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.
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.