Fantasy footy fanatics get new weapon

Millions of self-appointed football team managers have a new tool for their arsenal, after a specialist insurer launched insurance against player injuries.

Currently only covering the US NFL, FantasyPlayerProtect (FPP) is a product offered by Minico Insurance Agency and aimed at the 33 million people who take part in NFL fantasy competitions across the globe.

The $US20 premium per player is designed to cover the entrance fee to leagues and research expenses used to pick one’s team. The policy comes into play when a player misses more than eight games in a season through injury.

Fantasy football in the US is a $2 billion industry and if just 10% of the 33 million paid the $US20 annual premium to cover a single player, the product could be worth $US66 million each year.

In an article by Leighton Hunley from Risk and Insurance, he says the growth of the market could entice other insurers.

“While this figure currently would still be a fraction of premium levels for other niche property and casualty products, if priced right, and if growth in fantasy sports continues, the size of the market would be difficult to ignore,” Hunley says.

“This market potential should likely entice more insurers to enter into the business.”

Sportscover CEO David Lamb says FPP have taken advantage of an untapped market.

“I think insurance for Fantasy Leagues is a fantastic idea,” he says.

“It’s innovative, taps into the evolving nature of how people interact with sport these days and most importantly it is creating a new product for insurers to sell rather than just fighting over market share of existing product.”

While the fantasy market may not be big enough here in Australia, Lamb entertained the idea of insuring his own team.

“Would Sportscover write this sort of business? Well, we’ve insured real teams for over 28 years so why not branch out into virtual teams? Now, if only I had bought cover on Gary Ablett and Brent Tate at the start of the AFL and NRL seasons,” he says.