Sports Business : Wimbledon to get $141 Mn insurance monies, BCCI rues lack of such policy in India

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Wimbledon organisers it seems had been paying $2 million per year for the last 17-odd years for pandemic insurance in case of an emergency, like the current coronavirus crisis, and now with cancellation of the 2020 Championship, organisers of the tennis event stand to get $141 million as compensation. This will largely contribute to making up for the losses that the tournament would have suffered had they not had the pandemic insurance cover.

The Indian Premier League on the other hand, has not been as prudent. BCCI sources confirm that the IPL only has insurance against war and terrorism. The news that, The All England Tennis Club is set to pocket around 100 million pounds from insurance claims after the cancellation of this years Wimbledon has led to questions as to why did not the BCCI think on including a virus-related clause in the insurance policy for the IPL. But the board says policies vary from place to place.

Speaking to IANS, a BCCI official said that the market and the feasibility is something that must be taken into consideration before comparing Wimbledon to the IPL. Also, it needs to be seen if at all there is some clause like cancellation due to pandemic in the Indian market.

“The insurance sector is very different from region to region. In the UK it has developed differently. The presence of some big reinsurers in the UK market coupled with the complexities and the maturity of the UK insurance market is the backdrop that one has to view while looking at the Wimbledon model being discussed.

“I am not even sure whether the option for such a policy like what the Wimbledon had, i.e. insurance for cancellation on account of a pandemic existed with the insurance companies and their reinsurers for the Indian market,” he explained.

The official in explaining the scenario further cited the example of an English footballer like David Beckham getting his leg insured whereas the BCCI had to sweat it out to get insurance policy for loss of pay for the Indian contracted players.

“If you were to take the example of David Beckham, his legs were insured for a 100 million pounds in 2006, you don’t see anything similar in our market. From what I know, the insurance policy for loss of pay for the Indian contracted players was also curated by the BCCI and it took some doing. The BCCI would also assess such a scenario for the future as well in terms with the established processes of corporate governance,” he said.

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But the official feels that the trend in India may change with the effects felt due to COVID-19. “You may see the emergence of this trend now but only after these companies are able to actually study the impact of this pandemic as they would need to assess the value of the premium for such a scenario,” he explained.

But the official also pointed that hindsight is far more beautiful than when you actually are faced with an unforeseen situation.

“If you see the corporates, the media houses etc., they are all reeling with the effects of this situation and these are uncharted territories that we all have to negotiate together so there is no real template