The April 2016 issue of Rough Notes magazine featured an article on the competitive market of amateur sports insurance. Rough Notes is a leading trade magazine for insurance agents that often turns to John Sadler for his insight into sports-related industry trends and issues.
With regard to insurance service and risk management in this segment of the insurance industry, Sadler was quoted saying, “For the third year in a row, the biggest issue of concern in amateur sports insurance is brain injury in the concussion-prone sports. While most carriers haven’t actually seen an influx of brain injury claims activity on the amateur side, they’re being cautious.”
Sadler is referring to the response to ongoing reports in the media of professional athletes diagnosed with CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) following their autopsies and researchers looking into the possible link of contact sports to CTE in living athletes.
“It’s feared that adverse media attention will negatively impact juries.The recent Pop Warner settlement has not helped in this regard; however, many recent court rulings in this area have been favorable to sports associations,” said Sadler.
Sadler was also asked about rate increases, which he says are running in the range of 0 to 8% for accounts with good loss histories. “High-risk concussion sports are seeing slight rate increases and coverage reductions. Carriers want to limit their exposure on this still-difficult-to-quantify risk by excluding it altogether, lowering aggregates and/or including defense within limits, and they’re also requiring certain risk management controls as a pre-condition of binding.”
He also addressed the issue of risk that comes with the social element of sports and clubs, saying, “While most of these clubs do have policies in place to help cover potential injuries and to protect and defend against any potential lawsuits, there could be gaps. This is particularly true where a liquor liability exposure exists.”
The article in its entirety can be read here.
Source: Dave Willis, “Amateur Sports: Competitive Market, Emerging Risks.” www.roughnotes.com. Vol. 98, April 2016.