Tag Archives: Olympic Games

Insurers Ready for the Summer Olympics

Opening ceremonies for 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are just days away and amid crime, security and public health concerns, it is the global insurance industry that provides the critical risk coverage needed for this sporting event to go ahead.

More than 10,000 athletes from 206 countries will come together in Rio to participate in a total of 665 events which are expected to attract up to 500,0000 international spectators as well as a considerable number of domestic tourists.

Approximately $1 billion in insurance is in place for this event, via a policy purchased by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Business Insurance reports.

The policy, underwritten by major reinsurers Swiss Re and Munich Re, covers the IOC in the event the games need to be canceled due to a natural catastrophe, civil unrest, pandemic or terrorism.

It also covered the 2012 London Summer Olympics and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Terrorism coverage for the Olympic Village which will house the athletes, has been underwritten in the London and international markets, according to the Business Insurance article.

Though a major global sporting event gives terrorists a worldwide audience for spectacular attacks, London-based risk consulting firm Control Risks continues to assess the terrorism threat in Rio as low.

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 10.55.54 AM

Bomb disposal experts detonated a controlled explosion Sunday night to destroy a suspicious package found at Maracana Stadium, site of the Olympics opening ceremonies (pictured above). There are also concerns about lone wolf attacks.

In a security briefing, Control Risks notes that there is no history of transnational terrorism in Brazil, and the country continues to rely heavily on its foreign policy (based on principles of multilateralism, peaceful settlement of disputes and non-interventionism) as a main source of protection.

Brazil has set up its largest security operation in history to address the unique challenges surrounding the event and its counter-terrorism strategy is built on the lessons learned from the country’s successful hosting of the 2014 World Cup.

Some 47,000 Brazilian security professionals have been deployed and the country is also relying on foreign expertise. In 2015, Brazil sent around 100 police officers abroad to learn about best practices for managing large international events, including the Boston and Berlin marathons, and the Tour de France.

In addition to the events taking place in Rio, the football tournament will also be held in five other cities: Manaus, Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Salvador and São Paulo. Some 38,000 members of the armed services as well as security forces will patrol the five football host cities.

Crime and public safety will be the most pressing concerns during the sporting events, Control Risks notes, though significant disruption to travel and logistics is also anticipated due to protests.

Tensions in many urban centers, including Rio de Janeiro, remain elevated as a result of Brazil’s ongoing political and economic crisis. While most demonstrations are likely to be peaceful, there is a credible risk of clashes between security forces and protesters, particularly if the security forces adopt a heavy-handed approach.

Control Risks advises companies to continue to monitor the situation closely.

While the Zika virus has been billed as the biggest public health threat, experts say the bigger concerns for visitors are actually traffic accidents, the Flu, and pollution.

Check out Insurance Information Institute facts and statistics on terrorism. Check out CDC guidance on the Zika virus in Brazil here.

Let the Games Begin #London2012

The #London2012 Olympic stadium, via @VisitBritain on Twitter.

As the final touches are made to the Olympic venues in and around London, let’s take a tour of the insurance stories ahead of Friday’s opening ceremonies.

It should come as no surprise that insurers and reinsurers play an important role in providing billions of dollars in risk coverage for this sporting display that brings together more than 10,000 athletes from some 200 different nations.

Munich Re is shouldering a significant share of the risk in the event of the abandonment, interruption, delay or relocation of the 2012 Games.

Direct from Munich Re’s website, Andrew Duxbury, underwriting manager at Munich Re in London, explains:

Munich Re carries a substantial portion of this risk. If the Games were called off, Munich Re would provide cover of around ┚ ¬350 million [$425.5 million] through several policies. Guaranteeing this amount of cover requires not just financial strength, but also the necessary expertise to allow the risk to be assessed and managed in the best possible way.”

Over at Insurance Journal, an article by Lee Tookey, head of Aviation Reinsurance, Space and Specialty Lines, for Aspen Re speaks to the challenges insurers face in the transmission of the Games to the world.

New technology will allow the live broadcast of sporting events via mobile devices to viewers around the world. There are concerns about whether or not satellites and cellular networks will be able to meet the expected demand.

Tookey points out:

Some events at the games – most notably the opening and closing ceremonies- are expected to attract audiences around the world numbering perhaps four billion: the insurance industry will certainly play an important role in both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial aspects of these Olympic events as they are transmitted.†

And finally, an article from Business Insurance reminds us of the importance of detailed risk management when hosting a sporting event on this scale.

Business Insurance quotes Lance Ewing, hospitality and leisure industry practice group leader at Chartis Inc as follows:

These are formidable risk exposures including health insurance, cancellations coverage, terrorism, kidnap and ransom, travel insurance and property coverage. There also are exposures surrounding the construction of event venues, dormitories and other facilities.†

London’s heightened exposure to terrorist threats during the Games is one of the main areas of concern. Â  The British government has called in extra troops, police officers and civilian security workers to help keep the Games safe for athletes and spectators.