Headache for Australian Open Tennis 2021, ‘no insurance cover for pandemic’

Australian Open Tennis 2021 will not be as lucky as Wimbledon 2020. Despite of the Wimbledon 2020 getting cancelled due to Covid19 pandemic, the organizers will not lose any potential revenues as they were covered under insurance. Now they are set to receive more than $200 million in an insurance payout after having the incredible foresight to take out pandemic insurance following the SARS scare of 2002. Wimbledon organizers paid more than $3Mn per annum for the cover.
Australian Open organizers also paid huge amounts to be covered under insurance cover for pandemic. But unfortunately that cover expires by the end of 2020. And no insurance company is ready to offer them the renewal. 

Headache for Australian Open Tennis 2021, ‘no insurance cover for pandemics

The Australian Open has missed out on a pandemic insurance policy for the 2021 event because of a technicality in its pandemic protection paperwork. It was revealed this week that the Australian Open had joined Wimbledon in taking out pandemic insurance to safeguard the year’s first grand slam from freak pandemics like the spread of Covid-19.

However, the Tennis Australia tournament will not be eligible for any insurance payout next year because the policy will expire in 2020 — and Tennis Australia has not been given an option to renew the deal in the current climate.

Australian media has confirmed the development. 

“Although we were able to have pandemic coverage as part of our policy over the past few years, the current situation with Covid-19 makes it prohibitive going forward, certainly in the short term,” a spokesperson said.

The technicality, which could cost The Australian Open hundreds of millions, has been labelled “brutal” by New York Times tennis reporter Ben Rothenberg.

“The Australian Open had the incredible foresight to pay for pandemic insurance,” Rothenberg wrote on Twitter.

“But it’s set to expire before next year’s tournament. Brutal.”

Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley said in May he was hopeful of the 2020-21 summer of tennis proceeding as planned, despite the growing threat of the coronavirus extending into next year.

“It will either be through crowds that are social distancing maybe only from Australia and New Zealand, or by then maybe some international crowds,” Tiley told Channel 7.

“It’s hard to know but we are preparing for all of that. We’re also preparing to scale back if we have to but the full plan is to have an Australian Open in January and to have our lead-in events.”

Even Wimbledon 2021 not getting insurance cover

Wimbledon’s cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year will have no major financial impact on British tennis, outgoing All England club Chief Executive Richard Lewis had declared couple of days back. But 2021 will be different. Reason, in the current climate no one is ready to give insurance cover to Wimbledon for the 2021 season. Yes, Wimbledon 2021 will not have insurance cover in place next year.
“That’s impossible in the current climate,” said Lewis. “When I 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.