Sports events insurance Hong Kong - sports management

Two strangers walk into a bar and leave best friends; wonder how? Watching Sports!

Sporting events aren’t just games! Sports connects people; it’s one of the best icebreakers and brings a country together. Watching sports events brings various emotions, from happiness to scary anger. There is no better feeling than seeing your country win an event or the entire competition. No matter the sports event, it has a magical effect on the community and has proven to break down social and cultural barriers.

Organising sports events can be exciting and exhausting. The organising country/company are responsible for almost everything regarding that sports event, from participants (athletes), spectators (audience), location and more. Therefore, there is a large amount of liability for the company, and there are thousands of things that can go wrong, depending on the sports event. Unfortunately, the bigger the event, the higher the chance of unfortunate situations occurring. 

These risks are precisely why organising companies purchase sports events insurance. Sports Events Insurance is essential to any sports event, big or small; it provides peace of mind for the organising company and beneficial risk cover. 

What is Sports Events Insurance?

Sports events insurance is an event insurance targeted towards covering sports events. It is a specific insurance that helps the sports event organiser avoid the risks. It is crucial to any sports event, no matter the size. Insurers can customise sports events insurance precisely to different sizes and types of sports events.

The insurance protects the business organising the event from possible lawsuits from athletes, audiences, equipment damage, or sponsors. Planning a perfect event is a dream, but sadly is not a reality; things will always go wrong, and the business will have to pay for the consequences.

Why Sports Tournaments Need Sports Events Insurance?

Audience Liability 

A sports event business’s most important responsibility is taking care of on-site spectators (audience) attending the event. Most sports events are occupied by millions of audiences. When there are so many enthusiastic fans at the location, there are more chances of injuries. The audience can be anyone from fans to VIP celebrities. The organising firm will be liable for the attendee’s injuries, and the injured third party could sue for compensation. Things can go wrong at any point in the event due to negligence or unpredictable public actions. The event business could suffer significant financial and reputation loss when sued by the public.

sports events insurance - fan injury - Public Liability insurance

For example, in 2016, fans acted on their emotions after losing a football match in Greece. They started to raid the field and fight at the stadium. As a result, the chaos injured many, and the organising company had to pay for medical injuries and compensation for injured fans. Such situations are unpredictable and can’t be avoided by hosts. 

The organising company can focus on planning for their audience’s enjoyment with sports events insurance and worry less about chaotic situations. Sports events insurance will cover legal and medical costs related to audience injuries. The cover is due to public liability insurance integration that will protect the business if a third party sues your business, alleging that event negligence caused them some type of bodily injury or property damage. Therefore, sports event insurance will provide the perfect protection against third-party risks.

Athletes Liability

Athletes are one of the most critical parts of any sports event- there is no event without talent. Participants train for years for an event like the Olympics and trust the hosting company for their safety. Unfortunately, there is always a chance they could be injured result of the negligence of the event, organisation or location. The business will only be liable if the athlete’s injury is caused due to business negligence– any injuries during the sports activities are not the event organiser’s fault. 

Sports events insurance- hong kong athletesFor example, during the Winter Olympics, an ice skater performs her dance on the stage and suddenly slips and injures herself. If the cause of her slipping is the unpolished ice, the organising business will be liable. It is the duty of the event organisers to make sure each location, field or stage is in the expected condition.

Situations like this will result in the athlete’s management suing the event and blaming the business for their loss. 

Sports events insurance can solve these cases professionally. The insurance will provide the cost of defence against athlete’s claims due to public liability. In addition, the public liability insurance factor will reimburse legal fees to the company and pay for medical and compensation costs to the athletes. Accidents due to negligence can be avoided most of the time but not always- sports events insurance understands risks and will protect the business.


Several situations can cancel or postpone a sports event. These situations usually are beyond the organiser’s control and can negatively affect the business and the fans. These situations could include unpleasant weather conditions, key athletes backing out or hosting countries’ government decisions. However, even if it is out of the business’s control, they would still be liable. The event business will have to refund tickets, pay for the venue or plan to reschedule.  The most common cause is the weather, which forces sports organisers to postpone the event.

Bad weather cancellations -Event Insurance

For example, the major football competition, Premier League’s Christmas schedule of 2010, had seven games planned to link the festivity with football. However, due to the out-of-control snow, all seven matches were called off leading up to Christmas, and two more were postponed on Boxing Day. Barclay, the organising company, was liable to refund tickets and pay postponing costs. Even if the game is rescheduled instead of cancelled, it costs a considerable amount financially.

Sports events insurance’s cancellation policy covers irrecoverable costs (non-refundable) due to the unavoidable cancellation or postponement of the sports event. The insurance will reimburse lost costs and help provide rescheduling costs to the organising business. However, exclusions exist. Standard exclusions include if the host could have avoided the cancellation, and most event insurance policies have removed pandemic cancellation coverage worldwide. Sports events insurance will help reduce the impact of most sudden cancellations.

Equipment Damage 

Sports events are full of costly equipment- seats, field equipment, speakers and the physical venue itself. Each piece of equipment is crucial to the events and can negatively impact if damaged. For instance, a damaged speaker could ruin the event for thousands of attendees and would blame the business for their poor satisfaction. Unfortunately, equipment damage could happen anytime, from minor to huge. The hosting company will be liable for the equipment and pay for repair or replacement (quickly).

Public Liability Rugby tournament HK

For example, the audience, bad weather, or even the sport itself could damage the equipment. The cost can be worse when the business rents the equipment.  Sudden equipment damage can be costly and cause a significant financial loss.

Sports events insurance allows businesses to stay calm when faced with such situations. The insurance will reimburse the cost of replacement or repair at market price. The policy lets the business know that the expensive equipment is covered from any possible risks. However, the insurance company will investigate if the business could have easily avoided the damage. If the company could have avoided the damage easily, the insurance will not cover the costs.

When Is The Best Time To  Purchase Sports Events Insurance?

Organisations have enormous pressure to execute a successful sports event and meet various expectations. Therefore, sports events insurance should be one of the first steps any organisers take. The business should inform the insurance company about the event plan as soon as possible to provide the best coverage.

The insurance is typically purchased by the organising company and sometimes even the stadium owner. Sports events insurance provides the business with financial and confidence benefits. It is great that the business will get their money back, but it also gives them the confidence to invest that cost into rescheduling the event to a better time.

Whether you organise a youth sports event or the next Olympics, sports events insurance is crucial. Things may go wrong at any point of the event or even before. A great cover will provide the hosting business with peace of mind. Organising events is expensive, and companies shouldn’t worry about unpredictable risks.

As the world opens up to more sports events, take the smart step and insure your sports event- even if it’s just a kid’s football tournament. Better safe than sorry!


To learn more about sports events insurance and cover any sports events in Hong Kong & Asia, contact Red Asia Insurance.