The FINANCIAL — There is no more important day on the American football calendar than Super Bowl Sunday. It is also one of the busiest days of the year for pizza chains. Not all of the pizzas they send out will arrive.
According to Allianz, this year's championship game will take place on February 5 and attract some 110 million TV viewers in the United States alone. Under a lot of pressure to satisfy all those fans, pizza deliverers get into more road accidents than usual and generate higher claims.
It is estimated that Americans will eat 30 million slices of pizza on Super Bowl Sunday. Last year, Papa Johns – the official pizza sponsor of the Super Bowl – recorded its largest single sales day, selling more than one million pizzas at its 2,800 US restaurants. Competing chains Domino's and Pizza Hut are both estimating to sell nearly 1.2 million pizzas on game day, a 40-45 percent improvement over its typical Sunday output.
Fireman's Fund, the Allianz property and casualty subsidiary in the US, is the leader in insuring pizza delivery services, covering between 15 and 20 percent of the market. It averages three pizza-related claims on Super Bowl Sunday, as opposed to 2.74 on other days, a nine percent increase. In addition, the average claim on Super Bowl Sunday is 14,799 US dollars. That is 19 percent higher than on a typical day."Many people may not realize how the insurance industry has positively influenced the safety of pizza delivery," says Craig Simpkins from risk services at Fireman's Fund. "Pizza makers no longer promise delivery in '30 minutes or less' because it encourages unsafe driving by deliverers. We also won't insure them if they use temporary drivers or employ anyone under the age of 18."
A major issue Fireman's Fund is currently addressing is the use of smart phones, a big risk among all young drivers. In addition to giving generally sound advice to deliverers about not texting while driving, Fireman's Fund is encouraging pizza managers to avoid calling their drivers on their cell phones. If they must, they should ring the driver twice within a minute. That way, the driver knows to pull over and take the call. If necessary, managers can ask drivers to check in with the shop after the delivery, but before they start back on the road.
It may be a side show to the main Super Bowl event. That is all the more reason that all those pizzas arrive without any great mishaps. Hungry fans are waiting.