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Terror threat leads to doubling of insurance cover

The second IPL season has been insured for $286 million, more than double that of the $125 million cover last season, and includes provisions for acts of terrorism and cancelled matches

Judhajit Basu
Judhajit Basu
Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni is about to take a catch, Cape Town, April 16, 2009

MS Dhoni, captain of Chennai Super Kings, attracted the highest individual insurance cover of $10.5 million  •  Getty Images

The second IPL season has been insured for a total of $286 million, more than double that of the $125-million cover last season, and includes provisions for acts of terrorism and cancelled matches. It also includes ten-fold increases, in some cases, in individual covers.
MS Dhoni, captain of Chennai Super Kings, attracts the highest individual insurance cover of $10.5 million, while Sanath Jayasuriya of the Mumbai Indians is the highest insured among overseas players, for around $6 million. The package takes into account all 120 auctioned players as well a few non-auctioned players.
The cost in premiums to the franchises is around $430,000 each.
The original plan - formulated when the tournament was to be held in India - involved a total insurance package of $219-263 million negotiated by the BCCI, broadcasters Sony Entertainment Television (SET) and the eight franchisees. That package included a $120-154 million cover for match cancellation due to standard perils, a $87-million cover for the BCCI against terror attacks and personal accident insurances for individual players.
"The sum assured has been higher this time around with the tournament moving overseas," Reena Bhatnagar, deputy general manager of Oriental Insurance Corporation (OIC), the IPL's insurers, told Cricinfo. "The details of the package are similar to those signed last year, and will provide covers not just due to terrorism, but take into account other factors like accidents during travel, flights etc as well."
The width of the individual player insurance covers - the figures are decided by the franchises - ranges from $2.5 million to $10.5 million. Dhoni commands the highest, followed by Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh. "That Dhoni has been placed above Tendulkar or Ganguly, is entirely their [franchises'] perception," Bhatnagar said. "It is the IPL organizers who then decide and provide us the values."
The new figures are more than six times those for the previous season, when the individual covers ranged from $380,000 and $1 million. Dhoni still led the pack, with Tendulkar, Ganguly and Andrew Symonds following behind. The policies for non-auctioned and junior players were between $120-250,000.
The entire package is totally reinsurance-driven, meaning that OIC would seek to protect itself with other insurance companies against the risk of losses during the tournament. "With such a large package signed up, it was beyond the capacity of the Indian insurers," Bhatnagar said. "We had to travel the reinsurance route and tap the London market."
A match cancellation cover includes non-payment by sponsors and broadcasters in case a match gets cancelled. It also insures budget match expenses, or the expenses incurred by franchisees for preparing the stadium field. The loss of baggage cover means that players will be paid the cost of their belongings, in case they misplace them during the course of the tournament. The policies will be effective from the time the players leave for the tournament till they return home.
The IPL's second edition will be played from April 18- May 24, spanning 37 days

Judhajit Basu is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo