IPL 2020: No COVID-19 insurance protection despite higher premium

COVID-19, like the entire world, has been the biggest fear for the sports industry this year. Indian Premier League 2020 is no exception. The commercial concern is far bigger than the health issues as the 13th edition of the league is all set to start in the UAE from September 19.

The franchisees, the broadcaster and even the Board of Control for Cricket in India have absolutely no protection for cancellation, even of a match, on account of COVID-19. The stakeholders will suffer the hardest financial blow if the Indian Premier League 2020 were to be cancelled on account of COVID-19.

The insurance sector has declined any insurance cover for COVID-19, except for the travel and health, even as the premium is up by up to 300% compared to the previous season.

“There is a paradigm shift in the IPL insurance business. Instead of a buyers’ market, it has become the sellers’ market. Insurance companies have determined the covers and prices for the IPL this year. The COVID-19 has made the sports insurance sector very vulnerable,” said Anish Pillai, Executive Vice-President, Howden Insurance Brokers India. “Insurance companies worldwide have incurred heavy losses in the sports sector.”

“Cover for COVID-19 is not available anywhere in India or abroad at any premium. The insurance companies will not sell a COVID-19 cover at any premium unless they get a re-insurance against it. Reinsurance companies are not underwriting COVID-19 packages at any rate,” adds Karan Ruia, Assistant Vice-President, Howden Insurance Brokers India.

Howden India, part of the Hyperion Insurance Group headquartered in the UK, provides risk management and insurance solutions. Howden India’s team of specialists offer the in-depth experience to deliver tailored and competitive insurance solutions to the sports, media and entertainment industry.

₹ 50 CRORE BUSINESS

The insurance industry is collectively doing a ₹ 50 core plus business from IPL 2020. The premium on the sum assured is up from 2-4%  to 10% in some cases. The franchisees have paid up to ₹ 1.5 crores as against the earlier insurance cost of ₹ 70 lakh to ₹ 80 lakh. The BCCI and the host broadcaster had to pay a much higher premium this year.

But no one will get a single penny if the league were to be cancelled due to COVID-19.

The IPL will be played in the UAE from September 19 to November 10 in Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The opener on Saturday, September 19, will feature defending champions Mumbai Indians against Chennai Super Kings.

 

Admin Sportz Front

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