When it comes to college athletics, sports are a lot different from the average little league team. These teams are often professionally-managed and coordinated, and they have significant financial investments attached to them. Furthermore, for all parties involved, personal, commercial and financial risks might exist. As a result, intercollegiate teams will likely need various types of insurance coverage. What are some of these policy options?
Getting the appropriate insurance for intercollegiate teams will take analysis. We're here to help you get coverage, and we want to make sure it is a success for you. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the appropriate coverage.
What Are Intercollegiate College Teams?
States define intercollegiate teams differently. However, in general, these teams are those sponsored or supported by a college or university. Finer points might apply. For example, the U.S. legal code defines intercollegiate sports as a sport played at the collegiate level for which eligibility requirements for participation by a student athlete are established by a national association for the promotion or regulation of college athletics.
So, simply put, these are usually the official sports teams of colleges. They usually are subject to rules set by both their respective universities and other national groups, such as the NCAA® or the NJCAA®. These teams can range from basketball and football teams, to track, swim, golf and other sports. They often have significant support from university funding, and also usually have the right to use official university licensing and logos.
Generally, only qualifying students can join these teams, and they usually will face a rigorous tryout and vetting process to do so. Furthermore, participants often must commit substantial time to both the team and their studies in order to remain eligible to play. Players often serve as quasi-ambassadors for the school they represent.
Intercollegiate teams are not often intramural teams or those organized by student organizations that students might play for in their spare time. Rather, they are much larger, regulated and organized teams that have to follow strict rules.
Do These Teams Differ?
An intercollegiate sport's organizational structure can look very different from campus to campus. Athletic associations frequently break teams down into different groups depending such factors as their size, funding and other statistics. Let's take a look at the NCAA's structure.
The NCAA® breaks its member programs into three divisions: D-I®, D-II® and D-III®. Each division looks roughly like this:
- D-I schools are generally thought of as the schools with the most-elite teams. They are usually the largest schools, have the largest sports programs and the most teams and athletes. Usually, they also have a lot of scholarship money available, and many can attract the most-talented athletes.
- D-II teams are the middle layer, usually mid-sized schools that have smaller athletic departments. There might have fewer sporting opportunities and less scholarship money.
- D-III teams are those that usually have the smallest athletic departments with the fewest number of sports. However, the defining factor of these schools is that they do not offer scholarship money to players.
These divisions have nothing to do with the quality of education a school offers. They have no bearing on the level of play, competition or opportunity a sports program offers, either. However, these divisions can illustrate how different each team's level of personal or financial risk might be. Therefore, each team will likely need a variety of insurance options tailored to their needs.
Getting The Right Insurance
Both college sports programs and participants themselves can benefit from specific insurance protection. Generally speaking, the most important coverage is that which can apply to injuries or disabilities players might sustain. Programs might need:
- Basic Athletics Insurance: This is coverage for most of the common injuries that players and other participants might sustain.
- Catastrophic (CAT) Athletics Insurance: Particularly devastating accidents could end an athlete's career and even create ongoing pain and suffering for them. This coverage can offer extended protection to help the player live a normal life. Besides covering medical costs, coverage can help with education, housing and extended disability benefits.
- Staff Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance: Members of the athletic department staff can receive this coverage in the event they die in an accident related to their work.
In most cases, policies can apply to all student athletes. In addition, you can choose to cover others, such as team managers, band members, drill teams and other categories of students. Furthermore, athletics departments might need other types of specialty coverage.
Before buying coverage, check with your athletic association to determine if they offer you any coverage, or if they require you to carry certain policy limits. We can help you determine the appropriate course of action to meet any insurance requirements set by the NCAA®, NAIA®, NJCAA® or other groups. We also can help schools insure their athletic intramural teams, where necessary.