FOOTBALL clubs will pay more for insurance premiums after the AFL led a charge to lift medical cover to protect players.
But critics have warned it still isn't enough to fend off the huge financial burden for victims of freak on-field accidents.
It follows the tragic incident involving country footballer Beau Vernon, 23, left a quadriplegic after a sickening clash in June.
Under the new strategy, the base level of coverage will be more than doubled to $250,000.
In a letter due to be sent to every community club, AFL chief Andrew Demetriou outlines the need for an increase through the National Insurance Program for every junior and senior player. But he urged clubs to dig even deeper if they could afford it.
"Clubs still have the option to upgrade to a maximum level (of) $1 million to ensure players can receive more adequate financial assistance in the event of a life-long debilitating injury," Demetriou said.
AFL spokesman James Tonkin said the league had sought to strike a "commonsense balance" between affordability and more appropriate coverage.
"The cases this year of Beau Vernon in Victoria and Trent Rothall in South Australia highlight the need for clubs to consider upgrading their insurance," he said.
Vernon's father Daryl said it was a step in the right direction.
"I just hope clubs adhere to the advice and follow it up," he said. "It has been extremely difficult for Beau and us as a family ... you don't want to be on this side of the fence."
Former VFL player Peter Yeo, himself a quadriplegic after a fall at home, urged the AFL to do more.
"The amount suggested by the AFL is way short of what is required for an injured young paraplegic for his or her life expectancy, let alone a quadriplegic," he said. "Both the AFL and clubs should cover injured players who become paraplegics a minimum of $3 million and quadriplegics double this figure."
He said the Federal Government's proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme would be of little help.
Read more on the Herald Sun.