Playing sport should keep you
fit and healthy but it can also be bad for your health. Whatever
your favourite sport, it is all too easy to lose sight of
the risks involved. Yet the consequences ofsomething going
wrong can be very severe for you and your family.
An estimated 29 million sports
injuries occur each year resulting in approximately 11 million
lost working days.
A serious accident could leave
youdisabled and unable to work yet household bills would still
need to be paid and you might need expensive medical treatment.No
matter what your sport, insurance can provide financial protection
for you and your family should the worst happen.
WHY IS INSURANCE NECESSARY -WHAT
ARE THE RISKS IN PLAYINGSPORT
Playing most sports involves
three main risks:
Accident and Injury -
even minor sprains and knocks can mean time off work and
possibly expensive medical treatment, such as physiotherapy.
A serious accident could leave you disabled and unable
to work,resulting in a reduced income and a lower standard
of living for you and your family.
Injuring Another Person
or Damaging Their Property - injuring another person could
prove very expensive. If you are negligent and injure
a colleague,competitor or bystander or damage their property,
you could be sued and end up with a large bill for damages.
Loss or Theft of Sports
Equipment -sports equipment such as golf clubs or skiis
can be costly to replace if damaged,lost or stolen.
INSURANCE COVER AVAILABLE
Cover for sports activities
can be provided in a number of ways. Individual policies are
available, tailor-made to the requirements of individual sports;
somecover may be available under homecontents insurance, while
personal accident and permanent health insurance policies
can provide a cash lump sum and a regular income following
injury and long-term disability.
Clubs and teams can also arrange
insurance to cover injury to their members and damage to their
property such as the clubhouse.
Individual policies are available
to covermost sports. You may be able to choose the level of
benefits you require, depending on your requirements.
Typical benefits include:
- a lump sum and/or regular income if
a sports-related injury prevents you from working;
- hospital benefit, providing a daily
cash benefit when admitted as an inpatient for hospital
- accidental death benefit, a lump sum
payable in the event of your death;
- specialist medical fees, including the
cost of physiotherapy and dental treatment if necessary;
- personal liability, covers your legal
liability for injury to another person, or damage to their
property caused by your sporting activities.
Some policies may provide access
to a 24-hour medical helpline and can extend all benefits,
except personal liability, if you attend any paying spectator
A household contents policy
will usually include public liability cover if you are held
legally liable for injury to another person ordamage to their
property arising from your sporting activities. Loss or damage
to sports equipment in your home may also be covered, although
you should check the policy as there is likely to be a single
item limit and some sports equipment might be excluded.
All-risks cover will cover
loss or damage outside of your home but, again, the policy
should be checked as there will usually be a single item limit
and items over a particular value may have to be individually
Personal Accident and Permanent
A personal accident policy can
provide a cash lump sum on your death or permanent total disablement,
or a weekly income if temporarily disabled.
Permanent Health Insurance pays
a regular income if you become ill or suffer an accident which
prevents you from working. Payments can continue until you
return to work or retire.
Policies for Clubs and Teams
Group policies can cover all
members of a club or team for benefits similar to those under
an individual policy. Cover will apply while playing, practising
or travelling to or from the sports activity, or while taking
part in or preparing organised activities for the club.
A commercial package policy
can be arranged to cover damage to buildings such as a clubhouse,
loss of clothing such as kit and sports equipment.
First, check to see if you
are already covered by any of your own policies. If in a club
or team, check to see if cover has been taken out for members.
Contact the appropriate national sports association or federation
as they may have negotiated their own insurance arrangements
for clubs and individuals. If you are looking to arrange an
individual policy, contact an insurance broker or other intermediary
who will be able to arrange insurance to suit your requirements.
AND FINALLY... HOW TO STAY HEALTHY
WHEN PLAYING SPORT
Do not let playing sport damage
your health. Follow these tips:
- Do not over-exert yourself - know your
limits and stick to them.
- Never play any sport if you are tired
- Use safety accessories and equipment.
Be aware of, and follow, any safety precautions. If necessary,
make sure you are adequately supervised.
- Ensure you have access to first-aid facilities.
It is also a good idea to have some basic first-aid training.
- If instructing or teaching, check with
the relevant professional body to see what insurance cover
is advisable or required.
- Take care of sports equipment. Wherever
possible do not leave equipment unattended, for example,
in a vehicle.