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Terror makes cricket insurance costlier

india Updated: Mar 05, 2009 22:16 IST
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Cricket, a money-spinning game now under terror threat after attacks like the one that wounded Sri Lankan stars in Lahore this week, faces the prospect of higher costs.

Non-life insurance companies say they will increase premium charges for cricket matches in view of incidents that raise its risk.

Cricket matches are covered by special contingent policies bought by organizers, broadcasters and cricket boards to cover loss of revenue when a match is cancelled on account of reasons like adverse weather or terror attacks.

State-owned United India Insurance Co. which insured last year’s England Series and the Australian Series said there was a case to double charges.

“Premium rates for cricket insurance policies have been creeping up by 20-25 per cent in the last 2 to 3 years. However they should rise by 100 per cent as the risks associated with the game has increased manifold,” said V. Harshavardhan, general manager at United India.

He said round-the-year tournaments have increased the risk associated with frequency, and the vagaries of weather and ugly incidents were compounding the situation. A senior official at New India Assurance, who asked not to be identified, said no re-insurance (insurance for insurers) was needed for one-day matches involving smaller amounts of up to Rs. 1.5 crore, but high-value tournaments involve help from foreign re-insurers that are sensitive to issues like blasts.

“Therefore, the reinsurance rates are likely to harden and we will have to increase our rates,” he said.

Niraj Kumar, general manager at Oriental Insurance said his company was still deciding. “We are collating data on the factors that are apparently affecting us. We will take some time to decide on whether we need to raise the premium rates,” he said.