Wednesday is the Deadline for NFL Hopefuls to Declare for the Draft, Frank N. Darras, Offers Analysis
Many professional football players have encountered career-ending injuries and hopefully benefited from having private disability insurance policies in place. Joe Theismann, quarterback for the Washington Redskins, lost out on millions of dollars in income when he broke two bones in his lower right leg in 1985 during a game against the New York Giants. (ESPN, ESPN Counts down the 100 most memorable moments of the past 25 years)
The body is like real estate for an athlete in that it has to be fully and properly insured against damage. The typical disability insurance policy covers the whole body unless it specifically excludes a particular body part. Insurance companies can deny coverage based on a previous injury or recurring health problem, so young professional athletes should get sound advice and sign up for a disability insurance policy sooner rather than when it is too late.
“Underclassmen need to research the possibility of purchasing disability insurance to protect the future income of a professional career in the NFL,” says Frank N. Darras, America’s lawyer to the pros. “The threat of a career-ending injury is all too common for an underclassman with dreams of making the cut in the NFL. The potential loss of income is much greater considering he will be at the very beginning of his professional career.”
Football injuries are commonplace so smart professional athletes take out disability insurance polices to protect their future earnings in the case of a career-ending injury. Troy Aikman’s career ended due to a series of concussions. The last one he suffered was caused by a hit in 2000 by linebacker LaVar Arrington of the Washington Redskins. (LifeHealthPro, 10 athletes we hope had disability insurance, July 25, 2012)
According to the Sports Concussion Institute, there is a 75 percent chance of a football player getting a concussion. A series of concussions, such as what Aikman had, increases the potential for serious brain damage, which can affect all aspects of life. (Sports Concussion Institute, Concussion Facts, Facts by the Numbers)
Experts and sports agents often recommend that athletes consider own-occupation protection. In short, this means the player will still receive all the benefits in the event of a career-ending injury even if he could still find employment in another occupation. In the case of some football legends, those who suffered injuries that took them off the field can still be seen broadcasting or coaching for the League.
“Rising star athletes will want to set up their own individual disability insurance policies versus relying on team workers’ compensation plans,” advises Darras. “With an individual policy, players with career-ending injuries and highly paid players will receive payment that will allow them to maintain the lifestyle they have worked so hard to achieve.”
The best advice to these players, with their eye on the NFL draft prize is:
“Get stellar advice and review all potential disability insurance policies and plans that offer the best coverage should a career-ending injury occur. The truth is, the likelihood of getting seriously injured is extremely high, so get covered now,” says Darras.