Insurance for Professional Athletes
Achieving the level of ‘Professional’ in any occupation comes with its advantages, and challenges. In the world of sports, professional athletes and their families face unique risks and exposures that most in the private segment seldom have to face. Personal information including contract negotiations and salary details are made public as well as personal and family issues by the media; any situation could produce a circumstance that could be professionally and personally devastating. It is because of this elevated risk that professional athletes need to have a structured risk management plan in place.
Nothing is more expensive than regret – and nothing is more important than the integrity of a personal brand. Professional athletes have demanding schedules and rarely have the time to manage personal matters with a great degree of detail. Because of this, the need for a knowledgeable and competent independent insurance agent is necessary.
Insurance for professional athletes always includes the following discussion components:
- Personal Excess Liability / Umbrella
- Personal Excess Liability is designed for a high severity, low probability claim, such as severe bodily injury, death, or property damages that a covered family member may be found to have negligently caused. This coverage will traditionally cover legal fees and damages if a lawsuit is filed against the policy holder for a covered loss.
- This coverage extends the limits of the personal liability policy, auto, ATV and watercraft policies in the event of an accident where a family member is shown to be negligent. Umbrella limits are determined by the policy holder based upon the requested coverage amount and associated cost of the policy. Limits of $100,000,000 are available.
- There is a liability risk associated with auto and watercraft operator impairment while in the possession of non-prescribed or narcotic drugs. Underlying auto, watercraft, and excess liability policies often exclude coverage in the event of an accident where drug possession or impairment has been a factor in a negligent accident.
- Staff Exposures
- Employment Practices Liability provides protection for a policy holder from claims of wrongful hire, wrongful termination, racial discrimination, or sexual harassment brought by a policy holder’s employees.
- Workers Compensation should be considered for any employee of a family or its family trust, LLC or FLP.
- Employee Theft coverage should also be considered for employees who handle books and financial detail for a family or policy holder.
- Valuable Articles / Jewelry / Fine Art / Collections
- Jewelry is an often overlooked asset collection. High profile celebrities, athletes and their families often carry expensive jewelry and can be targeted by thieves. Whether jewelry is stolen, misplaced, damaged or broken, or a piece goes mysteriously missing, there is an insurance program designed to fully cover the jewelry for replacement cost, with a zero deductible. Valuable articles coverage offers worldwide protection at a very reasonable cost for individual items, timepieces or sets.
- Many athletes also collect sports memorabilia and other fine collections. A collection can carry a value that may exceed initial purchase price, and for that reason, managing an inventory of high value collections is a strong recommendation.
- This coverage can individually schedule and insure high value collections like fine art, wine, antiquities, collectibles, silver settings and expensive electronics.
- Liquidity Event Consultation
- When there is a life event, marital separation, divorce, or a death in the family, it is necessary to have a coverage review by an agent or broker. In the event policy revisions are recommended, it is important to have policy familiarity and collaboration with the family’s internal ‘team.’
- Personally owned assets may be owned in the name of a Trust, LLC, FLP or Series LLC. There are specific insurance underwriters who will correctly name these entities and cover their related risks. Most personal underwriters will not name these additional entities which may cause a coverage gap, leaving the family’s assets exposed.
- Family Protection
- In the event of harassment or a more serious threat made by stalkers, the press, or disgruntled former employees, there are insurance coverage options that will provide 24 hour security, risk control consultation, and even personal relocation and long-term security, based upon the situation and risk involved.
- This coverage may also provide clinical evaluation and counseling after a high-stress event such as a car-jacking, kidnapping, extortion or other family threat.
- Policy holder preventative expenses such as the changing of locks, security system upgrades and personal security detail are also covered under certain policies.
- Kidnap and Ransom coverage provides protection for families where the heightened threat of home invasion, car-jacking, and kidnapping, resulting in ransom demands, may occur at home or abroad. Coverage may provide personal security detail, expert negotiators and intelligence personnel to manage the situation to conclusion.
- Personal Offense & Personal Injury Coverage
- Libel, slander and defamation of character are not all that different from ‘trash talking’; however exposure to an affluent family can be costly. Whether it’s being misquoted in the press, or a statement taken out of context in a media event, Personal Injury coverage may be available to defend a policy holder. This coverage can either be placed as a Professional Liability policy, Personal Liability policy, or a Personal Umbrella, depending upon whether or not there is compensation involved.
- Sports Clinics & Special Events
- Athletes often sponsor or host clinics and charities as part of their public relations and philanthropy efforts. Many of these organizations and non-profits can present personal liabilities to the athlete, the athlete’s family, the volunteers and employees that are involved. A Special Events policy can address specific risks that an athlete may face through heightened liability exposure of property damage and bodily injury.
- Board Liability / Directors & Officers Liability
- Professional athletes and public figures are often asked to serve on company boards, non-profit boards, or to serve as an entity’s spokesperson. In the event that an athlete agrees to invest their time on behalf of a company, philanthropy, or special interest group, it is important to have specific insurance protection in the event that entity and its board members are sued individually or collectively.