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New NFL Threat: Evaporating Insurance Market

Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada at ESPN.com have looked at a growing threat to all levels of football: many insurance companies have stopped offering coverage for the sport, from the NFL on down to Pop Warner leagues.

"People say football will never go away, but if we can't get insurance, it will." -- Jon Butler, Pop Warner's executive director.

Comments

8 comments, Last at 24 Jan 2019, 5:23pm

1 Re: New NFL Threat: Evaporating Insurance Market

by theslothook // Jan 22, 2019 - 9:15pm

Maybe the NFL could offer it instead?

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2 Re: New NFL Threat: Evaporating Insurance Market

by umuddafadda // Jan 23, 2019 - 6:46am

good point, might be its only possible avenue....CTE is for real

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3 Re: New NFL Threat: Evaporating Insurance Market

by Bright Blue Shorts // Jan 23, 2019 - 7:22am

I don't doubt that football can cause CTE.

But where and how do you place the blame?

A kid starts playing Pop Warner through high school then college then the NFL. And in the meantime, he may be doing all the other things kids do like climbing trees, falling off bikes, getting punched in the head by other kids.

You can make the case that NFL players hit hardest because of their size and speed, but a small child's brain is probably a lot less protected and more vulnerable to early injury as its still developing.

It's a mess and I don't blame any parent for taking the safe option and getting their kids into sports with notably lower contact levels.

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8 Re: New NFL Threat: Evaporating Insurance Market

by Richie // Jan 24, 2019 - 5:23pm

From the insurance company's perspective, they are worried that Johnny's parents will sue Pop Warner because Johnny has dementia at age 23. Whether they win the lawsuit or not doesn't matter a lot, because just the lawyer fees to defend Pop Warner could end up being quite expensive.

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4 Re: New NFL Threat: Evaporating Insurance Market

by BJR // Jan 23, 2019 - 9:46am

This story does not seem especially consistent with the fact that two brand new professional football leagues are scheduled to begin in the next couple of years.

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5 Re: New NFL Threat: Evaporating Insurance Market

by Bright Blue Shorts // Jan 23, 2019 - 12:27pm

Haven't looked in detail at those leagues but the UFL had something like 4-6 teams and a regular season with not many more games. That must lower the risk from the perspective of the insurance companies and therefore lower premiums.

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6 Re: New NFL Threat: Evaporating Insurance Market

by nlitwinetz // Jan 23, 2019 - 12:38pm

It's going to be a delayed effect. If Pop Warner programs start to disappear now, it won't hit the NFL (or other leagues) for another 10ish years.

There's going to be a slow dwindling of talent in the NFL as the super athlete kids are steered toward baseball or basketball rather than football. The mentality of trying to HURT opponents needs to be taken out of the game if it is to survive.

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7 Re: New NFL Threat: Evaporating Insurance Market

by dryheat // Jan 24, 2019 - 4:48pm

I don't see the problem. Insurance companies will keep on doing what insurance companies do -- collect premium after premium, and when it's time to pay out, tell the insured that he's not covered in this instance...that the injuries were caused by willful neglect or abuse. Worst-case scenario, go out of business.

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