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Viewpoint: Sport requires backstop | Business insurance



As the summer months unfold, it's wonderful to see the return of live sporting events from the delayed UEFA Euro 2020 football tournament to the 2021 Wimbledon Championship, and when the postponed Summer Olympics 2020 in Tokyo start on July 28, I'll be among the millions watching TV from home, provided it goes according to plan. last time their families would see them perform live in person before the event. Overseas spectators were banned from the Tokyo Games months ago, and recently the president of the Olympic Organizing Committee said the decision to allow some local spectators to enter venues could be reviewed.

Risk management protection to control the spread of COVID-19 in Tokyo is understandably top of mind among concerns about the spread of coronavirus variants and when the city reported increasing cases after lifting a state of emergency in June. Recent reports of a sharp increase in COVID-1

9 cases among Scottish football fans who took part in a match in London during Euro 2020 are a reminder that major live events are still a challenge. Fortunately, there are some successful prototypes to learn from. For example, the National Basketball Association's bubble environment introduced at Disney World during last summer's 2020 playoffs was extremely effective in keeping athletes within its perimeter COVID-19-free.

As the world continues to move towards a new norm with arm vaccinations but herd immunity was not necessarily achieved among variations and ongoing collection restrictions in some areas, it is not only the safety of athletes and spectators and local communities that is in balance. The cancellation of events market was among the hardest hit by the pandemic, with billions of dollars in receivables. Since then, prices have risen and capacity has tightened. Exemptions from communicable diseases were often an element of pre-pandemic policy, but a "repurchase" option was offered under which policyholders could remove the exclusion and secure coverage by paying an extra premium. Nowadays, infectious disease cover is no longer available, even though new capacity has entered the incident interruption market.

For organizers of sports tournaments, music festivals, congresses or performances, the lack of pandemic insurance contributes to their problems as they try to ensure that events continue as planned and that more revenue is not lost. Billions of dollars are tied up in many of the major events. Potential insured losses from the Olympics are estimated at between $ 2 and $ 3 billion if games, for example, are suspended.

At the same time, several countries are moving towards setting up government-supported entities covering COVID-19-related cancellations. risks for event organizers. Such a system is reported to be imminent in the United Kingdom and possibly Germany, according to a similar approach in the Netherlands and Switzerland. These temporary safety nets are a great way to support companies and supply chains that have been decimated by the pandemic, but whether there should be a permanent backstop for pandemic insurance is still an open question in the industry. As private insurance companies continue to absorb the losses from previously interrupted events, a temporary backstop would at least give them time to assess whether they can manage the risk in the future.

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