What Is Sports Betting Insurance?

Many legal online sportsbooks have a regular assortment of promotions, including betting insurance, which can provide some protection if your bet is a loss.

Insurance promos can be for a single bet, such as a point spread or a player prop, or they can be for multi-leg wagers like regular or same-game parlays. Read on as we explore how it all works, what you need to watch out for and more.

What is bet insurance?

Bet insurance offers a little protection at online sportsbooks. If you lose a qualifying wager, you can get credit back for the amount of your bet, up to a maximum limit. Promos of this nature can be for single bets and parlays.

At some sportsbooks, you may have to opt in to access the insurance or select the option on the betting slip. If you lose the bet, you’ll receive back non-withdrawable site credits that you can use to place more bets. Processing times may vary, but it typically happens pretty quickly.

Why do sportsbooks offer bet insurance?

Generally, this specific type of CA sportsbook bonus is a perk to try to attract and retain customers. If bet insurance is something you like to have available, then it can be worthwhile to seek out the books that offer it.

How sportsbook insurance works

At online sportsbooks including DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM and Caesars in California, betting insurance will generally appear as a promotion if it’s available. What the sportsbook actually calls it, however, can vary. The book may list options for bet or parlay insurance, or it could offer a risk-free bet. Regardless of the exact name, here’s how it works:

  • You locate the insurance at your sportsbook of choice, review the terms and conditions, and opt in if necessary.
  • Be mindful of any terms you may need to meet with your bet — stakes, odds limits, etc.
  • Choose an option that fits and place your bet.
  • If you win, you’ll receive your profits as normal.
  • For losing bets, you’ll get a credit back based on how much you wagered. Generally, there will be a maximum limit on how much you can get back.
  • You can’t immediately withdraw the credit, but you can use it to place more bets, and any winnings from those bets are usually yours to do with as you wish.

Terms and conditions for bet insurance

Sportsbook insurance can be a great deal, but it’s important to understand the exact terms and conditions. These rules may vary by sportsbook, but some are pretty common or standard across the industry:

  • There will be a limit on how much credit you can receive if your wager loses.
    • Max of $25 or $50., etc.
  • Your bet may need to meet a minimum or maximum odds requirement.
    • No lower than -200 or no greater than +400, etc.
  • The insurance may only apply to a specific bet.
  • The insurance may only be for a specific sport or event.
    • Bet insurance on an NBA game or the Masters.
  • If the insurance is for a parlay, it may need to have a minimum number of legs.
  • Also for parlays, the insurance usually kicks in if you miss out by just one leg.
  • There may be a time limit for you to use any credits that you receive from an insurance deal.

While the above covers the main points, it’s still a good idea to review the terms for any insurance promos that you come across.

How does insurance work at online sportsbooks?

To give you an idea, here are a couple of examples. For starters, let’s say that a top sportsbook, like BetMGM CA Sportsbook or FanDuel Sportsbook California, is offering the following:

  • Bet insurance of up to $25 for single-game wagers on Wednesday’s NBA games

Suppose you then bet $25 on the LA Lakers as 2.5-point favorites over the LA Clippers. The game plays out, and the Lakers go on to win. However, they fail to cover the spread as they only win by a single point on a last-second shot. You’ve lost the bet, but thanks to the insurance, you’ll be receiving $25 in site credits that you can use to place additional wagers.

Next, let’s say that there’s an insurance promo for same-game NHL parlays:

  • Bet $10 on a four-leg NHL same-game parlay and get your money back if you lose by a single leg.

Parlays are tough to win consistently. Thanks to this promo, you can manage the risk a little better. Let’s say that you put together something like the following:

  • Los Angeles Kings +170 over the Edmonton Oilers
  • Total goals over 5.5
  • Anze Kopitar to score a goal
  • Kings to score game’s last goal
  • Total SGP odds: +800

If all of the above are correct, a $10 bet would return $80 in profit. If you miss out on one, however, such as the Oilers scoring the game’s last goal instead, you’ll at least get $10 back in site credit.

Bet insurance: Do’s and don’ts

Beyond understanding how sportsbook insurance works, you’ll also want to get to the point where you know when to pick your spots.

When to use insurance

  1. It’s available on something you plan to bet on anyway: If you’ve found a bet that you already wanted to place and it happens to qualify for an insurance promo, then it kind of amounts to a no-brainer.
  2. You’re confident about most of your bets, but you also want to speculate: Whenever you bet, you should be focusing your efforts on your most confident picks while keeping speculation to a minimum. For the occasional bets that fall into the latter category, bet insurance may end up being helpful.
  3. You want to take your chances on a parlay: As we mentioned, parlays are tough to win consistently. It’s best to reserve them for the occasional entertainment or speculation. In such situations, parlay insurance can be a nice additional perk to have.

When to avoid insurance

  1. Wagering on a sport that you have no interest in betting on: While bet insurance may be enticing, it should also align with your interests. If the only available insurance is for bets on a sport that you don’t know anything about, you can always just not bet.
  2. Taking unrealistic chances: If you use bet insurance to take off-the-wall chances, it can wind up impacting your approach to betting in general. Insurance is fine as coverage if you’re on the fence about a particular bet, but not for taking a random approach and hoping for the best.
  3. Using it on the wrong bet: Unfortunately, you won’t know the answer until your bets are settled. However, you can learn to grade your bets in order of confidence. When you have the option of where to use insurance, lean toward the bets that you’re least confident about.

Is sportsbook bet insurance a good deal?

Bet and parlay insurance are commonly available at legal online sportsbook apps. It’s a way for them to generate more buzz and interest among players, while bettors get the benefit of some extra protection. This is one of those situations that can be an OK deal for both sides. From a bettor’s perspective, getting some credits back can somewhat cushion the blow from a loss as you prepare to fight another day.

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