Too Early To Tell If Cost Increases Will Doom Small Marathons After Boston Bombings
The marathon industry is concerned a potential increase in insurance and security costs could eliminate smaller events following the Boston Marathon bombings, but it is "too early to determine" if that will be the case, according to a source cited by Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. There was an increase on race insurance "in the years following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11." NYRR President & CEO Mary Wittenberg said that if insurance and security costs "go up, the New York Marathon will not increase fees to make it cost-prohibitive to run." The NYRR in '12 did "wind up passing on the costs to runners to compensate for more police manpower needed to direct traffic in the city," as entry fees "increased by $60." Wittenberg "wants to preserve the integrity of the marathon." But she added that she "remains open to anything that will make it safer." She does not expect "phones to ring off the hook from people looking to cancel their race entry" (ESPN.com, 4/17).
PAYOUTS FOR VICTIMS: The INSURANCE JOURNAL's Ben Berkowitz wrote victims of the Boston Marathon bombings will "eventually win some kind of compensation." Experts said that victims "have an easier path if they settle with a central relief fund, rather than pursue lawsuits against governments, race sponsors or perpetrators." Lawyer Marc Bern, who represented thousands of workers at the World Trade Center site in litigation over illnesses related to the 9/11 attacks, said a fund is the "easiest, the fairest and the quickest way to go." Berkowitz noted the parameters of the One Fund Boston are "still unclear and may not be known for days or weeks." Victims in theory also "have the right to pursue litigation against the Boston Athletic Association," or the "perpetrators." But it is "far from clear whether either of those parties will have sufficient funds to pay off any claims, or how long it would take to reach a settlement." The BAA's ability to "pay any settlements likely will depend on its insurance coverage." It may "have a specific policy to cover terrorism-related incidents or a special clause in its regular liability policy to cover such acts" (INSURANCEJOURNAL.com, 4/17).
JOHN HANCOCK STICKING WITH RACE: In Boston, Beth Healy notes insurance and financial services company John Hancock has been lead sponsor of the Boston Marathon "since 1986, resurrecting the race as a major competition that pays significant prize money and attracts world-class runners." As part of the multimillion-dollar event, Hancock "trains its runners and hosts a week of activities, including a sports and fitness exposition and school events." John Hancock Exec VP, Chief Administrative Officer & general counsel James Gallagher said that he is "already hearing people talk about the future" of the event. Gallagher: "Already today -- and this speaks so well of our community -- people are turning their attention to the time ahead, both in terms of looking after the victims and their families, and also Boston Marathon 2014." Gallagher added that there is "no doubt there will be security along the route, especially near the tight quarters along the finish line." Gallagher: "But those security changes will give everyone the confidence to make it bigger and better" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/18).
NO ADDITIONAL SECURITY IN WEST PALM: In West Palm Beach, Andrew Abramson notes officials organizing yesterday's Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run, a 5K run with 1,100 runners, on Tuesday announced that they would "have extra security on site." But West Palm Beach's mayor, police chief, fire chief, emergency operations director and recreation director held their own news conference yesterday morning and said that they would "have the regular amount of security on hand and wouldn’t add any additional detail" (PALM BEACH POST, 4/18).