The winter games began on February 4 this year and going as scheduled, unlike many events in the past years. COVID has changed the sports industry and events worldwide. There have been thousands of events proponed or cancelled, resulting in millions of dollars in loss. A lot of the loss could have been avoided years back with a pandemic insurance policy.
Although, if you went back ten years and tried to sell big companies something called ‘Pandemic Insurance’– most companies would laugh and refuse.
This was not the case with The All England Lawn Tennis Association (AELTC), which organises the Wimbledon tennis tournament. This case study will analyse how Wimbledon was one step ahead when they purchased pandemic insurance 17 years before covid.
What Sparked The First Step For Wimbledon?
It all began with the first epidemic we faced in 2003-SARS. The SARS outbreak was a shock in 2003; it affected several countries and then thankfully contained within a couple of months.
It did not have the impact COVID has had in the past three years, but the effect was enough to spark a worry for Wimbledon. Wimbledon, unlike many companies, learned from the epidemic and prepared for pandemics that could affect their sports events. So they acted quickly and made the best purchase that any company could have made in the coming 17 years, which was pandemic insurance (along with Event Insurance).
Pandemic insurance was unpopular, and many companies did not think to purchase the insurance due to the low chance of a pandemic. Wimbledon paid £1.5 million each year for pandemic insurance. Although, now this decision has become one of the most famous investments in insurance history.
How Wimbledon Cashed Out For Being ‘One Step Ahead’?
Eventually, after 17 years, we were hit by the COVID pandemic, a pandemic that is still shaking the world. As a result, 2020 was the year most events were cancelled, including the Wimbledon. Wimbledon was planned to start June 29 to July 12, 2020, but was cancelled for the first time since World War Two.
The Wimbledon firm (AELTC) paid around £ 25.5 million till this point of cancellation. An expense that many would have thought of being a waste till the cancellation. In fact, it was the complete opposite and the only company to gain money back during the start of covid.
The AELTC received a pay-out from its insurers of £114 million (US$157mn) for the cancellation of the 2020 tournament. The pay-out proved that it is crucial to be one step ahead and be ready for anything.
Is Pandemic Cancelation Covered in Event Insurance Now?
The pandemic has changed many things, including insurance covers. Unfortunately, most insurance policies do not cover any pandemic related issues: including event insurance.
Additionally, pandemic insurance is not an insurance policy anymore. Insurers have removed the pandemic cancellation cover of events due to the COVID. The event insurance policy change is due to how common pandemic event cancellation has become. However, event insurance is still one of the most important insurances for sports events. The insurance will still cover cancellations, equipment damage and third party accidents.
It is impossible to predict the unpredictable, especially sports events. That is why it always feels great to know you have event insurance available to protect you. Event Insurance offers the host peace of mind. It allows the host to prepare for the events to the best quality and not worry about the unpredictable risks.
We may not be able to avoid the pandemic risks, but businesses can avoid other risks. Therefore, before you plan your event, It is best to consult with specialist insurance providers who understand your event and can help you pick the right kind of event insurance policy that fits the risk of your event.
Therefore, it is crucial to be one step ahead of future unfortunate incidents, whether bad weather, broken equipment or even no show artists.