What Helped Save Some Sports From Financial Ruin May Not Happen Again

 Monday, March 1, 2021

 The New York Times

Event cancellation insurance is a specialized realm. But during the coronavirus pandemic, it has shored up the balance sheets of sporting events around the world.

The money came in wire transfers, each one a boon for a beleaguered N.C.A.A. In March, the coronavirus pandemic had eviscerated the Division I men’s basketball tournament, which had been poised to bring in more than $800 million.

But by the end of June, N.C.A.A. executives knew that a crucial lifeline, one burrowed in the black-and-white language of five insurance policies, would soon come through: $270 million in cash — among the largest pandemic-related payouts in all of sports.

‘It was one of the simpler claims processes,’ Brad Robinson, the N.C.A.A. official who coordinates insurance matters, said in an interview in early February, soon after the association acknowledged that insurance proceeds tied to event cancellations accounted for more than half of its revenues during its 2020 fiscal year.

The specialized insurance policies, which cover cancellations because of communicable disease outbreaks, have historically been scarcely noticed but have proved crucial for parts of the sports world to weather the pandemic.
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