An Advisors' Guide to Excess & Surplus Disability Insurance

Covering All Bases: The Game-Changing Role of Disability Insurance for MLB Athletes

Posted Wed, Feb, 14th, 2024
By Exceptional Risk Advisors

Batting helmets, shin guards, and chest protectors are all used to protect professional baseball players from injury, however, there are also insurance products available in the international marketplace that can mitigate the potential loss of income when the protective gear fails.  Disability Insurance protection, in the form of Permanent Total Disability plus a Critical Injury Rider, is the most crucial form of insurance any professional baseball player can own.  And given the compressed career lifespan, the average MLB player's career lasts just over five years, it leaves a small window for athletes to build wealth. 

As players gear up for off-season workouts, spring ball, combines, and pro-days, the focus for insurance advisors is on protecting their client's incomes before returning to the gym or the field.  Now, during the off-season, is when we typically see the bulk of requests for disability coverage for MLB athletes.

Athlete Coverage Overview

An MLB franchise owns a player's rights until they become eligible for free agency, restricting their ability to negotiate with other teams.  Players sign contracts annually during these team-controlled years, making it essential to protect against potential career-ending injuries.  To mitigate risks during the years leading up to free agency, players can invest in insurance coverage, such as Lloyd's of London policies, providing protection against permanent total disability. 

We recently worked with an advisor with a promising young professional baseball shortstop client.  As the athlete's career advanced, the current franchise made significant efforts to secure his long-term commitment with a guaranteed offer exceeding $150 million.  Despite being a few years away from free agency, the advisor on the case recognized the importance of safeguarding his future contract against unforeseen risks. 

Download MLB Shortstop Case Study

In addition to covered injuries on/off the field, medical diagnoses like cancer, multiple sclerosis, ALS, Cardio issues, heart murmurs etc., are also covered.  Occasionally, contracts guarantee the salary if the athlete is injured playing and practicing, and for team sanctioned duties, but not for illness.  With modern science and early detection tools we are able to discover and diagnose diseases/illnesses earlier which allows for players to seek proper treatment and not have to decide between a paycheck or long-term health.

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In the fast-paced world of professional baseball, success stories are often accompanied by strategic decisions to safeguard players' futures. Disability insurance plays a pivotal role in mitigating risks, ensuring financial security, and allowing athletes to focus on what they do best – playing the game they love. With a player's name, we are able to provide a review for each client. This includes assessing the maximum benefit available, insurability of future earnings going into free agency, and more.

If you are interested in learning more about how to tap into the sports insurance space, please schedule a meeting with our business development team.