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Sports fans, who doesn't enjoy an exciting game of football, an NBA playoff game, or a hard-fought baseball game?  As we all know, these are physical games, and players get injured--often to the detriment of their teams and themselves.  So how do players and professional franchises protect themselves?  If your answer is "Insurance," you would be correct! 


Randy Johnson.  Roger Clemens.  One would assume that either their teams, or the pitchers themselves, would have insured their valuable arms during their fabulous careers.  Yet professional sports teams take an all-or-nothing approach; why insure a body part when you can insure the entire package?  Rather than insure their franchise player's parts, these teams take out disability insurance on the athlete himself. . .

. . .like the St. Louis Cardinals did, when they took out a $12 million disability policy on former slugger Mark McGwire. 


Teams take a wildly divergent approach to insurance.  Years earlier, the San Francisco Giants insured only one player--Barry Bonds. 

That policy wasn't renewed in 2001, as it was the final year of Bonds's contract, and the deductible was more than the premium!


Sometimes players take on the insurance burden themselves--especially players who have sustained injuries and want to be attractive to teams willing to risk signing them.  Outfielder Juan Gonzalez and quarterback Kurt Warner are two examples of players who insured themselves for millions of dollars.


Of course, some athletes are so successful--and so rich--they are beyond insurance.  Tiger Woods, for example, makes so much money that to insure himself against injury would cost him upwards to $20 million a year--often more than he makes in winnings per year (most of his money comes from, or used to, from endorsements).  And had Tiger been able to purchase insurance, based on his recent spate of injuries the policies would be paying dearly!


So the next time you cheer on your favorite athlete, keep in mind there's a good chance insurance has got his or her back!



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