Insurance for your Fantasy Sports Players…Really? (Special Sunday Post)

by Matt B

FantasyWhile running some errands this afternoon, a sports talk program I was listening to had a segment about fantasy football insurance. I hate to even have to clarify, but this is not a joke. This subject peaked my interest so much that I actually sat in the truck for about 10 minutes in the parking lot at Best Buy until the subject changed. I was awed…I can not believe that people would actually consider this. (The host of the show even commented that he would take advantage of this for his team).

How it Works:

The premise for fantasy football insurance is simple. If you participate in a league that requires money to participate, and you would like to pad your “investment” but worry about the entire season being a waste after an injury to a key player, you can now purchase an insurance policy on a key player, that protects from losing your entry fee in the league. For example, let’s say you draft Tom Brady in the first round of your draft. If the entry fee for your league is $100, you can buy a policy on Mr. Brady for about $10. If he is not injured, you are out ten bucks. If he is injured, your insurance kicks in. You can also purchase a comprehensive policy that covers three players.

When your insured player is injured, the insurance policy reimburses you for the entry fee. This policy is not without rules and exceptions. For example, there are players (like some in real-life) that can not be insured due to prior injury history.

A typical one-player policy is about 10% of your entry fee and protects against season ending injuries or injuries that keep your player out for a significant part of the season. There is specific language in each policy that sites specifics regarding injury length and severity.

Why I Hate This:

This is ludicrous. Fantasy sports that you pay to play in is gambling. If you participate in a pay league, you are hopefully doing so with disposable income and not banking on the idea that you are going to win it all and pay off your debt with the winnings. That said, if you really feel like you need insurance on your top fantasy player, you might just have a gambling problem. If you are putting that much time and energy on protecting your “investment” (it is not actually an investment in my opinion), you probably have some issues with priorities. Get some help.

I realize that this post is becoming a rant, and I apologize. My opinion is that the idea of having these type of policies is laughable. But there is some good that can come with a policy protecting your top player.

The Upside:

If and when your insured player (or players) get injured, and your entry fee is refunded, all is not lost. You continue in your league as you would have, and lose no eligibility for prizes at the end of the season. You may have to tweak your roster and get some players who may not produce points for you, but that is a normal part of the game. If you do somehow pull off a victory, the prize money is all yours. If your moves and trades have paid off and your patchwork roster somehow got hot at the end of the season, lucky you. Not only did you reclaim your entry fee (minus the policy cost) but you may have also won the league. Enjoy your winnings.

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While I realize that fantasy sports account for billions of dollars in our economy every year, the premise of insurance on this type of gambling still bothers me. Still, if you are intense and committed enough to purchase one of these policies, don’t let me stop you. But I will tell you this: You are not going to get an invite to join any league I am in.

If you still have questions about (or have interest in) an insurance policy for your fantasy superstars, you can get more information here from CNBC or here from nfl.fanhouse.com.

Photo: Beth and Christian

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