SOURCE: Risk Strategies Company

Risk Strategies Company

September 21, 2015 15:30 ET

Should Philadelphia Insure the Pope's Visit Against Acts of God?

High-Stakes Event Requires Expert Counsel From Entertainment Industry Brokerage, DeWitt Stern

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - Sep 21, 2015) - Faith is not enough when it comes to staging Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia this week. Host organization World Meeting of Families (WMoF) and the Philadelphia Archdiocese relied on veteran entertainment insurance brokerage DeWitt Stern, a Risk Strategies Company, to create a comprehensive policy for the event.

The policy covers everything from an irreplaceable historical lectern once used by President Abraham Lincoln to deliver The Gettysburg Address in 1863 to Philadelphia's famed Parkway, where the Pope will say Mass before an anticipated 250,000-plus people.

Pope Francis' visit to the United States is primarily focused on Philadelphia where he will attend WMoF 2015. From merchandising vendors to staging, audio and lighting, the appearance has all the elements of a major concert event, but with much more at stake.

"We spent more than six weeks going over the details and organizing coverage from a number of different insurance carriers," explained LeConte Moore, managing director with DeWitt Stern. "It was a challenge in some areas, particularly when it came to finding an underwriter to cover the possibility of a terrorism-related claim," he added.

From Cuba to the White House to the City of Brotherly Love, The Holy Father is on a whirlwind tour with a schedule and logistics rivaling any chart-topping concert draw.

Faced with the scope of the Philadelphia event the Archdiocese's agent, Bill Curtis of Porter & Curtis LLC, called on DeWitt Stern for assistance. A specialist with a 116-year history creating insurance plans for everything from Broadway plays to major concerts, the brokerage is no stranger to covering Papal visits. It created the insurance package for Pope John Paul II's planned visit to New York City in 1994. That trip, however, was cancelled due to a fall that led to hip replacement surgery for the Pontiff and resulted in a $13 million claim for expenses the Catholic Church incurred.

The package DeWitt and Porter & Curtis created will indemnify the WMoF and the City against a broad range of possible issues -- everything from a broken hip from a trip-and-fall accident at Independence Mall to a terrorist attack.

About DeWitt Stern

DeWitt Stern, acquired by Risk Strategies Company in March, is a privately held insurance brokerage and risk management firm, specializing in business, personal, fine art, entertainment and media, employee benefits and executive liability insurance. DeWitt Stern has, for decades, developed innovative approaches to insuring risk. Whether it is a cost-sensitive program for real estate, unique fine art insurance, or an overseas film project, our brokers consistently design insurance solutions to fit the client. Hard-to-place risks are DeWitt Stern's specialty.

About Risk Strategies Company

Risk Strategies Company is a privately held, national firm with offices across the country. As a leading U.S. insurance broker, the company offers sophisticated risk management advice and insurance placement for property and casualty, and employee benefits risks. Risk Strategies serves middle market commercial companies, non-profits, public entities, and individuals, and has access to all major insurance markets. Ranked in the top 35 brokers in the country, the company is headquartered in Boston with offices in Chicago; Los Angeles; New York City; San Francisco; Portsmouth, N.H.; Randolph, Mass.; Providence, R.I.; Long Island, N.Y.; Teaneck, N.J.; Irvine, Calif.; and Sacramento, Calif.. Risk Strategies is supported by Kohlberg & Company, L.L.C, a New York-based private equity firm specializing in middle market investing.