The majority of these athletes don’t purchase these policies, despite the risks they face.
According to data released by underwriters, the vast majority of players for the National Football League (NFL), don’t actually purchase disability insurance, even though they run a considerable risk of sustaining an injury at some point throughout their career in professional football.
While some players don’t want to have to pay for the coverage, others won’t buy for other reasons.
The fact does remain that there are many players who don’t want to actually have to cover the disability insurance premiums on their own. However, according to the International Specialty Insurance executive vice president, Chris Larcheveque, many NFL players are actually advised not to purchase it. His is one of only four insurers that Lloyd’s of London has authorized to underwrite this coverage.
Larcheveque estimates that only 40 percent of football players for the NFL have disability insurance.
He explained that many of the players who require it but who don’t have it are the rookies. He explained that the expense is a major factor that gets in their way. “They don’t want to spend $20,000, $30,000 or $40,000 on insurance. It’s a big chunk of money on something that is a safety net,” he said.
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That said, the benefits of having the insurance policy safety net can be enormous for professional football players. For instance, Marqise Lee, a former wide receiver for USC, will now be collecting $5 million as a payout from his own policy. The reason is that he suffered a knee injury which prevented him from being drafted in the first round – as had initially been expected – and led him to be drafted in the second round, instead.
Lee was still able to be picked by the Jacksonville Jaguars, but only after having suffered from what his policy referred to as a “loss of value”. That allowed him to receive a payout because his injury led him to receive a contract that was less valuable than had previously been expected.
What is also interesting, is that Peterson International Underwriters’s Kurt Peterson pointed out that while most NFL players don’t purchase disability insurance policies, it is obtained by most National Hockey League (NHL) players. Larcheveque added that those players will purchase additional coverage to protect them even when they’re not on the ice as their contracts protect them only if they are injured while playing.