Originally Posted by Unassisted
Q: How do insurance claims work on players? Why didn't insurance cover Ken Griffey, Jr.'s salary when he was unable to play for extended periods of time?
First the team gets a policy on a player. If the player is injured and out for a specified length of time (usually with the same injury) then the team can have the player examined by an impartial doctor or doctors to determine if he is fit to play. If he is determined not fit to play, then the team can begin to collect on the policy.
The Reds insurance policy on Mr. Griffey has a 90 day wait before paying. Jr. would have to miss 90 consecutive days with the same injury
in order for the Reds to begin collecting. So far, Jr. has not missed 90 consecutive days with the same injury so the Reds have not collected anything.
90 days was pretty standard at the time of Jr's signing. It is somewhat more difficult to obtain the insurance now so many teams have a 182 day waiting period, or about 162 games.
The Reds would be reiumbursed for 75% of Jr's salary (the Orioles had a 70% or 80% policy on Albert Belle depending on who you believe).
Position, age, health history, length of coverage, and percentage of contract covered are figured into the premium. Maximum coverage is for 5 years, though I understand many insurance companies are unwilling to offer coverage for more than 3 years.
I do remember reading something where the Reds had a 90 day "deductible". I could never really get a good answer on whether this meant the Reds had to wait 90 days or (90 waiting + 90 deductible) 180 days to collect on a Jr. injury.