Prospects of Sports Insurance in India

In this article, the author attempted to throw light on the absence of sports insurance in India. Cricket in India has a special place in the heart of every Indian. The rain, the hot fritters, and cricket on the television have been a cherished experience for almost every Indian. But this love for cricket does not reflect a pleasing reality towards sports in India.

Sports while encouraged and loved remains a struggle for most sportsmen and sportswomen. Sports Insurance in India is still a new and scarce idea. Sports Insurance floats the Indian market uncertainly amidst deficient sports facilities, the stigma around sports, and lack of financial assistance. Does one wonder what really are the prospects of Sports Insurance in India?

What is Sports Insurance?

In its simplest explanation, sports insurance is the insurance for sportspersons. It is sometimes also called event insurance. These insurances extend coverage from physical injuries to cancellation or other such sports-related aspects of the event.

There are largely three types of sports insurances –

  1. One that insures the sportsperson of any accidents or injuries that may occur.
  2. One that insures the sports person of any other liability such as accident from negligence or lawsuits or any other such specified event.
  3. Directors’ and officers’ liability insurance covers the aspects related to the sports business. [1]

Also Read: Role of IPR in Sports Laws

Situation in India

The situation in India is one that corresponds to deficiency in material and in the initiative. According to the report of the India Brand Equity Foundation, there is robust demand and increasing investments for insurance in general.[2] Further, it predicts that the life insurance industry is expected to increase at a CAGR of 5.3% between 2019 and 2023[3].

But despite this, there is a clear lack of sports insurance in India. Many sportspersons find it difficult to obtain insurance that would suit their specific sport-related requirements and are thus, forced by the hand of India’s lack to obtain one from overseas.[4] Further, one can go far enough to say that the concept of sports insurance is largely alien and absent in India. This is a strong setback for the engendering and budding sports industry in India.

There have been, however, attempts to introduce sports insurance by companies such as Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, Oriental Insurance Company.

Sports insurance is absolutely important for a sportsperson. The risk of injury is one that plagues a sportsperson endlessly. Any injury can result at an end of their career. Further, it can also take years and years to recover with restrictions regarding indulgence in certain physical activities. This injury can also result in a lack of income for the said time period. Thus, sports insurance is essential.

Take the case of KC Chandana who met with a bizarre career-threatening accident that rendered her on the support of crunches for few years before she could resume her training once again.[5] She is not alone. There are several other athletes who suffer or get the short end of a stick because of the lack of availability of insurance that meets the specific demands that arise from their chosen sport.

Cricket is much better placed as against other sports in India. BCCI has largely been successful compared to other sports federations in India in placing an effective insurance policy for its players.[6]

State schemes such as the Karnataka State Government’s insurance scheme called Yuva Krida Sanjeevini which is free of cost have unfortunately failed in covering a large number of sportsperson and have been defective in a lot of aspects.[7]

The lack of sports insurance implies not only a weak sports support framework, a hindrance to the development of sports but also a loss in business. The demand in India is not met and slowly this demand may be diminished or outsourced outside India. In the end, not meeting this demand is in all ways a loss for India and Indians and especially those who dream to pursue sports.

The lack of support engenders hesitation regarding providing insurance for inherently higher risky sports suck as kickboxing.

What are the prospects for Sports Insurance in India?

Sports are growing in India. It is spreading and is being supported by the governmental framework of various states and by the Union. This support is reflected in several policies such as that of the Delhi Government setting up an exclusive Sports University.[8]

The pandemic has strengthened the need for sports insurance in the country. Take for instance the cancellation of various games and events that followed the pandemic. The presence of insurance would have allowed for mitigating the loss that followed the cancellation – for both the players and the organizers[9].

The same has been expressed by Aatur Thakur, Co-Founder, and Director at Alliance Insurance Brokers in his article published in the Outlook. He highlighted the nascent stage of sports insurance in India and the comprehensive policies that could be offered under the head of sports insurance that would allow for better economic prospects.

The ripeness of time for bringing about development in the field by the various stakeholders is again highlighted by the Sports Authority of India’s decision to provide insurance to various national-level players, coaches, and staff.[10]

The prospects are all bright for sports insurance it is the lack of awareness and initiative that lacks.

Conclusion

Sports is a joy for the payers as well as the watchers. It should be encouraged from all directions. Sports insurance is another way of encouraging and securing the complexities and intricacies that a sportsperson may or may not face in the course of building a career in the field of sports. The pandemic has exposed the opportunities and needs of sportspersons in the sports industry that have for long gone unmet.

Time, market and demand are all set. A strengthened sports institution in India that supports and protects its players is an investment worth thinking about. The various stakeholders can take forward this initiative and in doing so can strengthen the security provided to players.

This article is written by Satyawati Sinha, student at NLIU, Bhopal.

Note:  The research and opinion in the articles are the author’s own views. we try to ensure that the information we post on our website is accurate. However, despite our best efforts, some of the content may contain errors. You can trust us, but please conduct your own checks too.

 

 

[1] Pocket Sense, https://pocketsense.com/sports-insurance-6640914.html, (last accessed: Aug.20,2021).

[2] IBEF, https://www.ibef.org/industry/insurance-sector-india.aspx, (last accessed: Aug.20,2021).

[3] IBEF, https://www.ibef.org/industry/insurance-sector-india.aspx, (last accessed: Aug.20,2021).

[4] LiveMint, https://www.livemint.com/Consumer/GupBXQeTVJwRFxSIxN3bKO/Athletes-scurry-for-cover-abroad-as-Indian-insurers-fail-to.html, (Last Accessed: Aug.20,2021).

[5]Times of India, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/more-sports/athletics/brave-comeback-by-high-jumper-chandana/articleshow/52058875.cms, (Last Accessed: Aug.20,2021).

[6] GIBL.IN, https://www.gibl.in/blog/miscellaneous-insurance/budding-sachins-are-well-covered-in-india-why-not-budding-baichungs/, (Aug.20,2021).

[7] GIBL.IN, https://www.gibl.in/blog/miscellaneous-insurance/budding-sachins-are-well-covered-in-india-why-not-budding-baichungs/, (Aug.20,2021).

[8] India Today, https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/news/story/delhi-government-to-open-sports-university-chief-minister-arvind-kejriwal-1606130-2019-10-04, (Last Accessed: Aug.20,2021).

[9] CNBCTV 18,https://www.cnbctv18.com/personal-finance/importance-of-sports-insurance-in-the-country-9379801.htm, (Last Accessed: Aug.20,2021).

[10] The Hindu, https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/sai-to-provide-health-accident-insurance-to-athletes-staff/article34608444.ece, (Aug.21,2021).

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