The World Cup: Insurance Edition


world cupToday marks the start of the 21st FIFA World Cup. The tournament, which is taking place in Russia this year, brings together 32 teams from around the globe who will play a total of 64 matches in 12 venues in 11 different cities.

According to FIFA, the World Cup is the largest sporting event on earth — even larger than the Olympics. As a result, from teams and players to stadiums and sponsorships, every aspect of the event seems to have its own form of insurance.

Who will win?

Germany and Brazil might be two favorites, but Lloyd’s, the global insurance company, has predicted that France will be victorious at this year’s tournament. According to their research, France has the highest amount of total insurable value at £1.4 billion, followed by England at £1.17 billion, and then Brazil at £1.1billion.

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In theory, the better the team, the more it costs to insure. Lloyd’s is looking to go 2-0 with their predictions, after successfully naming Germany the winner back in 2014 using the same methodology.

Other facts from Lloyds on the insurable value of players:

  • Forwards are the most valuable players – their legs are worth £19.2m on average.
  • Midfielders have the largest share of total squad insurable value (38%).
  • Players aged between 18-24 years old have on average the highest insurable value at £20m.

What insurance is there for the event?

Allianz broke down several of the risks involved for an event like the World Cup, including fans, public viewers, and spectators, event contingency and cancellation, and stadium and infrastructure. For Russia, the total tab of hosting the tournament is expected to top $11.8 billion, excluding some new stadiums and costly infrastructure.

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The cost of cancellation or interruption due to a natural disaster or catastrophic event would be huge. However, both Russia and FIFA have insurance that pays out if a game is abandoned or moved to another location, or if the World Cup is canceled, according to Allianz.

And beyond that, organizers, broadcasters, and sponsors, as well as players and clubs, also have their own insurance policies. Allianz points out, “For this World Cup, FIFA has earmarked $134 million alone for insurance for clubs whose players get injured – more than a quarter of the prize money on offer to the 32 competing teams.”