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Old 05-09-2011, 06:07 PM
Miss Foxy
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Default UFC fighters get insurance!!

Zuffa, LLC, owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship® brand, announced today that nearly 350 UFC and STRIKEFORCE independent contractor athletes will now be eligible for customized accident insurance coverage. The coverage will be underwritten by Houston Casualty Insurance Company and complement existing event coverage the company already provides its athletes. Never before has a combat sports promoter provided coverage to nearly 350 athletes, and this unprecedented policy will cover accidental injuries suffered by athletes while training, as well as non-training incidents such as automobile accidents.


To date, Zuffa event-related insurance has always met or exceeded Athletic Commission requirements and has covered all injuries sustained during competition. After exploring the purchase of “training insurance” for its athletes for several years – much of which was met with difficulty in finding an insurance company willing to insure mixed martial artists – Zuffa officials were able to secure a comprehensive plan through A+ rated Houston Casualty.

The new policy adds 24-hour worldwide medical life insurance and dental coverage, as well as emergency medical evacuation. Zuffa will pay 100 percent of the premiums for its athletes and have an employee dedicated to handling and filing all claims.

“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,” UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said. “We’re pleased to provide coverage that enables our athletes to seek and receive treatment for injuries sustained while preparing for bouts.”

“As this sport continues to grow, we have been working hard to secure additional insurance coverage so that our athletes can perform at the highest levels,” UFC President Dana White said. “We’re proud to give our athletes access to this type of insurance.”
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:08 PM
Miss Foxy
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Awesome for everyone!! Thanks Dana!!!!!
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:09 PM
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good job zuffa .. one more way in the hopes of avoiding a fighter's union ...

WAR DANA!!!!!!
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:31 PM
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I wonder how much that's going to cost...



http://www.sbnation.com/mma/2011/5/9...e-fight-injury



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Here's essentially how it would work:

Fertitta said Zuffa has paid expenses for fighters who suffered training injuries previously, but noted that by getting a carrier – Houston Casualty Insurance Company, an A+ rated carrier by A.M. Best – the new plan will guarantee that all are covered.

The insurance the fighters are being provided is separate and distinct from health care insurance many workers get through their employers, which pays for things like doctor’s visits, hospitalization and prescription drugs. Zuffa is not offering the fighters that type of coverage.

But the accident coverage would have been helpful to former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz several years ago. He injured his back in a fight and filed a claim under the UFC’s plan. But because Ortiz had done an interview in which he said the injury occurred in training, the insurance carrier denied the claim.

With the policy Zuffa is providing its fighters as of June 1, the injury Ortiz suffered would have been covered. And because it is accident insurance, the plan will cover a fighter if, for example, he slips while walking on ice and sprains an ankle.

"This will cover accidents that occur while a fighter is under contract with us," Zuffa general counsel Lawrence Epstein said. "Those accidents could occur in training or it could also be something like an automobile accident. A fighter could be driving to the grocery store and gets involved in an automobile accident and has an injury. This policy would cover him.
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I find the gesture of paying 100 percent of the premiums to be an act of generosity without precedent. However, there are still a few questions in play:

1. Do steps like these undercut need for a fighters' union? Typically the formation of a union is where guarantees between labor and management result in health care coverage. Is Zuffa undercutting the need for fighters to band together for mutual gain?

2. Will this have any effect on fighters pulling out of contests to take advantage of the insurance? Without healthcare coverage in the run-up to fights, fighters often carry injuries into the cage so they can be treated by the existing insurance coverage after the fight. Now that they're able to pull out of a fight and still receive care, will we see more withdrawals? The fighters still will not receive their purse money.

3. What are the general costs to Zuffa to launch this coverage?

4. Is it fair to say this amounts to a pay raise for UFC fighters? By cutting out what can often by huge medical expenses, UFC fighters are augmenting the reach of their purse money by not having to carry into future training camps for medical coverage.

5. What would determine "pre-fight"? In other words, are injuries covered the entire time fighters spend between fights or is there a more precise window of coverage that's anchored on fight time?

6. Is there any combat sports promoter who has ever gone this far in trying to provide healthcare coverage for fighters?

More on this story as it develops.
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:47 PM
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Kudos to Zuffa, this is great news! And they are paying 100%, that's super.

The questions are valid but I see this as a ++ for the UFC's fighters.
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:52 PM
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I'm surprised they weren't already covered by insurance.
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:21 PM
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nah....everything pre-fight.. was the fighters issues to cover...I am sure that there were some fighters that would get "something" from the UFC if they were hurt during training...

This is an excellent move!!! I can't see any fighter turning it down.. depending on the specifics...
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:34 PM
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Here's just a few of my thoughts on the questions:

1. Do steps like these undercut need for a fighters' union? Typically the formation of a union is where guarantees between labor and management result in health care coverage. Is Zuffa undercutting the need for fighters to band together for mutual gain? Of course they are! The last thing that Dana wants is for the fighters to unionize, so any benefits he can give them without a union forcing him to, the less likely fighters are to think that they need a union.

2. Will this have any effect on fighters pulling out of contests to take advantage of the insurance? Without healthcare coverage in the run-up to fights, fighters often carry injuries into the cage so they can be treated by the existing insurance coverage after the fight. Now that they're able to pull out of a fight and still receive care, will we see more withdrawals? The fighters still will not receive their purse money. This is actually a really interesting scenario. So many fighters say "if I don't fight, I don't eat", which leads me to say that they'd fight anyhow. That being said, maybe in a situation like Fitch & BJ, who apparently both had shoulder injuries coming into their last fight, maybe those guys would have both pulled out, considering that they're (most likely) paid highly enough that they're not living paycheck to paycheck.

4. Is it fair to say this amounts to a pay raise for UFC fighters? By cutting out what can often by huge medical expenses, UFC fighters are augmenting the reach of their purse money by not having to carry into future training camps for medical coverage. Absolutely, for now, though I wouldn't be surprised to see any new/renegotiated contracts to be smaller (if the UFC can swing it with managers).

5. What would determine "pre-fight"? In other words, are injuries covered the entire time fighters spend between fights or is there a more precise window of coverage that's anchored on fight time? My guess is that "pre-fight" is once you sign on the line.

6. Is there any combat sports promoter who has ever gone this far in trying to provide healthcare coverage for fighters? Not to my knowledge. The IFL had something similar, but I don't think it was this extensive.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:44 PM
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This is smart of Dana and good for the fighters! Hopefully we'll see more fights between fully healthy fighters!
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:48 PM
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In regards to the question, "what defines "pre-fight"...The article on Yahoo that I just read said that.

Quote:
“This will cover accidents that occur while a fighter is under contract with us,”
also...

Quote:
Zuffa general counsel Lawrence Epstein said. “Those accidents could occur in training or it could also be something like an automobile accident. A fighter could be driving to the grocery store and gets involved in an automobile accident and has an injury. This policy would cover him.

“It’s not a policy you would typically see in an employer-employee relationship. It’s more akin to an auto insurance scenario, where any acute injury is going to be covered. Training injuries, a guy falls down the stairs, an automobile accident, those would be covered, but it wouldn’t be something like the flu or some disease or illness. It would only cover accident-related injuries.”
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