The Strategist

How 2018 FIFA World Cup became a goldmine for Allianz

07/12/2018 - 09:58

German Allianz is one of the main insurers of the FIFA World Cup. Yet, the company missed an excellent opportunity to earn on the national team’s fail at the World Cup.

Before the start of the tournament, retailers in Germany offered various promotions and prizes that customers could receive if the German national team retained the title of champion. And they turned to Allianz for insurance to cover potential payments. The company, however, refused them, since it anticipated final victory of the national team. Because of this, Allianz lost revenue in the form of insurance premiums. "Obviously, our data was wrong," says Allianz's top manager Peter Williams. "But, I think, everyone considered Germany to be a favorite before the start of the competition."

International insurers are very active at the World Cup in Russia. Insurance company Beazley estimates the total amount of insurance coverage at the $ 6-7 billion, while this figure was about $ 5 billion in the previous championship in Brazil in 2014.

These policies cover everything, from the risk of terrorist attacks to injuries to players. According to Beazley, insurance payments in case of star players’ injuries can reach $ 200 million. "The range of risks is very wide," said AEGIS Managing Agency representative Adrian Beeby, whose agency is part of the insurance market of Lloyd's of London and also provides insurance for the current championship.

Insurers actively work at other major events, including concert tours, music festivals, exhibitions, business conferences and political conventions. But none of them can compete in scale with the World Cup. The tournament in Russia is held for 31 days in 11 cities, and 32 teams are playing 64 matches there. "The World Cup is, perhaps, one of the biggest events that can be insured, given that teams from all over the world take part in it," says Williams of Allianz.

Meanwhile, Allianz made a number of other bets related to the tournament. For example, retailers asked to insure them also from victory of the national team of Poland, and the company agreed. In this case, the insurer was not mistaken. Allianz also hopes to make money on insurance solutions related to other teams. In addition, it insures FIFA, various national teams, including Germany, stadiums and infrastructure in Russia, as well as provides medical and travel insurance for fans.

Another risk, which Allianz and other insurers offered to cover, was cancellation of the championship or its retiming. According to Beazley estimates, the aggregate value of such policies can reach $ 1.5 billion, they include insurance of broadcasting rights and sponsorship agreements.

In addition, merchandise manufacturers also need insurance. "Few people think that millions of dollars are spent somewhere to produce t-shirts, which are then sold all over the world," and companies need to protect themselves against the risks associated with the production and transportation of goods, Williams says. All this ensures the inflow of "billions of dollars in premiums to the insurance market," he adds.


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