A mega class action is looming after claims AFL players were not properly insured after heavy head knocks during their time in the game.

The Herald Sun’s Michael Warner reported a number of AFL players have been dudded out of compensation despite having a number of severe illnesses

A case obtained outlined payouts for “serious mental health conditions” from concussion based injuries were virtually impossible for players to claim.

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AFL investigating CTE payouts | 02:21

“From 2009, the cover available under the AFL insurance policies has been essentially illusory, due to a very narrow TPD (total permanent disability) definition which provides that the policy will only pay out in the most catastrophic circumstances,” the case brief says.

“The effect of this is that in most if not all cases, a current or former AFL player would not be covered for serious mental health conditions that arise from concussion based injuries.

“In other words, since being drafted, AFL players have been asked to pay an annual premium in respect of the AFL insurance policies, despite these policies providing no relevant cover for serious concussion and related risks facing AFL players.”

The Herald Sun also reported that the insurance schemes set up for footballers are dubbed as “zombie policies”, with one retired star set to be a test case for the action.

It is alleged that players were led to believe by the AFL, the AFLPA and AMP that they were covered for concussion related injuries.

Retired Port gun Brad Ebert was concussed in the club’s Preliminary Final in 2020.Source: Getty Images

An AFL spokesperson said: “The health and safety of our past and present players is of paramount concern to the AFL and while we are unaware of any legal claim we welcome any further information”.

Speaking on SEN Breakfast, Melbourne great Garry Lyon declared it was a “nightmare” with a class action appearing likely in the future.

Co-host Tim Watson outlined how the game was attempting to catch up with science and medical bodies, which could force some extra rules to be changed going forward to help protect the head.

“There would’ve been an understand of those who had left the game that there would be some compensation from their insurance that they believed they had during their time in the game,” he added.

New rule will be a problem! | 00:32

The AFL has changed its own concussion rules in 2021 with players needing to be sidelined for a minimum of 12 days after an incident.

In September, AFL high-flyer Shaun Smith won a concussion damages payout after suffering brain injuries while in the game.

Smith received $1.4 million after his insurance company, MLC, recognised he had suffered a “total and permanent disablement” (TPD) after the head knocks.

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