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Sports Insurance in Australia

Lead an active life or play sports competitively? Personal accident insurance is a worthy investment to consider.

If you're a sports player or athlete, sports accident insurance can help counter injuries and accidents that can occur during training and competitions. See which insurers could cover you.

Compare sports personal accident insurance in Australia

FundMonthly Maximum BenefitMaximum % of Income CoveredMaximum Benefit PeriodWaiting PeriodApply

TAL Accelerated Protection Income Protection

$30,00070%Up to
5 years
4, 8, 13 or 26 weeks

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AAMI Income Protection

$10,00075%Up to
5 years
14, 28, 60 or 90 days

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Insuranceline Income Protection

$10,00075%Up to 5 years14, 28, 60 or 90 days

More info

Suncorp Income Protection $10,00075%Up to
5 years
14, 28, 60 or 90 days

More info

NobleOak Income Protection$25,00075%Up to age 6530 or 90 days

More info

Zurich Income Protection logo

Zurich

$12,00075%Up to
5 years
30, 60 or 90 daysMore info
MLC Life insurance logoMLC$60,00075%Up to
5 years
14, 30, 90 days, 1 year or 2 years

More info

Onepath Life Insurance logoOnePath$60,00075%Up to age 7014, 30, 60, 90, 180 days, 1 Year or 2 Year

More info

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What does sports personal accident insurance cover?

Sports accident insurance is a specific type of cover for athletes and sports players. This type of insurance is specifically designed to help offset sports risks so you can enjoy an active life. In the event of you being injured while competing you may claim benefits including:

  • Medicare gap cover. These are the medical expenses that aren't covered by Medicare. This can include elective surgeries, additional diagnostic scans, physiotherapy and other treatments that could make the difference between a partial and a full recovery. Where you are able to claim benefits from a private health insurance policy this type of cover can still pay out, although the benefits may be reduced by the amount already paid.
  • Inability to work. In the event of an injury that leaves you unable to work, either temporarily or permanently, you can claim income replacement benefits for a specified period of time.
  • Lump sum benefits. If you suffer a specific type of injury you may be awarded lump sum benefits. The size of the payout depends on the type of injury, generally expressed as a percentage of the total lump sum.

The combination of benefits makes it a versatile and practical type of policy. It can work hand-in-hand with existing insurance to specifically cover gaps and deliver an important level of cover for sports participation.

What types of sporting injuries can I get covered for?

Some plans can provide you with a lump sum payment to cover for injuries. Depending on the policy, you may be covered for:

Injury typeInjuryHow much is generally covered for these types of injuries?
FracturesHips or pelvis$10,000 - $20,000
Skull$7,000 - 15,000
Lower leg, kneecap or ankles$5,000 - $10,000
Forearm or sternum$4,000 - $8,000
Wrist, hand, foot, jaw, shoulder blade; collar bones$1,500 - $3,000
Cervical fractures e.g. neck$1,500
Ribs, cheekbones, eye sockets, nose$500 - $1,000
DislocationsHips$7,500 - $15,000
Wrist, elbow, knee, ankle$1,500 - $3,000
Shoulder$500 - $1000

You may also be able to claim lump sum benefits for specific types of injury or loss. More serious events will pay larger portions of the sum insured, while less serious ones will pay out partial amounts. In the event of multiple injuries you may be able to claim more than one partial benefit, not exceeding 100% all up.

Full vs partial benefits

Accident cover will protect you from various types of injuries, however the amount you receive will vary based on the type of injury.

Situations where you'll receive a 100% payout of your sum insured

The most serious types of injuries can pay out the full sum insured. These can include:

  • Death
  • Paraplegia or paralysis
  • Total permanent disability
  • Total permanent blindness
  • Permanent loss of multiple limb
  • Permanent and incurable insanity

Situations where you'll receive a 50-75% payout of your sum insured

Partial benefits of these percentages may be paid for injuries such as:

  • Permanent total loss of hearing
  • Total loss of a hand or single limb
  • Loss of an eye

Situations where you'll receive less than 50% payout of your sum insured

These may be as benefits such as 1% per toe lost, or as much as 40% for losing four fingers on one hand. Other injuries covered in this range can be:

  • Fractured or broken bones
  • Loss of use of limbs or joints
  • Shortening of a leg
  • Partial loss of hearing or partial blindness

In addition to these benefits, a policy may also provide specific cover for "non-Medicare expenses"

Note: These percentages are given as a general guide. For payout details in regards to your policy, make sure you consult the product disclosure statement (PDS) of your policy.

What are non-Medicare expenses?

These are costs that cannot be claimed through Medicare. Medicare is specifically designed to cover only essential treatments and costs, but these might not be enough for you to make a full recovery.

