how insurance saves the big game

01/31/2020

When you're settling into your couch to watch the 49ers compete against the Chiefs, you're probably thinking about food, the commercials and winning that bet against your coworker—not about insurance.

But before digging into your queso and guac, take a second to thank the insurance underwriters who made your Sunday great: The big game wouldn't be so grand without them.

Taking Control from Winter

Football is one of America's favorite wintry pastimes, but the big game isn't always held in Florida as it will be this year. Most stadiums have snow plans in place but add hundreds of thousands of visitors and some seriously high stakes and you could have a financial disaster in the making.

Take 2014, when the Broncos and the Seahawks clashed at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Organizer nerves turned electric when the six-week forecast showed a snowstorm bearing down on the New York City area—right in the middle of the big game.

Snowplows and stadiums don't mix, so any buildup would have to be removed the old-fashioned way: by hand. But paying 3,000 snow-removers to wait on-call is expensive. Enter insurance to save the day.

Of course, if you remember the game in 2014, you might recall a bone-dry stadium. Those snow-removers may not have been needed, but weather is a fickle beast: The insurer's contingency plan could have saved the day.

Protecting Performers

Halftime performers face absurdly high expectations, so it's no surprise they pull out all the stops, from jaw-dropping pyrotechnics to high-wire acts. But when insurers look at the combination of fire and a jam-packed stadium, or at Lady Gaga dangling hundreds of feet in the air, they see one thing first: risk.

Gaga's stunt alone likely cost more than $100,000 in insurance. Why? Quite simply: No one else has stood on the stadium roof before, and calculating the risk is a tremendous undertaking.

Less dangerous halftime shows carry a smaller price tag. If Jennifer Lopez and Shakira don't plan on dangling from the roof this year, they'll likely pay between $12,000 and $40,000 to insure their act.

Ensuring Your Party Stays Awesome

The wrath of winter can strike in smaller ways—think slippery sidewalks and icy back porches. Insurance isn't just for the big guys: It protects you, too. Thanks to homeowner's liability insurance, you can worry less about an expensive mishap during the big game.

Liability insurance may protect you from claims if someone gets injured on your property. And there are numerous ways to get hurt during the big game, even if you're not playing. A touchdown celebration gone rogue? An excited fist straight through the television? Before hosting your own celebration, make sure your homeowner's insurance is up to snuff and talk your insurance agent. Otherwise, you might be paying those injury claims alone. One thing to consider asking about is if you need an umbrella policy.

Paying Out Big Bets

There's little local companies love more than making big bets on the big game, especially if their favorite team is on the field. But if their prediction comes to pass, they might be up a financial creek without a paddle—unless they have a "hole-in-one insurance policy."

This unique policy protects betting business owners from major payouts. Take this unlucky Baltimore furniture store owner who said he'd give away $60,000 in furniture if a kick return led to a touchdown. Enter Jacoby Jones who did just that. But thanks to the furniture store's hole-in-one policy, insurance paid the $60,000—and the business earned the goodwill.

Limiting Your Liquor Liability

Intoxicated guests present a big problem for hosts. A few too many drinks, followed by the terrible decision to drive, and you might find yourself liable for their actions—even if you didn't notice them sneaking shots or if you tried to take away their keys.

Before hosting friends for the big game, pay close attention to your insurance policy. It may make the difference between a fun afternoon and a lifelong headache.