When the whip comes down Insurance covers cancelled Cup races By Chris Woodall It took 11 months but the insurer paid up in the end. It's a good thing, too, or last year's cancelled World Cup race in Whistler would have cost the W5 Foundation big, big bucks. As it was, they eventually got $740,000 last month after the December, 1996, races were cancelled when too much snow fell. While El Niño has kept Whistler snow-free so far this season, at press time Wednesday this weekend’s races were still on, thanks to an expanded snowmaking system. This year's insurance policy maxes out at $800,000 worth of coverage should the downhill and super giant slalom plugs get pulled. The money covers lost revenue. No race = no television coverage = no sponsorships = no money. There are no surprises in that: it's all part of the contract. "Our expenses are the same whether we run the races or not," explains W5 treasurer Dave Anderson. "It's different from property insurance where a building burns down" or some other situation where the amount of expenses increases depending on how bad the damage is. In the case of Whistler's World Cup races, the only change in the "loss" would be if only one race was cancelled. Revenues would still be forthcoming for the remaining race. An older and wiser W5 Foundation has latched onto a different insurer this year after its challenges getting last year's insurer to pay up. "The other insurer was getting out of this type of insurance so probably wasn't interested in a speedy payment," Anderson says. "Adjusters are a tough breed," Anderson says of the to-ing and fro-ing to determine what the claim is, versus grinding the amount down for the insurer's benefit. Insurance companies dealing in World Cup policies are not the local store front operation, but are based in Europe. "We were dealing with someone in Paris, so there were some difficulties," Anderson says of last year's policy. This year, however, policy enhancements for such things as increasing coverage for accidental death or injury to volunteers and for W5 directors; as well as putting on paper that an insurance adjuster has to show up within a week of the World Cup races being cancelled, will make for a better contract all 'round. "Based on our experience with this type of thing we were able to beef up our policy," Anderson says.