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Wimbledon won’t get pandemic cover renewed

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Organisers of major events are unlikely to be able to secure pandemic cover for business interruption in the immediate future, making sporting tournaments and other events extremely risky for organisers until a vaccine is available, GlobalData says.

One of the few organisations to make a pandemic claim is the British Tennis Open grand slam event at Wimbledon, which is expected to receive a payout of more than £100 million ($198.3 million) after paying around £1.5 million ($2.98 million) a year in pandemic insurance premiums since the SARS outbreak 17 years ago.

Hoewever, Wimbledon has said it will not be able to renew its business interruption insurance with a pandemic clause in 2021, while Tennis Australia has also said "pandemic coverage will not be viable to include for 2021" for the Australian Open.

GlobalData analyst Ben Carey-Evans says holding major sporting events before widespread vaccination is available poses an extreme risk to sporting tournament organisers as insurers back away from offering business interruption cover.

Insurers withdrawing business interruption insurance “comes as no surprise” given the scale of the potential costs, as seen for this year’s Wimbledon cancellation.

GlobalData says the Wimbeldon event earns around $US160 million ($231.26 million) in media rights and $US151 million ($218.25 million) in sponsorship each year, and this should be secure for 2021 as the tennis tournament is “very likely” to go ahead.

However, capacity crowds “may be ambitious” even by next June, suggesting $US52 million ($75.16 million) in annual ticket sales is at risk.