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

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

BOSTON, September 21, 2015 -- Risk Strategies, a leading national specialty insurance brokerage and risk management and consulting firm, today announced that 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.

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Risk Strategies is the 9th largest privately held US brokerage firm offering comprehensive risk management advice, insurance and reinsurance placement for property & casualty, employee benefits, private client services, as well as consulting services and financial & wealth solutions. With more than 30 specialty practices, Risk Strategies serves commercial companies, nonprofits, public entities, and individuals, and has access to all major insurance markets. Risk Strategies has over 100 offices including Boston, New York City, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Grand Cayman, Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, Nashville, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

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