Following a game-ending ankle sprain in Monday night’s loss to the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (“OBJ”) announced that he is considering the purchase of a $100 million insurance policy to protect against future injury. The protection does not come cheap – with premium around $600,000, according to a recent news account. Nevertheless, OBJ apparently is considering the insurance in the event he cannot come to terms with the Giants on a new long-term contract.
OBJ’s decision to personally pursue insurance to guard against loss of income should the star receiver suffer an injury is not new to the sports and entertainment fields, with most professional sports franchises purchasing insurance to cover contractual payments that must be made to key players if circumstances render them unable to perform on the field. Such insurance rarely catches the headlines, however, since even the most interesting contractual jargon fails to measure up to the acrobatics of an OBJ touchdown catch! In fact, even when disputes arise over whether a particular injury, contractual payment or loss of income is covered, such disputes are often resolved through contractually-mandated arbitration proceedings or other private dispute resolution mechanisms, thereby keeping the world of player-disability policies deep in the shadows of the teams and athletes they cover. It is therefore incumbent upon policyholders – players and sports franchises alike – to seek advice from knowledgeable insurance coverage lawyers before procuring such insurance and certainly in the event of an injury or circumstance that may warrant indemnity under the policy.