Zuffa Expands Fighter Insurance to Cover Training Injuries

By Sherdog.com Staff May 9, 2011
Ultimate Fighting Championship and Strikeforce parent company Zuffa, LLC, announced on Monday that the nearly 350 fighters on its roster will now be eligible for “customized insurance coverage” in addition to the company’s existing in-cage insurance.

Until now, the UFC has provided a $100,000 policy per fighter on each of its shows to cover injuries sustained during competition. However, when a fighter suffered an injury in training and was forced to bow out of a scheduled matchup, said fighter was responsible for covering those medical bills out-of-pocket. No longer, according to a Zuffa press release issued Monday.

The newly added policy ensures that Zuffa fighters -- who are not classified as employees, but independent contractors -- are protected both in and outside of the Octagon, providing coverage for injuries suffered in training, as well as “non-training injuries such as automobile accidents.” The policy will be underwritten by Houston-based specialty insurance group HCC Insurance Holdings.

Zuffa will pay 100 percent of insurance premiums for all athletes under its new “24-hour worldwide medical life insurance and dental coverage” and will have an employee working full-time on its claims. According to Monday’s release, Zuffa has eyed training insurance for its athletes “for several years” but was “met with difficulty in finding an insurance company willing to insure mixed martial artists.”

“Our athletes are some of the very best in the world and we’ve committed significant financial resources to provide them with insurance that complements the gold standard we have set for event-related coverage,” stated UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, who will host a media conference call Monday to discuss the landmark decision. “We’re pleased to provide coverage that enables our athletes to seek and receive treatment for injuries sustained while preparing for bouts.”

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