Representing their country is the height of every soccer player’s ambition. But sometimes that glory comes at a real cost to the player and his club. That is why most of the star players you will see in South Africa on the receiving end of a cynical tackle or pulling a hamstring, are covered by a special form of personal accident insurance.
And it is more than likely that this specialist cover is provided by Lloyd’s insurers. Beazley’s Peter Thompson confirms that the World Cup is keeping his consortium busy. “We have had a lot of enquiries from national associations looking for quotes to protect players representing them at the World Cup.”
Apart from the English Football Association, few other countries usually buy protection. That is because most of the clubs releasing their players already buy accidental death and total disablement cover and that coverage will extend to the time they are on international duty. But that coverage is essentially a career ending lump sum coverage, rather than wage roll protection.
If a player comes back from the World Cup injured and is out for say three months, the club he belongs to still has to pay his salary. Because clubs don’t usually buy wage roll protection, the consortium’s insurance could provide valuable compensation to a club.
After England striker Michael Owen suffered a knee injury minutes into the 2006 World Cup, Newcastle successfully recouped close to £10 million from the Football Association and FIFA.
Some professionals can and do buy player own benefit cover. Players are only too aware of how short their professional career is and they understand how much they would suffer financially if they sustained a career ending injury. So they buy personal policies.