Lloyd’s estimates that insuring the World Cup totals a whopping £6.2bn, and that doesn’t even include insuring the players themselves. So how does this break down for England and its star players? While you wait for the action to start in South Africa, here’s a taster of the figures involved
The England squad arrived safely in South Africa last week ahead of the World Cup, but that was the easy bit. With some of the world’s best footballing talent on display over the next four weeks, there’s every chance of a major insurance claim heading to the London market should the likes of Rooney, Lampard or Gerrard pick up an injury or – God forbid – worse.
On the first day of training, just one day after the squad arrived in the home of the Bafana Bafana, the first sign of a significant claim came when England captain and centre half Rio Ferdinand was crocked by a knee injury that has ruled him out of the tournament.
So, as Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson likes to put it, “it’s squeaky bum time” for the London insurance market, which has insured a resale value of more than £293m in covering England’s World Cup squad, according to broker Lockton.
As Michael Owen, executive director and specialist insurance broker within the accident, health, sports and contingency team at Lockton, says, “football is big business these days”, and the risk of players travelling together as well as the risk of injury will be a major concern to clubs and players alike because of the potential financial loss.
But aside from the risk surrounding the players, the insurance exposure of the whole tournament is enormous. From the cancellation of the event itself, to the travel arrangements of thousands of fans descending on Cape Town and other remote parts of South Africa, there’s every chance that insurers could be counting the cost come 11 July.
PLAYER focus: Wayne Rooney
Insured value £60m+
Football Association insurance policy, £20m: England’s biggest asset, Wayne Rooney, will have one of the highest insured values at the World Cup. The English Football Association is understood to buy a personal accident policy that covers each player for up to £20m, including cover for accidental death, a career-ending permanent injury and wage protection for temporary injury up to £100,000 per week. Any claim would be paid to the club, rather than the player.
Club’s insurance policy, £20m: The player’s club, in Rooney’s case Manchester United, will also have its own policy covering its players. In many cases, a club would not claim on its own policy for anything that happens to its players while away with the international team. But, in the case of a player like Rooney – who has a resale value in the region of £70m – it is possible that the club could also have cover up to or above £20m.
Personal insurance policy, £20m: Rooney is likely to have bought his own personal insurance cover as well, with almost identical cover to the English FA’s policy. Any claim on this policy would be paid in full to the player. Individual players’ insurance can range from £1m to £10m, but players of Rooney’s magnitude are likely to eclipse the average and could reach a sum of up to £20m.
Extras: Separately, if neither the English FA or the player’s club have bought kidnap and ransom insurance, the player might buy cover for himself and family members while out in South Africa – adding up to £5m to his insured value.
Contractual bonus insurance: It is possible that a national association will buy a policy to protect the bonuses they pay the players if they win the World Cup. For example, if England has been offered £500,000 per man to win the World Cup, multiplied by 23 players in the squad, that’s £11.5m the English FA might have to pay out. So it might insure that amount and insurers would give a rate that they felt would be worth the amount.
Rest of the world: Other top players at the World Cup, including the likes of Ronaldo, Messi, Villa and Torres, will be insured at values of similar amounts to Rooney’s. But according to Lockton’s Michael Owen, some of the other nations’ associations will not have insurance for their players. Instead they will rely on FIFA’s $40m (£27m) protection pool to pay compensation to the club in the case of a serious injury.
Travel insurance: A travel insurance policy is purchased by national associations, separate from personal accident insurance, on a standalone basis. The World Cup players’ policies would cover return travel to and from South Africa, plus insurance for baggage, belongings, medical supplies and everything that a normal travel insurance policy would offer, with limits ranging from £1m to £5m.
The total cost of insuring the 2010 World Cup is £6.2bn, according to Lloyd’s. The figure has been divided into three categories: property insurance, contingency insurance and liability insurance, but does not include insurance for individual players.
When broken down, £3bn worth of property insurance has been taken out on the various stadiums and training venues, while contingency-related insurance for competitions, offers and sponsorship worth approximately £3bn has also been purchased. A further £200m in liability insurance has been bought as well. FIFA’s insurance includes $650m (£450bn) to protect against postponement or relocation of the event due to terrorism, war, natural disasters or civil unrest.
The bulk of the coverage is reinsured by Swiss Re and Munich Re. FIFA has not taken out cancellation insurance, but Munich Re estimates that the total demand for cancellation insurance for organisations connected to the tournament, such as broadcasters, hotels and restaurants, could be around $5bn.
England fans heading out to South Africa have been urged to check that they have the correct insurance. Although insurers have not been offering specifically tailored travel insurance packages for the World Cup, they have been busy communicating the importance to customers. Crime risks in South Africa, including street robbery and muggings, are perceived as the biggest risks to tourists, as well as costly medical treatment.
The ABI issued a reminder to the expected 20,000 English fans planning their trips to the World Cup to check their insurance ahead of travelling. Director of general insurance and health Nick Starling says: “Making sure that you have the right travel insurance for your needs is crucial for every England fan travelling to South Africa. Whether travelling as part of a package or independently, all supporters should check their travel insurance before they go, so that they fully understand what they are covered for, and they should contact their travel insurer if they are unclear on any aspect of the cover.”