Sports Insurance

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Injuries are a part of sports. In the United States more than 3.5 million children under 14 are injured while playing a sport, of these, over 750,000 require a hospital visit for sport-related injuries.¹ These injuries, ranging from sprains and broken bones to lacerations and concussions, are often unexpected and can happen at any time during a sporting event.  

It isn’t just our kids who get injured while playing sports. Adults also get frequently get injured while engaging in recreational activities or playing sports. In 2019, over 250,000 adults between the ages of 25 and 65 were injured simply by exercising.²

Injury-related expenses can grow quickly, leaving many families struggling to pay these unexpected out-of-pocket medical bills. However, accident insurance is an affordable way to ensure that you are not stuck paying a high deductible.  

You can learn more about accident insurance by watching this video

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What is covered when you buy accident insurance and play sports?  

If you or your child play sports or are physically active you may think that your health insurance will cover your expenses if you are injured while playing a sport. Although this is typically true, most health insurance plans have high deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses, in 2019 averaging around $1,655 per year, and health insurance typically covers medical costs.³ Having accident insurance can help pay for things that medical insurance doesn’t typically cover including:  

  • Deductible and copays – according to a 2019 study, many Americans do not have enough money saved to pay for their full health insurance deductible.⁴ Accident insurance can be used to pay for your full deductible so that you pay $0 out-of-pocket.  

  • Ambulance Rides – severe injuries typically require a ride in an ambulance, even after health insurance you could be left with over $1,200 left to pay on your own.⁵   

  • Bills – if you are injured while playing a sport or during a recreational activity, you may have to stay home from work which could mean that you may be unable to earn a paycheck. The same is true if your child gets injured while playing a sport and you have to take time off to care for them. You can use the money that you receive from supplemental accident insurance to help cover car payments, your mortgage, or any other bills.  

Accident insurance helps cover low-risk recreational activities and sports-related injuries such as running, swimming, tennis, and volleyball. Higher risk sports, like football, hockey, and lacrosse involve collisions and person-to-person contact that results in a higher probability of injury, as such these sports may be less likely to be covered with accident insurance.  

Health insurance typically covers sports injuries; however, health insurance will typically cover costs directly associated with your injury. Your health insurance covers things like X-rays, stitches, and physical therapy, but only after you meet your deductible with charges continuing to pile up until you reach your out-of-pocket maximum.⁶ With accident insurance, you can file a claim as soon as the qualifying injury occurs, so you may not have to foot the deductible or worry about paying for your out-of-pocket maximum.  

Accident Insurance coverage for injuries and treatments

What does high school sports insurance cover?  

While there is no high school sports insurance, accident insurance can be used to help cover high school sports-related injuries that may occur during the course of play or practice. Playing a sport in high school is a great way for your child to get involved and stay active. Sports injuries are a common occurrence in high school sports, and like all injuries, they can be expensive. However, by utilizing accident insurance as sports insurance for your high schooler, you can save money and have peace of mind knowing that even if your child suffers an injury, it will be covered.  

Accident insurance can be used to help cover high school sports-related injuries that may occur during the course of play or practice.  

Imagine, for a minute, that your child plays soccer. In soccer, concussions are one of the most common injuries for both boys and girls.⁷ Often concussions typically require evaluation by a medical professional and bed rest, however, a doctor may also order a CT scan. All of these procedures and doctors’ visits add up quickly, not to mention that you may have to take time off of work to care for your child. For many families, these bills are simply too much to pay out of pocket.  

This example is not unique to soccer, many sports have injuries that can happen unexpectedly. Maybe your high schooler plays basketball and trips on the court, breaking their arm in the process. Broken bones are common in many sports and they can cost upwards of $2,500 to treat.⁸ Or perhaps they dislocated their shoulder during a wrestling match. Dislocations can cost up to $8,000 to treat if anesthesia is needed.⁹ All of these injuries can be difficult to afford and are more common than you might expect.  

Having accident insurance can help to cover your high school athlete injury-related out-of-pocket costs if they get injured while playing an organized sport.  

Youth sports & fitness insurance  

Youth sports and fitness activities-related injuries are also typically covered by accident insurance. The more contact that there is in a sport, the more likely your child is to be injured. This is why sports that have less physical contact are more likely to have expenses covered under accident insurance.   

Non-contact sports and activities 

Non-contact sports and activities occur without any contact with other competitors. Playing a sport with no contact between competitors dramatically reduces the number of injuries that typically happen.¹⁰ There are many sports and activities that are non-contact, including: 

  • Running 

  • Swimming 

  • Tennis 

  • Track and Field 

  • Yoga 

  • Weightlifting 

  • Volleyball 

Even though injuries are less frequent in these sports, they do still happen. Swimmers can slip on a wet surface, runners can trip and fall, and weightlifters can drop heavyweights. These injuries can still require an ambulance trip or X-rays, and your child may have to stay home for a few days. With non-contact sports being less risky, it is highly likely that accident insurance would be able to cover many of the out-of-pocket expenses that arise, allowing you to focus on getting your child healthy again.  

Low contact or moderate risk sports and activities 

Moderate risk sports involve sports with low contact where there is some contact that results as part of the game, but contact is not a main feature of play. These typically include:  

  • Soccer 

  • Basketball 

  • Baseball 

  • Softball 

  • Flag football 

As you might expect, injuries are more common in low contact sports than in non-contact sports. Injuries like sprains, torn ligaments, and concussions are more common in these sports and activities because there is a chance of colliding with another player. Although there is more contact in these sports, they still are typically covered through accident insurance.  

High contact sports and activities   

High contact sports are sports where contact is part of the game making it impossible to play without intentionally contacting another player. Some high contact sports and activities typically include:  

  • Tackle football 

  • Hockey 

  • Wrestling 

  • Judo 

  • Boxing 

In each of these sports injuries are very common. Broken bones, torn ligaments, concussions, and dislocations are all a part of these sport and activities, and they typically happen at a higher rate than in other sports. This is why accident insurance is less likely to cover injuries that occur while playing these high contact sports. If your child is involved in one of these sports it is a good idea to look at a health care plan with lower deductibles in order to help save money and keep your child covered.  

Accident insurance for extreme sports  

Extreme sports like bungee jumping, scuba diving, and skiing have a much higher risk of injury than other sports. Not only are injuries more frequent in extreme sports, they also are more serious as well. Due to the high probability of serious injury during one of these sports, typically no accident insurance is offered for these extreme sports.  

Sports camps Insurance & Insights 

Sports camps can be a fun way for kids to spend the summer, these camps are dedicated to playing sports of all kinds. Before signing your son or daughter up for sports camp it is important to consider a couple of things. You should consider if the camp is insured or not. Many sports camps will carry their own sports camp insurance that can be used to cover injuries that occur while a child is at camp. You also should consider whether the staff is trained to keep games safe and fun for players of all abilities. As kids are learning new sports, they can injure themselves or others if they are not using proper and safe techniques.  

Accident insurance does not cover non-accidental injuries or sicknesses, it typically only covers injuries that occur as a result of a qualified accident. As such, accident insurance is meant to supplement your health care, not replace it or overlap it.  

If you are looking for more information on Accident Insurance, Guardian Direct® has many resources that you can use to help make an informed decision. Whenever you are making a choice regarding your family’s health it is important to have all of the facts. That is why we have provided you with a robust database of tips, insights, and frequently asked questions to help you make the best choice for your family.  


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Brought to you by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, investment or medical advice.(exp.09/22)

2021-117376 (03/23)