In response to a rising demand in footballers seeking mental health treatment in the past few years, with the Professional Footballers’ Association reporting a six-fold increase in current and former players accessing mental health services between 2013 and 20181, Gallagher has introduced benefits to its professional footballers’ insurance package offering up to £10,000 towards therapy, and access to a telephone counselling service available 24 hours a day.
The product is unique in the market in that players do not need to have suffered a career-ending or career-threatening injury in order to access these services.
The enhancement complements Gallagher’s existing professional footballers’ insurance product, which includes cover for key risks players’ face on and off the field of play. As well as personal injury cover, including career-ending insurance which provides a tax-free lump sum amount payable in the event that the player (both male or female) suffers an injury, accident or illness that permanently prevents them from continuing their career, it can also offer high net worth insurance for personal assets, comprising buildings, contents and motor insurance, as well as optional cover for yachts, valuables and fine art.
As one of the world’s largest insurance brokers, Gallagher provides risk management, consultancy and insurance solutions to players, athletes, sports clubs, associations and major sports franchises globally – placing risks from over 50 countries worldwide.
Michael Owen, Partner and Head of Sport at Gallagher’s Specialty division, said: “One in four of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year and over 10% of the population will be suffering from depression at any given time 2. Mental health issues don’t discriminate, and with statistics like these, professional football clubs cannot afford to overlook the mental wellbeing of their players – and it is vital for them to have access to fast and appropriate treatment if needed.
“In recent years, there has been a seismic shift in understanding of mental health issues within the industry. The attitude toward seeking treatment for mental health suffering within football is changing, with recent initiatives such as Prince William’s ‘Heads Up’ campaign in partnership with the FA signposting support for those in need, and high-profile players speaking out about their own mental health challenges and encouraging others to do the same.
“Our comprehensive professional footballers’ insurance product provides our clients with the reassurance that all elements of their life, career and future and the full spectrum of risks and exposures have been considered - not just while competing and training, but off the field too when it comes to their homes, valuables and mental wellbeing.”