Latest in Sports

August 28, 2009

Fantasy Football Insurance? We get to the bottom of it.

OK, we love all things fantasy football. No shocker there. But when we heard that some company was selling fantasy football insurance, we had to get to the bottom of it. So in between watching pre-season games, re-watching pre-season games and prepping for our Week 1 Start/Sit rankings, we went straight to the source, Henry Olszewski at Fantasy Sports Insurance.

Here's our exclusive interview. Hopefully, it will shed some light on the subject. (After you read the story, be sure to weigh in with your opinion/take our poll.)

MAC BROS: Who came up with the idea for Fantasy Sports Insurance?
HENRY: It was definitely a result of the Brady injury. I had Brady and was a little disappointed Monday morning. I had a discussion in jest originally with Anthony Giaccone (President of Intermarket Insurance Agency) about being able to cover this type of loss. About 15 minutes after the conversation, Tony called me back into the office and said “we may have a market for this.” We started to explore this, found a market and FSI was born.

Did people think it was a crazy idea?
I am sure there are many people out there that do think this is a “crazy” idea, but initially it was more of a surprised look and then a reaction like “Wow, what a great idea!” So far we are seeing more of the great idea since the launch on August 1.

Exactly how does it work?
You draft your team, select a player or players you wish to protect, tell us how much money you invested into your league—league fees, online info, magazines, etc…. We then calculate the cost of covering that amount and you buy it. When you are finished with your purchase you receive a confirmation email and following that will be a certificate of insurance, with your policy number for your records.

How do you decide which players are insurable?
The list of the Top 50 pre-season ranked fantasy players was determined by taking the rankings from the top fantasy sites.

What's been the reaction so far?
Great! FSI has received a lot of press over the past week. WSJ, USA Today, CNBC, interview on ESPN First Take, etc. We have had an overwhelming response and interest in this so far. Traffic to the site is great and policies are being sold.

So we're guessing that you guys really hope that none of the top players get hurt during the season, right?
Well, we are realistic. Football is a tough game and guys get hurt. Just like any other insurance coverage there will be losses and in this case injuries. Part of the business.

Most insurance companies—whether it's car or life—have statistics that tell them who's more risky. Do you guys know whether certain players are more likely to be hurt during the season? If so, which players do you consider the riskiest?
We didn’t underwrite the players ourselves. We compiled the Top 50 list and sent that to the underwriter. They looked at each player and determined them as eligible or ineligible. Not a specific rate per player.

Do you have insurance on your personal fantasy football team?
I haven’t drafted my team just yet. But I plan on it.

How many people have signed up for fantasy football insurance so far?
Many so far, but can’t disclose specific numbers.

Here's the big question. Any tips on how we explain to our wives or girlfriend that we want to spend money to buy insurance for our fantasy football teams?
Well, that is a fine line. I think the way to approach this is to tell them you are making prudent business decision to secure “our” investment.

What other sports do you insure?
Currently we only do football, but we plan to launch basketball, hockey and baseball for their coming season.

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