Many of the Foxes’ squad have been thrust into the spotlight from football’s fringes. Take Demarai Gray, a 19-year-old who was toiling away in the Championship with Birmingham City until January this year, when Leicester signed him and set him on the path to the Champions League.
Gray’s circumstances and insurance requirements are very different to the average 19-year-old, and fortunately for him help is on hand, should he require it. Step forward Guy Horchover, head of ProSport, which is part of Bristol-based brokerage Brightside
Insurance. ProSport looks after elite sportsmen and women - Premiership footballers, elite rugby union and rugby league players as well as leading cricketers, golfers and even jockeys.
Horchover says: “A lot of footballers and rugby players find it difficult to get motor insurance – the reasons for that are they are young men, and they literally can be going from a Corsa to a Porsche in a few weeks and it’s difficult to gain the necessary driving skills and experience within a short space of time. There have been high-profile examples of people going from pretty much nothing in terms of salary to £15,000 a week in a very short time. It is a moral hazard in as much as the people going into these cars may have an ego and a reputation, they have no family responsibilities, and to some extent footballers may be seen to have a bit of a party lifestyle, and people will recognise them – and all that means it can be quite hard for them to get motor insurance. You look at some of the lads who have come through this year for Arsenal and Manchester United – say for example Marcus Rashford. I don’t know his story but I would imagine it won’t be long before he’s out buying a nice smart car.”
“All these people have a wide range of requirements – they might have different types of cars, they might be doing lots of miles – darts players really put some distance in to do their exhibition matches – cricketers have traditionally driven to matches, they could be standing out in the field for four days then have to drive home before heading off to the next one-dayer or whatever, so it’s quite a strain on them.”
It's not just motors insurance ProSport offers – specialised home insurance products, tailored to the requirements of our sporting heroes, also prove popular. “We do home insurance and we have quite a sizeable book of customers from the professional sports side of things,” says Horchover. “We do a range of products for high net worth customers who want to protect a wide range of risks – golf clubs, gym equipment, bikes, trophies and memorabilia, computers. A lot of footballers and rugby players have high-spec computers for playing games on and it’s well worth them getting proper coverage. You look at bikes – if you’re using them for training, some of them can be up to £10,000 so to have a home insurance policy that covers bikes properly is really important to them.”
ProSport also offers personal accident cover, tailored for their sporting clients, to cover career-ending injuries and loss of income as a result of injury. “The issue comes when players start getting to older ages and their contracts may only be renewed for one year,” says Horchover. “That becomes difficult for the underwriters then because they want to give people protection but equally the underwriters don’t want to sign up to something that’s going to happen. I think we’ve been at least able to offer terms to people, whether or not they’ve taken those terms is up to them but we’re pretty confident of getting a market.”
Professional football can be something of a walled garden, but ProSport seems to have found its way in and Horchover says clubs, players and their representatives understand the value of having the right cover. “Sometimes clubs will take a view and either buy insurance on their behalf or encourage them to do it,” he explains. “Other times you may have agents who are also the player’s parent so they may take a view insurance is a good idea – agents do get involved but the players from what I’ve seen do think about these things.
“Our people have worked hard to crack into that area but also we find that our marketing approaches tend to be quite positive in opening up opportunities. These people are quite hard to reach but where there’s a need – for instance with motor insurance – players tend to look out for that then there’s the opportunity to have a wider conversation. And our website, offering the career-ending injury and income protection, is something people actually do look out for.”
It's not only Leicester City’s fervent fans who are celebrating their stunning success – Horchover and his team are hoping some of the Foxes feel-good factor may wash their way.
“Leicester’s performance this season has been absolutely stunning,” he says. “I love their style of play – they’re really direct and positive, and if they are going to be bringing some silverware home it’s certainly worth protecting that, and if they are looking to spend their end-of-season bonuses on new cars, obviously we’d be very happy to help them protect them!”