ECONOMY

ATHOC’s civil liability

Security has been a top issue in the organization of the current Olympic Games in Athens, and one could say it has eclipsed one of its significant corollaries, insurance. The staging of mankind’s biggest event, which involves hundreds of agencies and many thousands of people, entails colossal risks against which only insurance cover can protect the organizers. Two types of cover are involved. Agrotiki Insurance, a subsidiary of the Agricultural Bank of Greece, has insured Athens 2004 (ATHOC), the organizing committee, against the cost of any civil liability that may arise through its actions or omissions during the Games; a second contract covers the sum of equipment and all sports and non-sports installations against any damage. Other organizations or firms, directly or indirectly involved in the event, have had to obtain their own cover against any claim raised against them. They include hotels and catering establishments that will host members of the Olympic Family, and this may be reasonably be expected by the larger entities but no one can guarantee that all the smaller firms involved are covered. There is no mistaking that insurance consciousness has not yet sunk as deep roots in Greece as in other developed countries, and cover is still largely regarded as a luxury. Athens 2004 is insured against a broad range of hazards for its mobile goods and equipment to the value of 180 million euros. This range includes terrorist actions, aircraft crashes, earthquake, fire, smoke, explosions, electrical short circuits or blackouts, storms, hurricanes, hailstorms, flooding, traffic accidents, robbery or theft, landslide or subsidence of buildings and other installations, vandalism, disturbances and sabotage by persons unknown. The civil liability policy covers the organizers against any harm that may happen to any of the members of the organizing committee, the athletes, journalists, guests, sponsors, security personnel and volunteers in all Olympic installations during the Games. The activities covered include the preparations, preliminary festivities, accommodation, transportation and catering for the guests of Athens 2004, any commercial or advertising activity, the construction, repair and management of any form of installation, as well as social, sports, cultural, medical, entertainment, educational or tourism activities. Consequences arising from actions or omissions by subcontractors and suppliers are also covered, as are the contracts Athens 2004 has signed with the Greek or any other government, administrative authorities, local government entities and rental companies. The contract also covers the organizers in their capacity as employers and against any legal expenses that may be involved in their defense before the courts for events in which the hazards listed above have occurred. The cover against injuries and material and intangible damage comes to a total of 200 million euros per occurrence. Liability for accidental damage to the environment is insured for a maximum of 5 million euros and damage to mobile objects in storage or trusteeship to a sum of 1 million euros.