The Women’s World Cup is gaining popularity, both here in the U.S and across the globe. According to the Wall Street Journal, 750 million people tuned in to watch the 2015 Women’s World Cup, and FIFA says by the end of this year’s tournament one billion people will have watched. So who will take home the top prize? The U.S team won the 2015 tournament and are a favorite to win again this year, with France and Germany expected to be their toughest opponents to securing another title.
We’re now half-way through the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. This year’s tournament is taking place in France with 24 national teams competing in 16 knockout rounds for the chance to play in the quarter-finals.
As with any major sporting event there are huge risk factors involved in hosting the World Cup. Between the fans, vendors, sponsors, and team players there’s a lot that could go wrong. Here are the major insurance policies that are pertinent to the World Cup -- and sporting events more broadly.
Risk 1: Crowd control/injuries, Riots/hooliganism
Soccer fans are known for being passionate about their teams and sometimes, in the heat of the moment, that spills out of control. While all has been calm at the 2019 World Cup so far, just last year some South African spectators rioted after the Kaizer Chiefs were defeated in the Nedbank Cup. Fans assaulted other spectators with chairs, attacked a security guard, and even set fire to the stadium. In an event where tensions run high, General Liability and Commercial Property insurance are a must. Crime insurance can also help protect businesses in the vicinity in the case of burglaries or looting.
Risk 2: Event cancellation due to weather or natural disasters
Mother Nature can be unpredictable, which is why it’s so important for event hosts to be prepared for possible damages. Commercial property can cover some of the costs associated with damages, but Commercial Flood insurance is another must-have policy as flood damage will most likely be excluded from coverage in other policies.
Risk 3: Terrorism and Cyber Attacks
Unfortunately, there is always a threat for acts of terrorism at large sporting events. Terrorism insurance is usually added as a special addition to Commercial Property and will cover damages and liability associated with an attack.
Additionally, large sporting events are also a prime target for cyber criminals. Cyber thieves may send out phishing scams under the disguise of streaming apps or links to ticket sites in order to spread malware. On an even larger and more sinister scale, cyber criminals could target the stadiums themselves, knocking out power or communications systems. From an insurance standpoint, this is why it’s important to have Cyber Liability coverage. This policy can cover the loss of digital assets, business interruption, and extortion costs.
The World Cup is a great time for fans across the world to come together, but with so many risks it also serves as an important reminder of what can go wrong at big sporting events and why preparation is key. The good news is that FIFA takes a number of precautions with its preparations and works with stadiums to create a safe and secure environment.