For parents, coaches, and others who care deeply about their youth athletes, scandals related to sexual and physical misconduct and abuse can be deeply upsetting. Joseph Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston office, said it well in his official statement about a recent local scandal:
“Adults who use their access to children for their own sexual gratification […] are both a danger and a disgrace. What [they do] is absolutely horrific, and the impact on [their] victims is immeasurable.”
While it can be difficult to even think about this challenging subject, it is crucial for those involved in leading, organizing, or volunteering for youth sports organizations to ensure your youth sports team insurance includes sexual abuse insurance coverage.
Sexual misconduct in youth sports is not new
While this kind of predatory and criminal behavior has been brought to light more often in recent years, sexual and physical abuse is not a new development in the youth sports landscape. There is substantial research going back many years looking at case studies of sexual misconduct in sports and how to prevent it and protect athletes.
Sexual abuse, physical abuse, and other forms of misconduct and horrific behaviors are not new in youth sports teams. It is essential that you get coverage for these situations in your insurance for youth sports organizations. This may include coverage for a breach of duty or negligence on the part of your league or team’s directors and officers, or any other type of sexual misconduct liability insurance.
Sexual abuse insurance covers a wide range of situations
A youth sports organization’s directors and officers may not be directly involved in a sexual misconduct scandal. Even then, a lawsuit can be filed if there is a reasonable belief that the organization failed to protect its youth athletes from invasion of privacy, sexual or physical abuse, or other acts of negligence or misconduct.
For example, Bishop England High School in Charleston, South Carolina, was sued in early 2021 for having windows that enabled staff to view inside student locker rooms. Subsequently, the school boarded over the windows and constructed a brick wall. Sexual misconduct liability insurance for youth sports organizations can provide funds for legal defense or actions to fix problems.
Sexual abuse allegations can occur at any time for many reasons
Let’s say you have procedures in place to ensure all your directors, officers, and volunteers are thoroughly screened and approved to work with children. As of 2018, most amateur sports organizations in the United States must have these processes in place to comply with the Safe Sport Act of 2017.
However, even with background checks, child abuse prevention training, and other requirements in place, sexual abuse can still occur. While this is the last thing anyone wants to happen, you must be prepared for any situation and protect your organization from the financial repercussions that even one allegation of sexual misconduct can cause.
Sexual abuse insurance for youth sports organizations is becoming a necessity. Get the coverage you need for the peace of mind that your youth sports team is covered, your youth athletes are safe, and your directors and officers are both protected and held accountable for taking proper care of the young people under their supervision.
Do you have any questions about youth sports insurance for your team or league? Get in touch with the experts at ESP Specialty today.