Insurance boost for grassroots football

PUBLISHED: 09:00 28 May 2013

The FA has agreed changes to mixed football age groups for 2013/14 (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

The FA has agreed changes to mixed football age groups for 2013/14 (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Latest news from the Essex FA

Adult 11v11 grassroots footballers can look forward to peace of mind during the 2013/14 campaign after The FA introduced a rule to make it mandatory for all players to be covered, through their clubs, by personal accident (PA) insurance.

And the Essex FA will be subsidising the costs for affiliated clubs.

The FA have encouraged participants to learn more about the insurance, and have worked alongside leading sports insurance broker, Bluefin Sport, in order to deliver the National Game Insurance Scheme (NGIS).

There is a minimum level of cover required, as determined locally by the Essex FA who have promised to contribute £15 towards the cost of Bluefin cover on behalf of all of affiliated clubs at Step Seven and below who require it.

Injuries are part and parcel of the game, and the vast majority are not serious. However, when very serious injuries occur they can have equally serious financial consequences for players.

Historically, many grassroots footballers have simply not been aware of their insurance position when stepping out on the field of play, which has in the past led to unexpected hardship when very serious injuries have occurred.

The Essex FA, as part of a specific reinvestment back into the heart of the local game, have absorbed the costs ‘public liability’ insurance for member clubs for several years, which has been a routine element of the yearly affiliation.

While clubs are entitled to ‘shop around’ to ensure they have the sufficient level of PA cover - a requirement of affiliation for 2013/14 - £15 will be reimbursed should clubs use The FA’s appointed broker.

Chief executive Phil Sammons explained the new cover will help to safeguard grassroots clubs against potentially large claims for compensation, and he also praised competitions such as the Braintree & North Essex Sunday League, who have also agreed to allocate stored funds towards the price of the insurance for their member clubs.

He said: “At a recent meeting it was noted that a large amount of money is being held by the county’s affiliated leagues, and discussion took place with regard to the use of these funds.

“We feel it’s beneficial to highlight the good practice of competitions like the Braintree & North Essex Sunday League, who are contributing towards their teams’ PA premiums.”

Plenty of useful information about insurance, and the insurance packages available under the NGIS, can be found at by clicking on ‘Players/Insurance’.

This includes links to purchase the Bluefin insurance. For affiliation purposes, the Essex FA require confirmation of each applicable team’s basic level of cover, and they’ll be receiving regular updates from Bluefin.

By introducing this rule, The FA are seeking to ensure that players will have at least a basic level of cover in place in the event they are very seriously injured, providing some peace of mind when playing the game.

Furthermore, personal accident insurance is cost effective and does not require an injured party to establish fault in order to receive compensation. It is hoped, therefore, that the potential for litigation between players will be reduced.

Basic personal accident cover can be purchased for £26 per team for a season, which translates to pennies per player, per game.

The FA believes the benefits of introducing this change far outweigh these very modest costs but participants are strongly encouraged to consider their insurance position and whether such cover is adequate for their specific needs, or whether they should ‘top up’ this level of cover.

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