Wimbledon boss Richard Lewis has confirmed the event will not be in a position to take out pandemic insurance for 2021 after taking out a £1.5million policy to cover this year’s cancelled event.
“It’s impossible to get pandemic insurance in the current climate,” Lewis said yesterday in what would have been the day before the 2020 tournament would have started.
“What I would say about the future though is that when I first 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,” Lewis added.
“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, but I think in the medium term, just because we’ve made one claim it won’t affect us in the long term.”
Lewis wouldn’t elaborate on exactly how much the insurance payout would be.
We genuinely don’t know the numbers.
“We haven’t even got to our financial year-end yet, that’s the end of July, and it will take two or three months to work through the rest of the insurance claim and also to work through the final numbers so we won’t know until the end of the year.
“But I’m optimistic that we will be pretty well protected and therefore the impact will be somewhat minimised.”
While Wimbledon will be able to manage its way out of the pandemic, other events will not fair so well.
The United States Tennis Association and the French Tennis Federation have not been able to fall back on an insurance policy.
Lewis insisted though, that it was not just the policy that enables them to take their decision.
“We cancelled because we had to cancel,” he said.
“There was absolutely no ifs nor buts. The fact we had insurance was incidental.”