What Is Intercollegiate Sports Insurance?

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 4:19pm
What Is Intercollegiate Sports Insurance?
SquarePeg Insurance Solutions, Inc. This post was written with the expertise of SquarePeg Insurance Solutions, Inc., a company that provides ​athletic insurance solutions.

Intercollegiate sports insurance is a policy that is specifically made with student-athletes in mind. This insurance covers a student-athlete in the unfortunate event that they suffer a catastrophic injury that impedes their ability to play their sport of choice effectively. This type of insurance is typically purchased by colleges and universities to cover their sports team. While every institution is different, these policies are typically managed and purchased through the athletic or risk management divisions.

What Benefits Does This Insurance Provide?

It really depends on the policy in question. At a minimum, you can expect these policies to cover basic accidental coverage along with liability coverage for clinics and camps. There are often higher level policies that cover more serious injuries. Catastrophic injury in the form of accidental death and dismemberment options are often available for intercollegiate insurance, along with additional special coverage for any tournaments. Most of these insurance policies offer continuing assessment analysis and staff training, along with digital and printed material related to the handbooks. Discount plans are often available for staying within their national network.

Other than covering the organization in the possibility of injury or death of a student-athlete, an intercollegiate sports insurance plan can often give quarterly claims reports, customized plans, along with complete adherence to all necessary monitoring organizations.

Which Organizations Keep Track of These Insurance Plans?

There are three major organizations that make sure insurance companies are providing what they say: the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

The NJCAA’s primary focus is on two-year colleges. They strictly enforce standards that are completely incompatible with discrimination in any form, whether it be on sex, race, ancestry, disability, sexual orientation, color, and so on. In April 2016, the NJCAA Board of Directors pushed forth a new plan. This plan is centered around five goals of competition structure, marketing, national standards, data research, and educational opportunities. 

The NAIA is a smaller organization that has numerous benefits over other associations, providing universities more autonomy by cutting back on bureaucracy, a simple set of rules to follow, along with athletics centered around a reasonable cost. The NAIA has been around since 1937 and has administered specific programs surrounding college championships. Over the last 80 years, this organization has expanded to include over 65,000 student-athletes. Also notable is that it was the first organization to cover black colleges.

The NCAA provides billions of dollars in athletic scholarships every year while also maximizing the use of academic support services, top-rate training, and access to medical care for the student-athletes. NCAA students graduate at a higher rate than other college students. Being the largest of the three organizations mentioned means that this association covers over 1,100 colleges and universities, 100 athletic conferences, and another 40 affiliated sports organizations. Nearly a half a million student-athletes fall under its umbrella.

Are Individual Health Insurance Plans Available?

You better believe it! In fact, many colleges and universities require some sort of insurance from their athletes. Ideally, these plans should cover both health and accident in their plans, with varying levels and benefits available. When looking at individual plans, the goal is to get the best bang for your buck. There should be a host of coinsurance options and various deductible plans, along with having a wide network of doctors and hospitals for the student-athlete to choose from; having it completely open is ideal.

Which Collegiate Sports Require Insurance?

Anything that is a strenuous activity should be covered by some form of insurance. Think along the lines of sports like basketball, football, tennis, swimming, and golf to start with. Different policies or organizations might manage depending on it being male or female.


Intercollegiate sports insurance provides protection to universities and their student-athletes. Policies can cover a wide range of things, but all must adhere to the guidelines set out by the big three organizations of NJCAA, NAIA, and the NCAA. Individual plans are available as well.

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