Sports-related brain injuries are an emerging risk for insurers: 5 things to know

Eric Oliver -   Print  |

Sports-related brain injuries insurance claims are causing policy changes in the U.S. and the U.K., according to a story on a report published by S&P Global Ratings. 

Here are five things you should know:


1. The S&P did not believe the claims would reach the magnitude of asbestos related claims, but have noticed that insurers in the U.S. are beginning to draft concussion exclusion clauses in policies.


2. A recent string of high profile lawsuits concerning concussions has highlighted the risk insurers take related to brain-injury liability claims.


3. In April 2015, 20,000 former NFL players were awarded a $1 billion settlement because they "now suffer from various progressive degenerative brain diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and chronic traumatic encephalopathy," according to the report. That number could grow as other players appeal the ruling, seeking more money to compensate for injuries sustained from playing.


4. In 2015, NFL players sustained 271 report concussions. That was 32 percent more than in 2014, and the highest in the league's four years of record keeping. The Concussion Legacy Foundation, a group dedicated to the study, treatment and prevention of brain trauma in athletes, believes that number is under representative, and will be higher as team's take a more preventative approach to concussions.


5. According to the report, brain injuries may worsen over time because brain damage can manifest years "or even decades," after it was first sustained.


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