South Korea: Brazil World Cup football is business to insurers

The odds of the South Korean football team advancing to the last 16 teams in the World Cup tournament in Brazil currently stand at 55%, higher than the 48% predicted just prior to the same event in South Africa four years ago, according to the local insurance industry.

South Korea’s chances of making it to the quarterfinals and semifinals are forecast at 18% and 13% respectively, also higher than the odds of 16% and 6% laid out in 2010, reported the Chosun Ilbo.

Ahead of large sports events, insurance firms often forecast the likely performances of participating teams and individuals. This is because many businesses take out extra insurance policies to cover additional marketing costs during the events. For example, some businesses offer to provide 500 people with gift certificates worth KRW500,000 (US$489) each if South Korea advances to the quarterfinals.

Insurance companies base their premium rates on probabilities and statistics, with reinsurers usually calculating the probabilities.

Korean Re attributes South Korea’s improved chances in Brazil to the fact that the team has more favourable conditions now than it did four years ago. Statistics have shown that Russia, Belgium and Algeria, which the Korean team will face in the initial group stage, are weaker than its group rivals four years ago. The 2014 World Cup takes place from 12 June to 13 July.

Source: AIR eDaily