For the past several days, various wrestling websites have been reporting that WWE has instituted a new policy requiring that all in-ring performers, known to the company as independent contractors, must now carry their own insurance if they wish to work with WWE.
After speaking with several WWE sources, WrestleZone has learned some new, exclusive details behind WWE's decision to implement the new policy.
We were told that John Laurinaitis sat down with all the WWE talent this past Monday and Tuesday night at the TV tapings to inform them of the new policy. We were told some talents were told individually and most were told in a group setting.
Secondly, we were told that the insurance policy applies ONLY to in-ring performers, or independent contractors that actually wrestle in a WWE ring. Announcers, producers, and backstage agents are considered "employees" of WWE, and as such are provided with insurance directly from the company. So only the independent contractors, or in-ring performers, are required to provide their own insurance.
Additionally, we were told that WWE has not mandated a minimum amount of insurance that an independent contractor must provide. So at this point, if a performer simply has hospitalization/catastrophic insurance, for example, they are covered as far as WWE is concerned.
The reason behind this new move is two-fold. One, sources are claiming that it's somewhat of a knee-jerk reaction to UFC recently instating an insurance policy of its own. Second, Vince McMahon feels that "wrestlers" are a lot like plumbers, for example, in that if you choose to hire one, he or she must be bonded and insured independently. Vince feels that if a performer wants to work for WWE as an independent contractor, then he/she must bring everything necessary to the table in order to be one.
Lastly, we were told that this is just the initial stage of WWE's new policy, and many high level sources in the company who are close to the situation expect it to evolve as time goes on.