickets, it wasn’t as simple. I first had to upload my receipt as well as a signed letter from my employer explaining why I couldn’t attend. Then, I had to wait several days to hear the claim decision, which was thankfully approved.

The hassle and the $20 spent on insurance were admittedly well worth the nearly $300 refund, but the experience taught me a valuable lesson: ticket insurance is not the catch-all I thought it was. Here’s what you need to know about event ticket insurance before deciding if it’s worth the expense.

Ticket insurance is a type of protection that might reimburse your ticket purchase if you can’t attend an event for certain covered, unexpected reasons. Customers can purchase it as an add-on when they buy tickets to live events like sports games and concerts.

Getting insurance seems like a smart move when you consider that concert tickets can be extremely expensive. Even before fees get tacked on, tickets for Swift’s Eras tour ran from around $50 to $900 at face value; tickets for Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour ran from around $60 to around $1,000. Resale tickets are even more expensive, often double or triple face value.

Fans of big-name artists are dropping big bucks on high-dollar seats and VIP passes, and these investments make ticket insurance an attractive offer.

Ticketmaster, the world’s largest ticket seller, is owned by Live Nation and handles around 70% of all event tickets sold in the U.S.

At checkout for ticket purchases, Ticketmaster customers are offered Event Ticket Protector, an insurance service offered by Allianz Global Assistance, a consumer brand well-known for its travel insurance. Allianz Partners developed Event Ticket Protector in 2006 with Ticketmaster, and the company has been Ticketmaster’s exclusive event ticket protection provider since.

Event Ticket Protector costs about 10% of the ticket price. Depending on the ticket price, 10% could range from a couple of bucks to more than a hundred dollars.

An Allianz Global Assistance ticket insurance policy that I received in February 2023 includes 18 covered reasons for ticket cancellation. However, these reasons are qualified by 20 listed general exclusions.

The policy lists several exclusions that may raise some eyebrows, such as:

  • “Terrorist events”
  • “Fertility treatments or elective abortion”
  • “Nuclear reaction, radiation, or radioactive contamination”
  • “A mental health disorder”
  • “An epidemic”

Further, the insurance doesn’t protect ticket purchases in the case of “the event being canceled or delayed by the venue or promoter for any reason.” In other words, if the event gets canceled your best hope of getting a refund is if the promoter or venue voluntarily issues refunds, rather than through any ticket insurance policy.

You can find a general explanation of Event Ticket Protector coverage here, though you should always check your certificate of insurance or policy for detailed explanations of coverage. “These are very technical documents,” says Omar Ochoa, a Texas-based attorney who specializes in insurance. “You may see an advertisement that says something like you’re protected in case you get sick. But ‘sick’ is not what you think it means in the general sense. It’ll be very clearly defined in the terms.”

Ochoa and Daniel Durazo, a director of communications at Allianz Partners, both agreed that no insurance products cover every situation. Auto insurance, home insurance and health insurance generally have a list of exclusions.

However, the costs of not having home insurance (for example) when you need it could be catastrophic, which is why you should pay for a policy even if it has more exclusions than you’d like. With ticket insurance, the stakes are lower and you may feel a policy that doesn’t cover enough situations isn’t worth the expense.

When you purchase ticket insurance, you receive an email from the issuing company containing a link to the claim site. If you purchased Event Ticket Protector from Allianz Global Assistance, you could file a claim here.

According to Ochoa, customers will need solid documentation of their circumstances to receive coverage for most claims, so have doctor’s notes or police reports or employer letters ready to go.

Where it’s unclear how your policy applies to your situation, Ochoa said it’s up to litigation to iron those out on a case-by-case basis. However, attorney’s fees are expensive, and it hardly ever makes financial sense to pursue legal action on a rejected ticket insurance claim.

“The coverage is actually very narrow,” said Ochoa. “And to enter a dispute, if you feel like you’re being taken advantage of, it’s just not financially feasible in most instances. So, it makes it really difficult to justify this type of purchase for a consumer, in my opinion.”

Customers can appeal rejected claims to Allianz Global Assistance by emailing claimappeals@allianzassistance.com and including their policy or claim number in the email.

If you’re worried about unforeseen circumstances, then ticket insurance might be a smart investment for you. Still, you should very clearly understand the terms before purchasing any form of insurance.

Durazo said in an email statement that he always protects his personal ticket purchases with Allianz Global Assistance. According to him, even off the clock, he likes knowing that his investments are covered for unexpected cancellations and the 24/7 event assistance that the insurance comes with.

Allianz Global Assistance gives its customers a “free look” to review their policy, Durazo said. During this period, customers can cancel their policy for a full refund of their purchase price within 15 days of purchasing, as long as the event hasn’t happened yet, and no claim has been initiated.

He also recommended that customers call Allianz Global Assistance with any questions regarding what’s covered by their policy.

Ochoa, on the other hand, doesn’t insure his ticket purchases. He said the additional cost is just not worth it.

“The coverage it actually provides is pretty narrow when you read and understand the terms,” said Ochoa. “There’s this longer section called Ticket Cancellation Coverage, and it purports to cover all these different reasons for why you will be protected in some covered event, but then you go to the general exclusions, and it starts to chip away at those.”

If you bought expensive tickets and are willing to track down all of the documents you may need for your claim, then ticket insurance may make sense. Otherwise, the policy may not be a worthwhile investment.

Subscribe to the CNBC Select Newsletter!

Money matters — so make the most of it. Get expert tips, strategies, news and everything else you need to maximize your money, right to your inbox. Sign up here.

Ochoa recommended that customers check their other insurance policies to see if they have any areas of coverage that overlap with ticket insurance. For example, some travel insurance policies cover costs of an event that you couldn’t attend because of travel-related complications.

If you’re looking to save money on or get the most out of large events, many credit cards offer exclusive event benefits, like pre-sales to concerts and sports games.

Capital One offers several cards that are great options for those interested in early access to tickets, special on-site perks at specific venues and the ability to upgrade experiences at certain events using Capital One miles. The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (see rates and fees) is one of CNBC Select’s favorite credit cards from the issuer:

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

  • Rewards

    10 Miles on hotels per dollar and rental cars, 5 Miles per dollar on flights when booked via Capital One Travel; unlimited 2X miles on all other eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    22.24% – 29.24% variable APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    $0 at the Transfer APR, 3% of the amount of each transferred balance that posts to your account at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer to you

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

Read our Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card review.

American Express offers its cardholders access to a large array of events you can attend as a cardholder, and some more premium events are invitation-only. You can check out the various experiences here. But to gain access to more premium events and experiences, you’ll need to have a higher-end card like The Platinum Card® from American Express.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Rewards

    Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, 1X points on all other eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit Needed

Latest Post