Meet the Brokers Covering the London Olympics
17,000 athletes from 205 countries, brought together for 26 sporting competitions on one stage in one location: London 2012. Meet the insurance brokers managing risk on such a unique world stage.
For athletes, the Olympics are the pinnacle of their sporting careers. It’s what they’ve trained for their entire lives. But for insurance brokers, it’s just another sporting event, just another risk – albeit on a grander scale.
Take Robert Barron, assistant vice president, accident and health, sports and contingency at Lockton in London: “We look at a lot of different event business, and just because the Olympics are big, it ultimately gets looked at in the same way as small risk business. It has the same parameters. It’s in multiple locations in various bits and pieces, but ultimately, it is just an event like any other."
However, Barron added that because the games are in London, it does make it easier for brokers to place risk in the sense that they are closer to the insurers writing coverage.
Lori Shaw, director of Aon Risk Solutions’ global entertainment group said that while London poses no particular geographic risk due to events playing out in highly populated areas, that fact alone brings the issue of capacity to the table, because with so many insureds in one location it can limit the capacity insurers are willing to share on the risk.
“Capacity is always a problem close to the event. You pay a premium for it. That said, [insurance] capacity is better now than it was post-9/11 especially on the issue of terrorism,” said Shaw.
Insurance broker Marsh, which is handling the risk placement for the Olympic Committee, advises individual cancellation and abandonment insurance, non-appearance, prize indemnity, over redemption and contract bonus coverage – all the way through to the big one: event cancellation coverage.
It’s not implausible, as the stadium damage due to the Christchurch earthquake proved during the New Zealand’s hosting of 2011’s Rugby World Cup.
Barron underscored the importance of cancellation insurance, only handled by approximately 20 carriers globally, saying it’s not just about providing insurance for the loss of the venue, but to also to assist in securing an alternative location for the show to go on.