Bodyline spells this IPL season turn a washout for insurers

With injuries to Kedar Jadhav, Suresh Raina, Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the 11th season of the Indian Premier League, insurance claims have started rolling in. Loss of player fee insurance was the most sought-after cover for IPL this season, insurance executives said. The event cancellation policy has come into play as well — for the rain-affected matches between Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils in Jaipur and the one between Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. “Claims have started coming in under the IPL cover,” said one of the people with knowledge of the matter. “Franchisees have reported claims under players’ injuries and others due to rains.” The total insurance coverage across all of IPL would amount to Rs 2,300 crore, according to industry estimates, up from last year’s Rs 1,800 crore. The key risks covered are event cancellation, personal accident and medical insurance policy for players and loss of player fees due to injury or illness. Over the past few years, the loss ratio has gone up to 150-200%, which has led to a hardening of rates, executives said. The loss of player fee cover has gone up to 3.5% of the sum insured from 1% a few years ago and has been availed of by both BCCI and the teams. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has covered 25 contracted players for loss of fees. If a player misses a match owing to injury or illness, half the loss of fee comes from the franchise and the rest from BCCI. “Kedar Jadhav, who was bought by Chennai Super Kings, played the first match against Mumbai where he got injured, triggering the claim,” said Pranav Shah, director, Alliance Insurance Brokers. “BCCI has taken the initiative to cover contracted players for their IPL fees to protect their interests. We will know the exact quantum from players injuries at the end of the IPL,” Shah said. Raina, Pandya, Dhawan and Kumar have all missed matches. BCCI has taken insurance of Rs 200 crore for contracted players’ loss of fee coverage, according to people with knowledge of this. Broadcaster Star India has taken a Rs 1,600 crore policy to insure against loss of revenue, which will be triggered if matches are cancelled due to weather, riots, civil commotion and terrorism. Alliance Insurance Brokers has placed policies for the broadcaster, BCCI’s loss of fee and some of the teams. The tournament, being held over 51days, ends with the final match on May 27 in Mumbai. Franchisees have suffered losses due to players being injured in the past. Last year, R Ashwin and Murali Vijay were ruled out of the entire tournament due to injuries suffered while playing for India. New India Assurance is the lead insurer for players, franchises, BCCI and sponsors in this space whereas ICICI Lombard General Insurance is the lead insurer for the broadcaster’s policy. “Prudent underwriting has led to increase in the premium for event cancellation insurance and players loss of fees insurance,” said an insurance broker involved with placing the risk.

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