For example, a doctor might recommend knee surgery following an accident to prevent you from having a limp, but it might not be necessary. This could qualify as elective surgery, and might not be covered by Medicare. Even if it is, there could be a long waiting list until you can get the treatments done in a public hospital.

Some of the specific non-Medicare expense cover that athletes may benefit from can include:

  • Private hospital treatment
  • Physiotherapy
  • Dental treatment
  • Elective surgeries
  • Specialists and alternative treatments, such as osteopathy, naturopathy, physical therapy and more.

Generally, you will need to have been referred to a specialist by a medical practitioner in order to claim those treatment costs, and any medical expenses claimed will usually need to have been at the recommendation of a registered practitioner.

What should I look for when I select cover?

When looking at sports personal accident insurance cover, it's worth comparing policies by both price and cover. Things to look out for include:

  • The level of coverage: This specifically refers to the amount you are insured for, and how much the policy can pay out in the event of a sporting accident. If your life insurance or income protection policy doesn't cover you while playing sports, and you are using a sports personal accident policy to fill in, then your sum insured might need to be roughly equivalent. To your Medicare gap cover needs, consider the limits of any current health insurance policy, as well as the specific extras and hospital coverage it affords.
  • What you are covered for: Naturally you need to know what exactly you are covered for. Policies may vary, and it's essential to compare both the payout conditions and any exclusions which may apply.
  • Exclusions and restrictions: These can indicate how suitable a policy is for you. For example, "no professional sports cover" may be a specific exclusion that greatly affects its suitability.
  • The cost of the cover: Policies need to be within your budget, so you need to make sure you check and compare the price of any personal accident insurance plans you are considering. The cost of cover can vary based on a number of factors, including the insurance provider you choose, so it can be worth knowing about the factors affecting costs.

How are prices determined?

Your prices may include both premiums and an excess. The excess, any applicable waiting periods and policy exclusions can all have a major impact on price. Other factors determining your specific premiums can include:

What is not covered by sports accident insurance?

A range of policy exclusions may apply. Sometimes these can be very specific, such as not covering heart attacks after the age of 35, while others can be more general and commonly found. Some of the more common exclusions can be:

  • Riots or other civil commotion, or acts of war
  • Taking part in any aerial activities other than as a passenger on commercial flights
  • Any deliberately self inflicted injuries
  • Any sexually transmitted disease
  • Any criminal acts
  • While under the influence of drugs, alcohol or any medication other than those prescribed by and taken in accordance with the advice of a medical practitioner
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Directly or indirectly resulting from loss or damage to health aids or prosthetic devices. For example, the cost of damage to false teeth or injuries resulting from damage to false teeth.
  • Any psychological disorders
  • Any act of terrorism

What are some of the other limitations of this policy type?

In some other specific instances, you may not be able to claim benefits. If another individual or organisation is liable for the costs and you agree not to seek compensation, your insurer may deny claims.

For example, if you are badly injured by another athlete while competing, to the extent that they are legally liable for your injuries, you may be required to seek compensation in order to claim benefits under this type of policy. The benefits that may be payable can also be limited or reduced by other factors, depending on the benefit. For example, income replacement benefits will typically:

  • Require you to actively seek a return to employment
  • Have a specific time limit
  • Have a waiting period that applies before you can start claiming

Many policies might not cover you for taking part in or training for a professional sport, defined as where the insured derives the majority of their income from that sport. For example, a professional football player or coach would not be covered for injuries relating to football, but would still be covered for other sports. Here, you might need a specialised professionals policy.

life insurance policy, blending a range of cover types together including trauma insurance, life insurance, personal accident cover, income protection and disability benefits.

Generally, mainstream insurance providers will hesitate to insure athletes as a result of the high-risk nature of their occupation. These specialist insurers can offer similar cover, even for pro players. Many will also offer peripheral financial services, such as budget planning and investment management to help players manage finances wisely.

What can personal accident insurance do for active individuals?

If you live an active life, whether professionally or as an amateur player, a sports personal accident policy may deliver an important level of protection, especially if your existing life insurance won't cover you while playing sports. With this sort of cover, you can go all out on the field, in the surf or almost anywhere else with peace of mind.

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James Martin was the insurance editor at Finder. He has written on a range of insurance and finance topics for over 7 years. James often shares his insurance expertise as a media spokesperson and has appeared on Prime 7 News, WIN News, Insurance News, 7NEWS and The Guardian. He holds a Tier 1 General Insurance (General Advice) certification and a Tier 1 Generic Knowledge certification, both of which meet the requirements of ASIC Regulatory Guide 146 (RG146). See full bio

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