BCCI official: Not sure Wimbledon-like insurance clause exists in India

Insurance for cancellation of a tourney on account of a pandemic may be particular to more matured markets, says the official.

In the event of a cancellation of the IPL, the BCCI wouldn’t be able to claim insurance due to the pandemic.   -  K. Pichumani

The All England Tennis Club is set to pocket around GBP 100 million from insurance claims after the cancellation of this year’s Wimbledon. It has led to questions as to why the BCCI hasn’t include a virus-related clause in the insurance policy for the IPL.

The Board says policies vary from place to place.

Speaking to IANS, a BCCI official said the market and the feasibility must be taken into consideration before comparing Wimbledon to the IPL. It needed to be seen if at all there was some clause like cancellation due to pandemic in the Indian market. “The insurance sector is very different from region to region. In the U.K., it has developed differently. The presence of some big re-insurers in the U.K. market coupled with the complexities and the maturity of the U.K. insurance market is the backdrop that one has to view while looking at the Wimbledon model being discussed.

“I am not even sure whether the option for such a policy like what the Wimbledon had, i.e., insurance for cancellation on account of a pandemic, existed with the insurance companies and their re-insurers for the Indian market,” he explained.

Different scenarios

The official, in explaining the scenario further, cited the example of David Beckham getting his leg insured. The BCCI, on the other hand, had to sweat it out to get insurance policy for loss of pay for the Indian contracted players. “If you were to take the example of David Beckham, his legs were insured for GBP 100 million in 2006, you don’t see anything similar in our market. From what I know, the insurance policy for loss of pay for the Indian contracted players was also curated by the BCCI and it took some doing. The BCCI would also assess such a scenario for the future as well in terms with the established processes of corporate governance,” he said.

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But the official feels that the trend in India may change with the effects felt due to COVID-19. “You may see the emergence of this trend now but only after these companies are able to actually study the impact of this pandemic as they would need to assess the value of the premium for such a scenario,” he explained.

But the official also pointed out that hindsight was far more beautiful than on-the-spot decision-making. “If you see the corporates, the media houses, etc., they are all reeling with the effects of this situation and these are uncharted territories that we all have to negotiate together so there is no real template. Hindsight of course is 20/20 vision,” he smiled.

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