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Fantasy Check

Fantasy Indemnity


Fantasy ideas come and go like sleeper picks and place kickers, but once in a long while, a new concept emerges that has a lasting impact on the industry. Fantasy insurance could be that next big thing.

Many fantasy players invest hundreds, sometimes thousands, in their teams, only to watch their seasons fizzle when a top pick or picks incur significant injuries. Those who drafted Tom Brady last year can attest to that.

But imagine having indemnity for just that scenario. Enter

Long Island insurance brokers Anthony Giaconne and Henry Olszewski are the architects behind this innovative idea born out of personal fantasy catastrophe.

"This was a result of Tom Brady's injury last year," Olszewski said in a telephone interview. "Out of jest, some friends said there's gotta be something out there to protect these guys."

"These guys" are fantasy players like Olszewski, who had the misfortune of selecting Brady with his first pick only to watch the record-setting quarterback crumple to the field in Week 1 with a season-ending knee injury.

"This definitely hits close to home," said Olszewski, 36, who has been in the insurance business for the past three years after 10 years as a commodities broker.

There are three levels of coverage: one player missing 10 of the first 15 games; one player missing eight of the first 12 games; or three players missing a combined 18 of the first 15 games.

The top 50 ranked players according to multiple fantasy platforms are eligible for coverage, and fees associated with each tier are based on total expenditures for the particular league.

So let's say I want insurance against Randy Moss missing eight of the first 12 games. I enter the the money I spent on the league entry fee, estimated in-season transaction fees and miscellaneous expenses -- i.e. fantasy magazines, Web sites, etc. -- and FSI calculates a premium.

In this case for a total fantasy cost of $200, the premium is $23.18. Olszewski said FSI initially is targeting the mainstream fantasy player, who spends roughly $200 to $400 per league. The current cap on player disability insurance is $1,000.

"People really see the value," Olszewski said. "Being part of the Fantasy Sports Trade Assocation, we've attended conferences, and we talk about how do we get guys to stay interested. The reality is you have a terrible draft, that's one factor. But if you draft a team and lose one or two of your key players, it really puts a damper on the season."

FSI launched on Aug. 1 and currently offers only football insurance. Plans are in the works to expand to just about every other fantasy sport out there, including baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, nascar and golf.

"We've got a lot of positive response," Olszewski said. Fantasy players "are embracing the idea. They love the concept. We've enjoyed rolling out the product.

"Working in the insurance field itself, it can be pretty dry. When you come up with something like this you can pull into fantasy sports, it's fun."

By Gene Wang  |  August 24, 2009; 1:42 PM ET  | Category:  Fantasy Football Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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