Following the abolition of the Players Voluntary Insurance scheme, the GAA has announced details of an upgraded Players injury scheme as recommended by the Insurance Work Group under the Chairmanship of Brendan Dempsey. The mandatory Players Injury Scheme will cost the GAA in the region of €7.3m annually to fund and administer and will come into effect on February 1st 2004.
The initiative will be funded entirely from club and GAA resources and will offer benefits to members of GAA clubs playing Gaelic Games or performing designated duties in connection with the activities of registered clubs.
The President of the GAA, Mr Sean Kelly, welcomed the updated scheme and pointed out that while there is no legal obligation on the GAA to provide such a scheme, it will be of immense security and potential benefit to players at no direct cost to themselves. Mr Kelly added: “This is not an insurance scheme and does not seek to compensate fully for injury, but is intended to supplement any personal cover that players or club members may have themselves. We feel that this initiative will be of immense benefit to our players and members in supplementing costs arising from injuries sustained.”
He also pointed out that it was frequently overlooked that 6% of the gross gate receipts from Championship and league games is also used to help to finance the scheme which is administered by Coyle Hamilton Ltd.
The initiative will provide for benefits of up to €300,000 in the case of lifetime disability and up to €100,000 for injuries including loss of sight or disablement from gainful employment.
Contingencies such as unrecoverable medical or dental expenses, hospital expenses and loss of wages are also provided for.
Brief details of the new Injury Scheme, which is not an Insurance Scheme, are as follows:
Lifetime Disability (wheelchair for life) €300,000 in addition to any other benefit
Permanent total disablement from gainful employment €100,000
Loss of eye(s) or limb(s) or hand(s) or foot/feet €100,000
Complete & irrecoverable loss of sight one/both eyes €100,000
Complete & incurable paralysis €100,000
Complete & incurable insanity €100,000
A continental scale of benefits applies for other specified disabilities to a maximum of €50,000
Adult (or married youth) – natural causes €50,000
Youth – natural causes €25,000
Adult (or married youth) – injury €100,000
Youth – injury €50,000
Unrecoverable medical expenses to maximum of €5,000 (first €60 of each and every claim is not covered)
Physiotheraphy/sports massage etc. limited per claim to €200
Unrecoverable dental expenses to maximum of €5,000 (first €60 of each and every claim is not covered)
Stay in hospital in excess of 10 consecutive days to a maximum of 15 days – paid per day. €400
Loss of Wages:
Applicable to adults & youths in full-time employment.
Unrecoverable loss of basic/nett wages (excluding overtime/bonuses/unsociable working hours etc.) to a maximum of
· Week 1 NIL
· Weeks 2 to 4 – up to: €200
· Weeks 5 to 52 – up to; €400
A) Adult (U21 incl.) – increase from €295 to €650 per team with no maximum per Club/Unit.
B) Youth – increase from €115 to €200 per team with the maximum per Club/Unit raised from €575 to €1,200 (viz from 5 teams to 6 teams). In the event that a club has two affiliations a limit of €1,200 per affiliation will apply.
Administration: The Scheme will continue to be administered for the Association by Coyle Hamilton.
General: I am instructed to emphasise that the Injury Scheme is not Insurance and that clubs may seek increased Membership Fees from their players. However Clubs must not, under any circumstances, seek an Insurance premium from any player or other member.
The revised scheme is effective from 1st February and premiums must be paid by that date to the Co. Board Offices. I have been advised that Players will not be covered for injuries until payment is received. Please list the total number, grade and age-group of teams with your payment.
Mise, le meas,
Seán Mac Coisdealbha