Why Do I Need Sports Insurance?
Even before a coach prepares a game plan or a player steps on the court or field, there is a crucial step that needs to come first: purchasing sports insurance.
Simply put, obtaining sports insurance is the wisest way to protect all parties involved for sports and recreation organizations and their employees and volunteers against lawsuits. Purchasing sports insurance provides the organizers of the event both a safe and sound plan for protecting participants, coaches, officials, players, staff, and spectators alike in the event there is an accident.
The old adage "it's better to be safe than sorry" truly applies as sports organizations encounter a wide range of injuries and lawsuits as the numbers indicate.
Reports have shown that between nearly 1.5 to 3.5 million youth sports participants in the US sustain injuries in sports accidents, with 1.24 million kids 19-years-old or younger having to visit a hospital or emergency room for their injury in 2013 alone. While sports like football, basketball, and soccer rank as the leading cause of athletic injuries, other sports like baseball and softball are also high on the list. But it's not only the players who feel the pain. Coaches, team managers, and even event sponsors can be a dangerous liability when it comes to sports injuries. And while young athletes may actually suffer from an injury, the legal complications can result in a very painful experience without the right sports insurance coverage.
It's merely not enough to sign a waiver or release form to avoid a lawsuit these days, particularly if a minor is involved or depending on which State you live in (some States have a higher uninsured rate than others). The same can be said about general liability policies that are provided by recreation departments or leagues. In many cases, only certain employees or staff members will be covered but may not include volunteers of the sporting event leaving unpaid medical bills a sure pathway to a lawsuit by an injured participant. In the end, a sports league or event requires its own specialty insurance plan as it's very unlikely to be covered by a personal insurance policy of the parties involved.
To help ease the process of purchasing sports insurance, sports organizations should focus on these three to five different insurance policies:
Accident Insurance pays for medical bills of injured participants and covers incidents that occur before, during, and after an event. This policy includes injuries that occur to athletes during the course of play and assures both children and volunteers receive the right medical treatment.
General liability insurance covers lawsuits in the event of negligence on the part of the organization and covers the sports organization and its staff members (directors, employees, and volunteers).
Directors and Officers liability insurance pays court costs and legal penalties from lawsuits and should cover the sports organization and its members.
Crime Insurance will cover financial losses as a result of embezzlement or theft by an employee or volunteer.
Equipment Insurance is just how it sounds and covers loss of sports equipment from jerseys and uniforms, to actual sports equipment, all the way down to concessions, scoreboards, and bleachers, regardless if it's from natural causes or theft/vandalism.
After an insurance policy is selected, it's important to consider and evaluate the respective prices associated with each policy as much depends on the level of coverage, how many individuals will be covered, and the exact location of the event taking place.
Yet when it comes to signing up to buy sports insurance, the biggest advantage becomes two-fold: to provide protection from a financial standpoint of the organization or sports league and also to ensure that the participants involved in an accident or injury receive the appropriate medical care.
It's the true sign of a win-win situation and a smart move by any sports organization, team, or league.
Better safe than sorry...
I'm sure your mom has told you do before. Well, your mom is a smart lady! It's especially true when it comes to sports insurance.