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What is Sports Injury Insurance?

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  • Written By: C. Mitchell
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2016
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There are many benefits to participating in sports, from recreation to entertainment and even profit. There are risks to all parties, however, most of which center around injury. Sports injury insurance is designed to minimize a person’s liability while participating in sports, whether as an athlete, an organizer, or a venue operator. Various sports injury insurance policies exist, and cover anything from player injuries to lawsuits against teams for treacherous conditions or spectator injury.

The bulk of sports injury insurance policies are held by sports teams or sports associations. Nearly all universities hold sports injury insurance, for instance, that cover their athletes, coaches, and sport staff in the event that anyone gets hurt. Most professional sports teams and organized sports leagues also hold sports injury insurance. These policies typically cover practices, games, and travel, but the specific coverage options and amounts vary significantly depending on the policy provider and the amount that the holder is willing to pay.

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As with all insurance policies, there are caps to how much sports insurance will pay out for a sports injury claim, and there are always going to be exclusions. Sports injury coverage is typically limited to a certain sport or range of sports, and the definition of compensable injuries is usually spelled out very carefully in the policy paperwork. Generally speaking, policies will only cover injuries that occur within the normal spectrum of sports activities. Injuries caused by recklessness, injuries sustained while under the influence of illegal drugs or stimulants, and injuries caused by failure to wear proper protective gear are among those that are typically disallowed.

Many sports injury policies are also geared towards lawsuit protection. If a spectator is injured while watching a game and attempts to sue the team or any player for damages, the right sports injury insurance policy can cover the costs of either settling with the spectator or defending the claim in court. Sometimes, athletes will sue their team or manager for a variety of reasons. For major league sports and other large-scale sporting events, lawsuits can be a frequent and costly occurrence.

Still other sports injury insurance is geared towards individual athletes, particularly those who participate in sports for recreation, not as a part of any organized team. Whether an individual participates in extreme sports like bungee jumping or white water rafting, or whether the sport is more mainstream like pick-up soccer after work, an injury can be very expensive. Some sports insurance, particularly that labeled sports accident insurance, will cover ambulance, urgent care, physiotherapy and rehabilitation, and sometimes even lost wages for unexpected sports-related injuries. Most of the same disclaimers and restrictions of coverage that apply to group policies also apply for individuals.

The range of different sports injury insurance coverage is huge. Athletes and teams considering insurance coverage would be wise to research the available options, and obtain detailed quotes from as many companies as possible. Sports injuries are always expensive enough as it is; there is little sense in paying into a policy only to find after the fact that it will not cover the damage that has been sustained.

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Drentel
Post 4

I know a couple of guys who went to a college football game and got injured. They had been drinking, so this probably explains how they managed to fall over a railing in the seating section and get hurt. They weren't seriously hurt. One of them broke a bone in his hand.

Even though the accident was probably their fault, they hired lawyers and threatened to sue the university. They argued that the railing should have been higher. The university settled. I guess this was easier than going to court and going through with a trial. The guys basically got their hospital bills paid and then had a few bucks for themselves. I'm assuming the school's accident insurance covers cases like this.

Feryll
Post 3

@mobilian33 - I have heard about some sports injury insurance policies that guard athletes against future injuries that might end their careers. Some of the top college athletes are able to get these policies, but as I understand it, the policies are pretty expensive.

However, I guess this type of insurance is worth the price if you have enough money to buy a policy and you know you will be turning pro at some point in the future and making a lot of money. Some guys are able to take million dollar policies, so even if they are injured and never sign a big contract with a professional team they will earn more money than most people earn in a lifetime.

mobilian33
Post 2

I have a friend whose son is a really good high school baseball player. He wants to go to college, but he is concerned that if he goes to college and gets injured he might never be able to earn any money as a professional baseball player.

Is there a type of accident insurance that will pay an amateur athlete based on the money he could have earned in the future had he not been injured and he had turned professional?

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