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Spin insurance

Some things just defy parody.

If things go really wrong for the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority in the coming year, an insurer now will cover what the public agency spends on spin.

This new kind of insurance kicks in, according to a policy summary, when an event “has caused or is reasonably likely to result in adverse publicity.”

Examples of such an event include the indictment of a board member or the agency declaring bankruptcy. It does not cover the cost of the board member’s legal defense or the financial expertise needed to unwind a fiscal disaster. Instead, it pays up to $50,000 for explaining to the public what went wrong.

“Basically, this is a PR coverage,” said Bill Jones, whose W.M. Jones & Company sells the Sports Authority its liability insurance. The authority receives it at no cost.

The so-called “special event management” coverage can apply to crisis management expenses incurred on public relations, marketing and legal experts.

The question of whether the Sports Authority is the local government agency most in need of this type of coverage or not is left as an exercise for the reader. I got nothing.

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