Aberdeen FC have revealed that their insurance provider is changing policy and they will no longer have cover against the impact of coronavirus on their business.
The Pittodrie club have already outlined the severe impact on their finances arising from the shutdown of football after the coronavirus outbreak. Dons chairman Dave Cormack believed the club could miss out on up to £6m of revenue in the coming months.
The club has now learned that their insurer is to change the wording of their “business interruption” cover when they renew next month, meaning the club will not be able to claim for some of the losses incurred as a result of the pandemic.
Cormack said that the insurance company may be acting legally but that there was a moral issue to be considered as Aberdeen were covered when the outbreak began.
‘Despite paying for that cover ‐ when we need it most, we’ve been advised we’re not going to get it!’Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack
He 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 that he was raising the matter with government.: “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?”