When it comes to sports, fans who don’t own a real team can still fulfill that dream by participating in a fantasy league. But what happens when one of your fantasy team members misses a game in real life, which in turn disrupts your fantasy, too? Though fantasy sports fans may participate in these leagues for fun, they still stand to lose a good bit of dough. Luckily for those folks, there’s fantasy sports insurance.
What Is Fantasy Sports Insurance?
Basically a very imaginative take on disability coverage, fantasy sports insurance is a type of policy designed to protect owners of fantasy sports teams if one of their players gets injured and is forced to miss a few games. Fantasy teams are assembled by selecting living, breathing professional sports team players, and when one of them gets injured in real life, they’re injured on the fantasy team, too.
Having a player miss several games can mean money down the drain for fantasy team owners. A pro sports team player’s entire season can be over within seconds, and fantasy sports players take a risk when selecting every single member of their team. Having fantasy sports coverage provides protection for fantasy team owners in the event one of their players gets benched long-term.
How Does Fantasy Sports Insurance Work?
Depending on the insurance provider, the rules of the policy and the payouts may vary. But in general, you pay just a single lifetime premium, which is often 7%-15% of the fantasy league’s entry fee. Some leagues have entry fees as low as $100, but others are as high as $1,000. And certain high-end fantasy leagues charge team owners as much as $10,000.
Each policy comes with its own set of terms. There’s typically a minimum amount of a time a player must be injured in order for the policy’s payout to be triggered. A fantasy insurance policy through the Rotosurance company requires a player to miss at least nine games before they’ll reimburse you for your entry fee and “research investments” (i.e., draft preparation kits, study guides, and magazine subscriptions).
Another type of policy is called FantasyPlayerProtect and it's available through the MiniCo Insurance Agency of Phoenix. It offers a maximum payout of $1,000, including up to $250 for research expenses. Policyholders can insure up to five players per fantasy team, with a maximum of 10 players per season across all fantasy teams owned. The company offers coverage for about 100 specific players, so fantasy team owners can choose whom they’ll insure from this provided list.
Why Would I Need Fantasy Sports Insurance?
If you’re a fantasy sports team owner who’s spent a reasonable (or unreasonable) chunk of change on things like entry fees and research, you might want to protect yourself from losing even more money if one of your players gets benched. Fantasy sports players are reported to spend an average of $500-$1,000 in annual dues. While fantasy team owners can make bank (even up to six digits’ worth), they also stand to lose quite a bit during a rough season.
You might want fantasy sports insurance if you participate in any of the following:
- Fantasy football
- Fantasy baseball
- Fantasy basketball
- Fantasy hockey
- Sports betting
With entrance fees to some of the more high-stakes fantasy leagues costing up into the thousands, it’d be a shame to lose that much dough on an investment that’s meant to be fun. Luckily for super-dedicated fantasy sports team owners who invest tons of time and money into their craft, fantasy sports insurance can provide at least some amount of financial protection.
How Much Does Fantasy Sports Insurance Cost?
Well, it depends on the policy and the insurance company offering it. Fantasy sports insurance is set up slightly differently depending on the type you purchase, but in general, the cost of the premium is determined by an “injury-risk” algorithm that calculates the chances of a specific player getting injured. The algorithm factors in a player’s age and health history, their team and position, and their usage rate.
The premium is typically a percentage of the coverage amount you’re insuring the player for. FantasyPlayerProtect policies offer premiums for historically healthy players for 9%, while more injury-prone players are as high as 13% of your coverage amount. Taxes and fees are also factored into premium rates. You may choose to insure multiple players at once, but each policy has a set limit on how many players can be covered simultaneously.
Most policies offer coverage amounts from $100-$1,000 per player. Depending on the specific player insured, if your premium rate was 10% of your coverage amount, you’d pay $100 for a lifetime policy that covered your player for up to a $1,000 payout. So fantasy sports insurance is a way to protect yourself and your fantasy team without necessarily having to break the bank.
How Do I Get Fantasy Sports Insurance?
For more obscure and less common types of insurance coverage out there, you might not be able to find what you’re looking for just anywhere. While our independent insurance agents may not be able to provide you with this kind of coverage directly, we’ll happily provide a list of agents in your neighborhood who have access to multiple insurance companies.