Aberdeen Football Club urges insurers to “do the right thing”

26 March 2020
Author AFC Media Team


Following the suspension of football due to the measures to contain the spread of coronavirus, AFC was hoping to be able to claim against its insurance for some of the losses incurred as a result.

The Club paid for comprehensive business interruption cover with its current policy providing for certain consequences of the impact of COVID‐19.

However, with the policy up for annual renewal on the 30th of April, the Club has been advised by its broker that its insurer will now drop the wording within the existing business interruption policy that would cover us related to the consequences of a pandemic.

AFC Chairman, Dave Cormack, said: “As a diligent, well‐run organisation, we chose comprehensive business interruption cover and believe we may be one of only a few Clubs with an insurance policy that clearly covers the impact of a pandemic.

“Despite paying for that cover ‐ when we need it most, we’ve been advised we’re not going to get it!

“We accept that our insurance company is acting within its legal rights and that the present circumstances will give rise to multiple and significant insurance claims. But this leaves us bearing the majority of the continuing costs incurred as a result of the football suspension in response to the coronavirus, despite the outbreak occurring when we had cover. The bulk of our losses will likely be beyond the end of next month.

“This just doesn’t feel right in the present circumstances.

“We’ve raised this with a local MP because we believe there is a moral dilemma here, which should be addressed by the insurance industry and the government.”

Conservative MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, Andrew Bowie, said: “Overall, I have been impressed by how Aberdeen FC have turned a negative into something so positive. Many of the city’s elderly and most vulnerable are getting help through the club’s Still Standing Free initiative. So I was disappointed to hear the club’s insurer will effectively pull the rug out from under it next month. After talking to Dave Cormack, I agreed with the club’s position and have now raised the issue with Treasury officials. This will require co‐operation between insurers, government and the football community to find a way forward.”

Cormack added: “Perhaps what is needed is for pandemic claims to be dealt with in a similar way to those arising from floods and terrorism. That is, through an industry‐wide, public/private insurance solution which provides essential cover, at the cost of the insured, but with the cost of claims being spread across the whole of the insurance industry and the state. That seems an appropriate long‐term solution, for the solvency‐threatening consequences of pandemics.

“But, until that’s in place, would it not be the right thing for insurers to continue existing cover for so long as the consequences of the current COVID‐19 outbreak continue?”