Youth sports are performed year-round in various formats, locations and throughout various ages. Injuries and accidents are almost certainly going to happen within your youth sports organization, and the administrators, coaches and officials may be held liable for those incidents. Having the right coverages to protect you, your organization and your athletes is essential. Consider the following insurance coverages to help keep your organization protected.
Accident Medical Insurance
Accident medical insurance covers medical expenses of players or staff, should they experience an injury. This could protect your business against being sued if an athlete gets injured, as the cost of medical bills may be covered by accident medical insurance.
General liability insurance responds to lawsuits of a spectator or player who has suffered bodily or property damage due to the negligence of the youth sports organization. Those covered include the youth sports organization and respective directors, officers, employees and volunteers. Believe it or not, lawsuits are filed every day for injuries at games and practices and during off-premises non-sport activities, such as end-of-season parties.
Directors and Officers (D&O) Liability
Directors and officers liability insurance covers certain lawsuits if the youth sports organization’s mismanagement has resulted in economic injury to another party or another party’s rights under state, federal or constitutional law have been violated. Covered persons should include the youth sports organization and respective directors, officers, employees and volunteers.
A common misconception is that this policy protects against all types of lawsuits. This is not true. D&O insurance will not provide coverage for bodily or personal injury of a person, nor will it provide coverage for physical damage to a third party’s property. This means it is still critical for directors and officers to be protected by a general liability policy as well.
Property insurance covers buildings and their content and equipment against losses such as fire, vandalism and theft. In addition to insurance coverage, league administrators and team coaches are responsible for equipment safety and should be following these precautions to reduce the risk of liability:
• Conduct long-term planning for the repair, refurbishing, and replacement of equipment.
• Confirm that all equipment meets current National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) requirements, as well as the requirements of the sport’s governing body.
• Inspect equipment for defects in post-season, pre-season, weekly and prior to any game or practice.
• Maintain, repair and condition regularly.
• Recondition to restore safety equipment.
• Replace safety equipment periodically per manufacturers’ recommendations.
• Keep records for documentation purposes on all of the above.
Crime insurance may cover a financial loss suffered by the youth sports organization due to embezzlement of money by employees or volunteers. This policy may cover external money theft as well.
In addition to a crime insurance policy, it’s recommended to abide by the following guidelines to reduce your risk of theft:
• Require a countersignature on all checks.
• Designate someone authorized to make deposits/withdrawals and another to reconcile the bank account.
• Anyone authorized to use credit cards or debit cards should not be permitted to review the monthly statements.
• Maintain a detailed inventory of all equipment and its usage.
• Create an audit committee to review all financial records and statements.
• Collect checks, not cash, during fundraisers.
State law may require workers’ compensation if your organization has three or more employees and pays benefits to injured workers for on-the-job injuries. This includes medical bills, lost wages, disability lump sums, disfigurement lump sums and death benefits.
Any organization required to carry workers’ compensation that fails to do so can suffer severe penalties and liabilities if a worker is injured. Be sure to check your state’s regulations before deciding.
Business auto insurance covers liability and physical damage to owned, non-owned and hired vehicles. There are three types of vehicles that are covered under business auto insurance:
• An owned vehicle—titled in the name of the sports or recreation organization
• A non-owned auto—owned by an employee or staff member and used on behalf of the organization for errands (such as making a deposit at the bank or making a purchase at the local sporting goods store)
• A hired vehicle—rented from a car rental company or borrowed
Contact Us Today!
At Bene-Marc Inc., we specialize in sports and special event insurance. We’re here to help you find the right youth sports insurance coverages for your organization. Give us a call today!