Insuring the superstars of the sporting world

Insuring the superstars of the sporting world | Insurance Business Canada

Insuring the superstars of the sporting world

Professional athletes in North America tend to travel and change addresses a great deal.

Many own multiple properties, vehicles and face intense media exposure while building their sponsor-driven brand on social media.

Athletes are at once beloved by many in their local fan base, though that adoration can quickly turn following a string of losses, while fans or stakeholders in other cities can attempt targeting an athlete.

There is a plethora of exposures athletes face which is why Dallas, TX based, Swingle Collins & Associates runs a Professional Athletes & Entertainers Insurance program geared to highly visible sports pros.

“Someone goes online and posts something on social media or mentions in an interview about a fellow athlete, coach, referee or someone in the media which has negative connotations, that can be an issue, and cause brand/reputational injury to the athlete, their team, and their families. We had a case like that we had to deal with,” Jason M. Pond, personal risk manager at Swingle Collins said.

“I began work with another client that had recently been sued because a friend’s dog bit a young child in the face, while on his property. This occurred prior to my working with him, and I was approached by his financial planner, attorney and sports agent to assist. We have to evaluate when liability is truly extended to our clients vs. what is likely a ‘money-grab’ because they have higher assets. We got everything handled.”

Personal injury, reputational injury and employment practice claims, are all very serious, Pond said, but most claims in terms of mass are property or auto related.

“Fender benders, speeding tickets, violations, most of these men and women simply haven’t had the counsel to know when to file a claim or when not to file a claim,” Pond said. “And it’s crucially important to have 24/7/365 reliability & advocacy when a client is saying ‘Well this just happened, what should I do?’ That’s where we come in.”
Given the NBA, MLB and NHL all have teams in both Canada and the US, cross border coverage is one of the challenges that Swingle Collins tailors for each athlete and their family.
“As with anything, every insurance company and individual policy has their own terms, definitions and limitations on coverage,” explained Pond. “Being an independent agent/broker, I have all the top insurance companies to approach, and that benefits our clients that may have unique exposures and needs.
“For clients with assets and properties in the US, Canada and perhaps in other international locations – we have the insurance carriers with sophisticated, innovative policies to adequately cover what’s needed.
“Most policies that we endorse for athletes and entertainers will offer coverage in the US, Canada, and in US territories.  This is a valuable solution, particularly on auto policies, as we have many clients that drive, ship and transport autos between the US and Canada, several times per year.
“Clients entrust me to make sense of, and manage the insurance needs for their personal property & casualty portfolio; many of which had never familiarized themselves with protection through pro-active risk management before working with my agency. I find my clients want reliability, personal contact and pro-active management of their programs, and with their inner-circle of trusted advisors and family.”

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