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March-Madness

The annual NCAA tournament brings in the usual risks associated with college-level sporting events, but some of these risks are enhanced due to the level of play, the venues, and the extreme popularity of the tournament. We had the opportunity to chat with Peter Williams of Allianz about the insurance aspects of covering such events. In talking to Mr. Williams we were surprised to find that insuring such a big event is pretty straightforward. Mr. Williams indicated that in large part it’s commercial property and liability coverage but on a much larger scale.

Basically, the insurance coverage that is required for an event like an NCAA Final Four tournament game is a typical Commercial Business policy. Tournament games are played at various arenas in regional locations to accommodate the size of the crowds anticipated for the multiple tournament games. Peter indicated that each location handles its own coverage. Postponement of a game is not covered under the policy, particularly if the game in question is a game early in the tournament. Many venues find that game postponement is not necessary coverage because, due to the nature of the tournament, all of the games must eventually be played. A mere change in date or time of the game will not significantly change the revenue outcome for the venue. The real risk, from an insurance standpoint, are the later games, particularly the Final Four. The Final Four games generally make bigger ticket revenue and have a higher television price.

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