Insurers see gains as IPL opts for record cover

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John Krafcik, CEO of American operations, Hyundai Motors
John Krafcik, CEO of American operations, Hyundai Motors

Indian Premier League (IPL) is among the biggest sporting extravaganza in the country and insurance covers taken for the mega event have added to its glory.

With big bucks riding on the tournament, broadcasters have clearly left no stone unturned. The highest ever insurance cover is being taken for the IPL 5 making it bigger than ever.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has raised the insurance cover by 10 per cent for the event this season. It has taken an event limit insurance coverage of Rs 812 crore, higher than what it took last year and double the amount it took in 2010.

Higher the profile of the sporting event, higher is the risk, which explains why BCCI has gone for a record insurance policy for the fifth edition of IPL. The policy covers disruptions due to possible terrorist attacks and weather.

BCCI has paid Rs 10 crore for the policy coverage with National India Assurance.

Franchises are also not far behind.  While Deccan Chargers paid Rs 70 lakhs for a coverage of Rs 96 crore, Mumbai Indians paid Rs 60 lakhs for Rs 70 crore cover.

Among the 9 teams, Kings 11 Punjab has taken the lowest cover of Rs 24 crore.

The players have also been insured with huge sums. Individual insurance coverage, which provides for mediclaim, baggage loss, accident, ransom and hijack claims has also seen some record numbers this season.

Top on the list are Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli, who are insured for Rs 35 crore each. M S Dhoni has been insured for Rs 30 crore while the demi God of Indian cricket Sachin Tendulkar has been insured at a modest Rs 14 crore. 

Among foreign players, Kevin Peterson has the largest cover of Rs 30 crore.

"Younger players have been insured higher because they are less prone to injury relatively and we have seen an increase in their performance over the years", said Reena Bhatnagar, deputy general manager, at Oriental Insurance.

The risk may be higher for insurance companies but they are not complaining either as they are expecting the well managed IPL to maintain its track record and reduce their payout risk.