There was a bad pass made at the World Cup…by insurer Allianz SE.

Before this iconic event some retailers offered large prizes as promos if the German team won the cup. They wanted Allianz to cover these potential payouts. Allianz however was so sure Germany would win that they declined the coverage opportunity. The German team was knocked out of the event by South Korea, resulting in Allianz losing out on oodles in premiums.

I believe the reason for declining coverage was that Allianz was not quite sure how to draft the insurance application. They did not know what questions to ask. And so, after thinking about it, using my years of experience dealing with insurers, I suggest Allianz could have made an intelligent informed decision by submitting a questionnaire similar to car, life, fire and other insurance products, as so: questions.


1) Did you also get another insurance company to cover the event? How are they betting? We’re curious.


2) To your knowledge, over the last 6 months have any of the German players had a change in beer brands?

3) Please describe the team’s family history, going back two generations. Within the past 3 years, how many goals did each of their grandmothers score?

4) When a high flying ball crashes down on a player’s head, does he say:

a) Ouch;

b) @#%#*&^; or

c) Ya! Goot!

5) How tall is the team’s goalkeeper:

a) Greater than 9 feet tall;

b) 7-9 feet tall;

c) Less than 7 feet tall.

If you answered “c”, this application will be remitted to our special, “no way this shrimp can make a save” underwriting team as your policy will be rated for a higher premium.


1) Did any of the players receive 3 or more yellow cards from the referees in the past six months?

2) Have any of the team’s players been suspended by their coach? If the answer is yes, note under “details” the extent thereof. Being timed out and sent to the clubhouse corner for more than 10 minutes counts.


1) Of the team’s games, what percentage is business and what percentage is pleasure?

2) In one year, how many kilometres on the field does the team run?

(Note- you need not include the goalkeeper)

3) Will there be any pooling? ie. Do you expect any of the players to carry a team mate piggyback?

4) Do the players wear all season Nikes?


1) Does the goalkeeper intend to leave the net unattended for more than 7 minutes?

2) How close is the team’s residential quarters to a fire hydrant?

3) Referring to question 2, does the team have a dog mascot? If the answer is yes please note under “details”. A Chihuahua does not count.


1) Do any of the team members smoke tobacco, sniff snuff or risk antagonizing the referee by chewing garlic?

2) Do any of the players engage in sky diving, scuba diving or bullfighting. If the answer is yes, please disclose under “details” whether to your knowledge any of them intend to enter the stadium dropping down with a parachute, holding their breath or wearing red shorts.


Please note that all of these questions must be answered honestly, fully and completely, failing which Allianz may deny coverage. Yes, all questions are relevant, including that part about the grandmothers.

If any of the team players are from Quebec please also complete a form “Q-123 le soccer.”

As you can see it would have been very simple for Allianz SE to protect itself and attract all those handsome premiums. They could have called me for this priceless world class World Cup advice. As is often the case, the devil is in the details.

However I do feel sorrier for those retailers. Now given Allianz’s refusal to insure, those retailers are tainted as they must disclose in future that they were once denied insurance coverage. Bummer!