Car insurance for young sports professionals

Image courtesy of The RPA

30th August 2016 by Guy Horchover

Why do young professional sports people find it hard to buy car insurance? According to a survey taken in February 2011 by British insurance firm Elephant, professional footballers "are the drivers most likely to have points on their driving license for committing offenses such as speeding, running red lights and using a phone whilst driving. After consulting data from more than over three million motorists in the UK, research showed that almost a third of football players have points on their license.”

Clearly not all footballers, rugby players, cricketers, entertainers and other professional sportsmen and women are bad drivers. Professional sports people are a rarity, ProSport estimates that there are around 16,000 – 20,000 professional sports people in the UK. Due to the previous stats about convictions (and claims experience) insurers often push young sports stars into ‘the too hard to insure in-tray’. Along with the fact that they are:

• At the pinnacle of sport, in the public eye

• Pressurised to conform to the ‘image’ of a professional sportsman: Style, attitude, property

• Living the dream, playing sport is fun, though it has its pressures

It does make it easier for insurers to reject their business. However ProSport have recognised this and work with insurers that are willing to provide sports people with cover.

Professional sportspeople can drive what they want and ProSport are able to support them insuring their choice of car, after all they have worked hard to get to this point. Through our links with professional sport and having had the privilege of seeing the huge effort in planning, training and sheer commitment, that goes on behind the scenes and then seeing the execution of all those plans on match day, we know the players earn their rewards.

I was recently at an academy day for young professional rugby players. Whilst you wouldn’t think car insurance is an issue for them, it is. There are some legal points to carefully consider, here are some typical questions from this group:

Q. Should they write down their occupation as a student?

A. No, that could invalidate cover if you have a pro-contract, even if you are an academy player and attend college sometimes.

Q. Do I need business cover?

A. You will need business cover if you are driving to games/training and giving lifts to colleagues.

Q. I can get cover on my Mum/Dad’s insurance.

A. It is an option, but will not build your own No Claims Discount (NCD) and more seriously if your parent is ‘fronting’ i.e. if you are the intended main driver this is illegal and there could be serious consequences for you and your family

Q. Is it worth buying my own cover?

A. You are, on balance, better off having your own correct cover in place and building your own NCD. Although the premiums may seem more expensive initially than other options, with your own cover you can make sure that you have the right cover for your new lifestyle. When you start your career you may be focussed on cheap premiums, however, you should be focussed on the best premium for the right cover.

Q. How long will it take to build up a No Claims Discount?

A. Every claim free year builds the discount, when you have 4 or 5 years NCD it can affect the price by a significant amount.

Q. At what age will my premiums start to drop because I have more driving experience?

A. When you reach 25 years of age your premiums will start to reduce, especially if you have been claim/conviction free. It’s why many people choose No Claim Discount protection as part of their cover.

There are measures anyone can take to reduce premiums, e.g. taking a higher policy excess or getting an advanced driver course however, there are other factors that need to be assessed and reviewed if you are a young sports person buying car insurance. ProSport have been helping sports people with their insurance for over 10 years and have the experience and insurance panel to cater for all their needs – call 0333 222 1076.

Next time I will be looking at the aspiring professional that might be making a transition from a less powerful car to say a Porsche. That can be testing too!


Best wishes,

Guy Horchover

Head of ProSport