Practice is under way for high school sports all over the area, which means athletes will be pushing hard to be the best. It also means the potential for injury. So what happens if your kid gets hurt playing high school sports?
You never want to think about an injury, but it happens a lot. Just like with car or homeowner's insurance, it's better to be safe than sorry. Before you can even step on the field at a South Bend School Corporation high school, you have to pay for their insurance.
It varies by sport -- football costs $30. If you don't sign up for it, then your kid can't play.
"Now that insurance works basically as a secondary insurance for most parents," said Joe Toth, South Bend Clay athletic director. "If you do not have insurance. then that will kick in more as a first insurance. But they have to have it, but again that's supposed to be more of a safety net."
Even a sport like cheerleading sees it share of injuries. It's best to check with your personal insurance carrier to see what is covered if your child is injured playing a sport. You may need supplemental insurance.
At a private school, such as South Bend St. Joseph's, athletic insurance is incorporated into the tuition through an insurance group called Catholic Mutual.
"It's a broad umbrella-type policy and the way that works is once the students part of the insurance covers what their insurance will cover then the Catholic Mutual steps in and picks up some of the other costs," says Eric Gohlke, St. Joseph's athletic director.
All major insurance companies carry policies to help offset injuries. Of course the cost depends on the amount of the deductible. But remember: The cheaper the premium, the lower the payout.
Here's also something to keep in mind -- you typically see the most injuries in soccer and football. Don't assume the school is covering everything. Make sure you know what your specific plan says. Report the injury right away to the coach or athletic trainer, don't wait a month and then say ‘My knee hurts.’ Schools have an accident report, get it all documented then you can submit to the insurance company for reimbursement of medical expenses.