Wimbledon chief warns no insurance policy next year if pandemic persists


Wimbledon CEO Richard Lewis has warned the tournament will not be able to protect itself if the Covid-19 pandemic is still a factor next year.

The Championships had the foresight to cover a possible pandemic in their insurance policy, minimising the financial consequences of cancelling this year's tournament, which would have started today.

However, they will be unable to repeat the trick should the coronavirus crisis stretch into 2021.

"No that's impossible [to get pandemic insurance] in the current climate," Lewis said.

"What I would say about the future though is that when I first started in 2012, there were some signs that things were not insurable, because of communicable diseases that had taken place like SARS and swine flu.

"In the immediate aftermath you can't get insurance but fairly soon after that, you can start to get insurance again, the market returns.

"So there won't be insurance next year, but I think in the medium term, just because we've made one claim it won't affect us in the long term."

Wimbledon's insurance policy meant they were able to cancel without huge consequence while the French Open and US Open scramble to get their tournaments on however they can.

They actual value of Wimbledon's insurance payout is being kept carefully under wraps though.

"We genuinely don't know the numbers," Lewis added.

"We haven't even got to our financial year-end yet, that's the end of July, and it will take two or three months to work through the rest of the insurance claim and also to work through the final numbers so we won't know until the end of the year.

"But I'm optimistic that the surplus will be pretty well protected and therefore the impact - nobody wants to cancel, nobody wants to make an insurance claim - but the impact will be somewhat minimised."

- TEAMtalk media

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