It is crucial to have a sports insurance policy that adequately protects you, your participants, your organization, and your equipment. Not only does this shield you in case of injuries, theft, and more, it also gives you peace of mind so you can focus on what really matters.
Looking for the right sports league insurance can feel overwhelming. Let your experts at ESP Specialty help you answer this vital question: what should your sports insurance cover? Read through our recommendations below, or skip to the end for a comprehensive checklist.
Protect your participants with sports insurance coverage
You may feel that sports insurance is unnecessary for many reasons. Perhaps your organization is highly safety conscious, or you’ve never had a serious injury or related lawsuit. You may even think all your participants are covered by their parents’ health insurance. However, there are three essential things you must remember:
- Not all participants have health insurance. Studies show the uninsured rate for children is on the rise. Your players may not be protected by family health insurance.
- You can do everything in your power to promote safety and prevent injuries, but injuries can still occur. More than 5 million children under 14 are treated for sports injuries each year, and the rate and severity of injury typically increase with a child’s age.
- Even just one lawsuit can cost you tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, even if you are not found liable.
Athletic practices and events pose a high risk of injury to players and spectators. You should have general liability insurance and accident insurance to pay for potential medical bills of injured participants, property damage, legal defense, and more. Make sure to check your policy for adequate aggregate and per-incident coverage.
Insure your directors and officers against a breach of duty or negligence
Sports organization leaders face some unique risks. It can be unexpectedly easy for an accusation to come your way, often accompanied by a lawsuit. Here are some things your sports insurance policy should cover:
- A breach of duty or negligence. This can include wrongful acts, misleading statements or omissions, failure to provide services, or a mismanagement of assets.
- Cyber and employment practices liability. These types of coverages aren’t always included, but ESP Specialty can provide them upon request.
- Accusations of abuse, molestation, neglect, or misconduct. Even an accusation that leads to a lawsuit can rack up thousands in legal fees, so it’s best to ensure you are covered.
Remember, even if you trust your organization’s leaders or don’t expect to be sued by a participant or parent, sports insurance coverage is meant to protect you “just in case.” Don’t wait for something to happen: protect your financial security with adequate sports insurance.
Cover your volunteers and their actions with sports insurance
Volunteers are usually trusted community members, including parents of participants. For this reason and many others, athletic organizations may not realize your sports league insurance should cover your volunteers and their actions in addition to your organization’s leaders.
Due to the high risk of accidents, injuries, theft, and other incidents in youth sports, volunteers can be sued in many different ways. Although state and federal legislation may provide some immunity for volunteers, they are not always protected – and even if they are, proving this can still cost a fortune in legal defense fees.
Also, you cannot assume your volunteers have sufficient individual protection through their own insurance. If you have volunteers, the best way to be prepared is to get sports insurance coverage that covers volunteers and any actions they take on behalf of your organization.
Add equipment and asset protection to your sports insurance policy
Most sports organizations don’t just have people to protect. Your sports equipment and financial assets require coverage as well.
Inland marine insurance protects your league and team equipment during play, transport, and while they’re being stored off-season. Ensure you know what exclusions are in place for your coverage policy, such as weather, theft, vandalism, and other causes of loss.
Crime protection protects your organization from internal theft of funds. It may be hard to imagine your own employees or volunteers stealing financial assets from your organization, but the unfortunate reality is that it’s more common than you think. Read our blog on 3 reasons you should add crime coverage to your sports insurance policy for more information.
In summary, here is a checklist of what your sports league insurance should include:
- Adequate aggregate and per-incident coverage: sufficient coverage in case of significant medical bills, legal fees, and more.
- Limited exclusions and limitations: check that your policy does not contain exclusions for essential coverages, individuals, and scenarios that you need protected.
- General Liability: protection from many types of third-party claims, including injury, property damage, and legal defense.
- Accident Medical Insurance: ensures your youth participants will receive the medical treatment they deserve without worrying about costs (or suing you!).
- Directors & Officers Liability: insures your organization’s leaders against accusations or actual instances of a breach of duty or negligence.
- Inland Marine Insurance (Equipment Insurance): covers your league- and team-related equipment, whether during play, transportation, or storage.
- Crime Insurance: protects league or team funds from theft. Ask your insurance specialist about finding a limit structure that works best for you.
Your experts at ESP Specialty want to ensure you, your organization, and your participants are protected in any scenario. If you need cost-effective and comprehensive coverage terms for protection and peace of mind, let us know: we are ready to help.