Even fantasy leagues need insurance

Quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chioatkis: In the past few years, fantasy football has turned from a hobby into big business. Here's how it works: players pay an entry fee and their money is pooled. Players act like real owners. They draft star players onto their fantasy teams. If their team wins, the owner gets a big chunk of that cash. But what if your star gets hurt? Reporter Sally Herships has more on a new option.


Sally Herships: Ok football fans -- remember Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's first game last season?

Announcer: Tom Brady took a tremendous hit as he released that ball right on his left leg.

Paul Charchian does:

Paul Charchian: Oh yeah. I remember watching it, thinking nope, can't be that bad. Get up, get up. It can be emotional.

Especially if you have money invested. Not only is Charchian a Patriots fan, he also plays fantasy football. Tom Brady was on two of Charchian's five teams.

But Brady blew out his knee and was done for the season. In the past, owners of fantasy teams like Charchian just had to suck it up when players were hurt. But now there's a new option: insurance -- that's real insurance for real players on fantasy teams.

Anthony Giaccone: On average, the fantasy team owner spends about $150 to field a team.

Anthony Giaccone is the president of Fantasy Sports Insurance, the company that's offering the coverage. He says an insurance policy costs about 10 percent of your investment -- what you spend on your league fees, fantasy Web sites, magazines. Say this adds up to that average cost of 150 bucks, then a policy.

Giaccone: That would cost you about $16.

And if your player gets injured and misses most of the season, you get your money back.

Football fan Paul Charchian is also president of the Fantasy Sports Trade association. He says fantasy players spend $800 million a year on fantasy sports. But will they buy insurance policies? Charchian says only about 5 percent of players invest big bucks in the game.

Charchian: But if you were in maybe a $500 league and you have two or three players that are really the keys to your success, it might make sense to spend $50 to insure their prospect of success and not necessarily take a big loss.

Anthony Giaccone says his insurance company has already sold three times as many policies as they planned. But because the NFL season has already started, you'll have to wait till next year to buy football insurance. So until then, if you're watching a game, keep your fingers crossed that your best player doesn't get hurt.

Fans: Stick 'em! Kill 'em! Yeah!

I'm Sally Herships for Marketplace.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...