As the NFL and its former players do battle in the courts, the NFL is also battling to find out who was/is covering them from an insurance perspective.
The answer is not so simple and really could be the tipping point in the sports concussion issue we are facing today. The simple reason is this, if insurance companies refuse to indemnify leagues, schools, clubs, etc. for whatever reason related to injury, then how will the get coverage? If they cannot get coverage then they cannot afford to provide the sport.
The National Football League is seeking coverage from insurers that it says have refused to provide a defense as the league faces hundreds of concussion-related lawsuits from former players—but insurers are claiming they have no duty to indemnify or defend the NFL.The list of defendants in a civil case filed Aug. 15 by the NFL and NFL Properties in California Superior Court includes companies from insurance groups such as Chartis, Chubb, Fireman’s Fund, Travelers, Hartford, OneBeacon, Ace, Allstate, XL, Transatlantic, Crum & Forster and Alterra.
Alterra filed papers with the Supreme Court of the State of New York seeking a declaratory judgment that it has no duty to defend or indemnify the NFL because there is a dispute between the two about how its policy should be read and interpreted.
The NFL, meanwhile, seeks to recover more than $5 million in attorneys’ fees and other costs it has already spent in defense of numerous lawsuits from thousands of former players and spouses alleging they suffered neurological damage from head injuries as a result of neglect and fraud by the league.
From my not-so-legal eyes it appears that the insurance companies are trying to figure out whose and what polices were in place, when the players in suit were playing. However, this type of situation can play out at the college level, even high school level as well which would put some organizations in danger pending the outcome.
The most sobering fact is; if insurance companies stop covering football then the sport will be finished. It is worth noting what is happening here.