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A Sure Bet

Promotions insurance keeps you covered despite the odds.

This story appears in the April 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Last year, a Chicago furniture store owner made a bet with his customers: If the Chicago Bears shut out the Green Bay Packers in the season opener, he'd give a full refund to anyone who bought furniture during Labor Day weekend. The Bears won 26-0 and customers got back more than $275,000, but the payout wasn't made by the store--it was made by an insurance company. The store owner had purchased promotions insurance to cover his wager.

"Promotions insurance can be any kind of financial guarantee policy that says if this happens, we'll pay that," says Steven M. Finver, president of Continental Agency of Florida in Boca Raton. He says this coverage is mostly used by charities, such as hole-in-one insurance to cover prizes in golf tournament fundraisers. But there's no reason business owners can't use it as part of a marketing strategy, Finver says, as long as the promotion doesn't violate state gambling laws.

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