Posted on 26 Aug 2009
Reality now meets fantasy -- when it comes to football, that is. To most die-hard fantasy football drafters, insurance comes in handcuffing studs with low-round selections.
But for those nervous about taking injury-prone players with early picks, help has arrived.
Fantasy Sports Insurance (FSI), underwritten by Lloyd's of London, is the first site offering fantasy owners a policy that recoups all costs should a key player suffer a season changing injury.
Long Island insurance brokers Anthony Giaccone and Henry Olszewski founded FSI after Tom Brady suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2008, effectively ruining Olszewki's season.
"When Brady went down, that put a damper on Henry's season," Giaccone says. "The next day he asked why we couldn't sell disability insurance for fantasy sports players."
If any of the 50 "key" players on FSI's insurable list misses significant time, the owner's investments are protected by the site's policy, just like in the NFL.
"When owners suffer major injuries on their teams, they give up and that degrades fantasy football leagues," Giaccone says. "Some commissioners have said they will make everyone take out this insurance."
For an owner whose league expenses total $150, for instance, insuring Brady would cost $18.03, based on FSI's actuarial formula.
"It's roughly a 10% charge based on aggregate numbers," Olszewski says. "We spread the risk amongst people who are more or less likely to suffer an injury. If you smooth that out, you come up with the insurance rate. "
With the NFL regular season fast approaching, FSI has garnered a substantial Web following. Olszewski says the site (fantasysportsinsurance.com) gets 1,000 to 1,500 hits daily.
But is FSI too serious for a fake game?
"We recognize that it's not for everybody, but at the end of the day, this is a product that can be used to enhance the fantasy sports experience," Giaccone says.