Major French metal festival Hellfest has accused its insurance company of not paying up after it was forced to cancel this year’s event due to COVID-19, saying ‘fuck you’ in an official statement.
Their insurer, French company Albingia, has denied any wrongdoing.
Hellfest released a statement on April 9 saying it was happy to comply with official directions to cancel its June festival but would pursue Albingia for compensation after Albingia allegedly ruled that COVID-19 wasn’t covered.
“Aware of the risks and its responsibility, Hellfest Productions Association has nevertheless taken care to take out insurance of type “all except” with the company named Albingia … for the modest amount of €175,000 (A$300,000) – sum corresponding to the amount of the premium of the contract supposed to cover us of potential risks leading to a cancellation,” it stated.
“The same insurance contract clearly stipulates that financial losses due to possible pandemics will be covered provided that the contract was signed before the outbreak and recognition of the pandemic by the French authorities or by the WHO.
“Our contract was signed on December 17, 2019, before the virus appears in China.
“But here we are, our insurance company is demonstrating to those still doubting, that it is easier to pay insurance premiums rather than to obtain reparation for damages that we are supposed to be covered.
“Therefore, we were denied from Albingia because this “type” of pandemic did not fit into our insurance policy. We obviously contest this reading.
“For Albingia, solidarity is for others, taking the risk of putting their policyholders in economic difficulties.
“Their reasoning is simple, take our contributions for a cancellation insurance YES, compensate us: NEVER.
“The idea?! Playing with words and interpretations to start a trial which last for several years.
“Meanwhile, the company will keep the money we should be able to claim.
“This is the reason why we want to shed light today on these shameful practices especially in times like this.
“Solidarity and commitments compliance should be the main concerns of insurers company.
“In short, while we are waiting for a long procedure, only two words come to us for this specialized event and audiovisual insurance company: FUCK YOU!”
Albingia released a statement on April 10 saying that while they were discussing the situation with Hellfest’s broker and lawyer, this crisis was excluded by their contracts.
“We regret the cancellation of Hellfest and share the disappointment of festival goers,” it stated.
“We have discussions with the organizers through their broker and their lawyer and they will continue.
“The crisis we are going through is unprecedented and violent for all, by its magnitude and by its nature, and contrary to what has been indicated, this type of risk is excluded by our contracts.
“However, we are a responsible insurer and intend to remain alongside our customers during this difficult period.
“The sector of major cultural events will be particularly impacted and we think that national solutions must be found, in the short term as for the future, this work of reflection is led by the State and the representatives of the sector.”