Sports insurance 'too expensive'
That’s what soccer players in Northern NSW get for the high insurance figure they pay as part of their annual registration fee, according to a local club president.
And it’s not just soccer, with other sports reporting similar problems.
Westlawn Tigers president Ann Pursey said the cover afforded to injured players was not worth the stretching of their purse-strings.
Across the North Coast Football catchment, senior amateur and contract players will pay $55.27 each towards insurance this season.
For amateur players the figure accounts for almost half of their baseline fee ($121.40), while for contract players it amounts to a third of their registration ($176.75).
Mrs Pursey described the insurance cost as ‘too high’.
“It is the highest percentage of our fees, and players get bugger all for it,” she said.
“To make a claim on football insurance you have to pay an excess – it’s in the fine print.
“As a club we are charged insurance as soon as somebody sets foot on the field.
“We have to recoup that from the players.”
Northern NSW Football details the cover for players on its website.
Some of the costs paid for by the insurer include medical expenses such as ambulance and physiotherapy.
However, any Medicare items – which include the basics such as doctors and x-rays – are excluded.
Northern NSW Football competitions co-ordinator Sandra Mason disputed the insurance was too costly.
“It can work out to $2 per week, depending on how many games in the season,” Mrs Mason said.
“It’s not a huge cost for what’s actually covered.”
Mrs Mason said there were a ‘lot of misconceptions’ surrounding insurance cover.
“A lot of people think because they pay for insurance, they’re covered for everything,” she said.
“If they were covered for everything people would never get on the football field – it would be too expensive.”
According to Mrs Pursey, people who played multiple sports and parents of sporty children were at the greatest disadvantage as they had to fork out insurance costs for each and every sport.
“I can’t see why someone can’t be insured across all sports,” she said.
“People think we (the clubs) are profiting from the fees – we’re not, we’re passing it on.”
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Income protection or home help expenses (up to $300 a week for 52 weeks).
Medical expenses such as ambulance, dental, physiotherapy, massage and acupuncture following referral from a doctor (subject to a maximum $300 pre-operative benefit; $5000 total; $50 excess for those without private health cover).
Accommodation, theatre fees and prosthesis or orthotics prescribed by a surgeon, following surgery (up to 85 per cent of costs).
In cases of permanent disability or death, players are covered up to the capital benefit of $50,000.
Does not cover any part of a Medicare item – any doctor, surgeon, anaesthetist, x-ray or pathology.
Source: Northern NSW Football website – policies and forms