To insure or not to insure

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Rachael Church–Sanders speaks to AON's Gary Flynn about the main types of insurance available to a sports event in case security measures go wrong......

Events need to have a stringent risk assessment model in place and carefully consider what could go wrong and what the worst outcome could be. Once these risks have been identified, the event needs to establish whether they can be covered in a contract, through an insurance policy or by itself through safety and security procedures. The main areas of risk to a sports event include:• Terrorism• Health/disease• National tragedy• Boycotts• Weather• Public safety• Transportation failure• Power failure• Strikes• Financial mismanagement• ScandalAccording to Gary Flynn, a director at insurance company AON, a specialist in the sports industry: "The main types of insurance for a sports event are legal liability which covers bodily and property injuries; employer's liability–which needs to include volunteers; and event cancellation, which organisers sometimes don't buy. Basically, insurance can cover anything apart from an event being pulled for financial reasons. "Flynn says that the industry is currently in a soft market with rates falling and insurers looking for new business. "We'll stay in a soft cycle until we get a large claim, " he explains. Whilst the sports industry always has to be wary of terrorism, it has been weather that has been the major issue in more recent times–from increased rainfall causing floods to snow not falling in time for major skiing events. Flynn is often amazed how inadequate some policies for major sports events are. "Insurance should always be included at budget stage and form part of a risk assessment model for an event organiser, " says Flynn. "But some countries now entering the sports event hosting arena just don't have an insurance market that's sophisticated enough. "

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