Do pro teams and players take out insurance against injuries?

    Quarterback Michael Vick is injured, again.  The Philadelphia Eagles star returned to play from a concussion on Sunday afternoon, only to suffer damage to his hand.  All this, less than a month after Vick agreed to a six-year deal worth $100 million.

    It was an Eagles fan’s worst nightmare: Michael Vick leaving the field nursing an injury. But there are steps teams and players can take to protect themselves and their investments.

    John Lord, chair of the marketing department at St. Joseph’s University, says because of Vick’s size and his style of play there’s a good chance he’s going to get injured and need more financial protection than other quarterbacks.  “Insurance policies on players is not a common occurrence, but as the money goes up and as these assets become more subject to injury, you might find more of a tendency to do that,” said Lord.  “I have no idea what the rates would be. I’m sure they would be astronomical, and in many cases it may not be financially viable.”Michael Leeds, a professor of economics at Temple University, says only a few companies will insure players.”The ones you always hear about are Lloyd’s of London and insurers like that—through specialty boutique-ish insurers, because it’s not certainly a standard insurance policy,” said Leeds.Leeds says some players—who have nightmares about blowing out a knee and never getting to sign that big contract—protect themselves.”You have players who might be in the last year of a contract. And one who comes to mind is DeSean Jackson with the Eagles, who just took out a fairly hefty insurance policy to protect against his having a catastrophic injury before he can sign his next contract,” said Leeds.Leeds says teams structure big money contracts with lots of incentives to make insurance less necessary. He points out that Michael Vick is guaranteed to receive only $40 million of his $100 million contract.  

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