Insurance spike could sideline some high school football players

EXETER, R.I. (WPRI) — A jump in insurance costs have sent some local high school football players to the sidelines.

Four days before a scrimmage against Lincoln, players at Exeter-West Greenwich High School were not allowed to practice because the required medical insurance jumped from $10 to $200.

“I actually thought when I read the form it was a typo,” said the team’s football coach Mike Watters. “It is a big hit and the way times are today it’s tight. The thing is there was not a lot of notification.”

The school district learned just this week that the insurance rate increased to $20 for all student athletes and $200 for football players.

Some parents may be able to foot the bill, but the school committee is concerned that not all parents will be able to. During an emergency meeting on Thursday night, the school committee decided to put a temporary moratorium on the district’s policy of requiring students to purchase the interscholastic league insurance, and instead allow them to use private insurance.

“We’re coming up with a waiver for the parents to sign and show proof of insurance as we continue researching everything and come up with a final solution to the whole situation,” said Exeter-West Greenwich School Committee Chair Teri Maia-Cicero.

Players who have a waiver signed with proof of insurance will be allowed to practice on Friday. If students can’t provide proof of insurance, they will not be able to play.

The school committee told Eyewitness News they will continue to research and check with its legal team to come up with a long term solution.

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