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Referee Steve Kozari’s Recent Injury is a Warning to Umpires: Have a Rock-Solid Disability Insurance Policy in Place

Sports aren’t only dangerous for athletes but also for others present during game play like referees, umpires and others along the sidelines. Steve Kozariwas recently hit in the throat with a hockey puck during a Stanley Cup playoff game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets. Even though they must be aware of their surroundings, their attention can only be one place at a time (Referee Nailed by Hockey Puck During Penguins-Blue Jackets Game, NESN, April 22, 2014).

The frequency of these types of incidents may not be often but they can result in serious injury. There have been several incidences of a hockey puck striking the face, resulting in broken orbital bones and serious head injuries. Baseball umpires suffer from concussions on occasion from being hit by baseballs speeding over home plate or getting hit by a broken bat. Refs have to be on their toes at all times to avoid these severe injuries (A Ref’s Life: Tough Injuries, The Hockey News, September 15, 2009).

“With no glove and standard officiating practice requiring plate umpires to remain in position for the duration of each pitch, umpires are utterly defenseless and at the mercy of the catcher, pitcher and even the batter. Whether by accident or on purpose, the risk of umpire injury behind home plate is real and, many times, scary,” (MLB Umpire Head Injury: Bleacher Report, June 24, 2012).

“The vulnerable position of all sports officials makes you take a step back and scratch your head,” comments Frank N. Darras, America’s lawyer to the pros. “You see these refs out there calling plays yet wearing little or no gear. The athletes on the other hand, tend to always have some sort of protective gear on. Think about hockey players with all the padding and helmets and yet the refs are out on the ice with just helmets. This is why disability insurance is so valuable to everyone in the sports industry, not just for athletes.”

Disability insurance is a way for families to survive financially should something unexpected happen resulting in the inability to work. Not nearly enough Americans have purchased a disability policy despite the odds of becoming disabled. While athletes have a high chance of injury that doesn’t mean everyone else is excluded. Disability insurance is a cost effective way to protect income if something unforeseen occurs.

Disability insurance is not something for just one segment of the population. I recommend it for pretty much everyone because no one can see the future. There are many experts available to help you customize a policy depending on your income, your family, and your job. Don’t wait until it’s too late to purchase a disability insurance policy because you never know when you might need it,” says Darras.

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