Participating in youth sports nurtures children’s minds and bodies and is often the cornerstone for lasting memories of friendship and competition. What starts as a weekly after-school soccer game can grow to a competitive traveling league leading to college scholarships. Regardless of the intensity of the competition, it’s the commitment of coaches and volunteers that keep youth sports organizations running.
Today, more than 21 million children between ages 6 and 17 are playing team sports in America, and with that many children participating in youth leagues comes its fair share of broken bones, stolen equipment, damaged facilities, and claims of discrimination.
The National Alliance for Youth Sports recommends youth sports organization carry accident, general liability (GL), directors and officers liability (D&O), and crime insurance as a basic level of protection against potentially disastrous lawsuits. Additional coverage, such as property, workers’ compensation, equipment insurance, and auto insurance, may also be beneficial or even required by law depending on the organization’s activities.
General Liability (GL) Insurance
General Liability (GL) Insurance covers negligent acts resulting in bodily injury or property damage to a third party – everything from a fly ball hitting a spectator in the head to a slip and fall injury at the concessions stand. GL coverage can protect youth sports organizations from injury or damage during a game, practice, or even a post-season banquet or fundraising events.
Directors and Officers (D&O) Insurance
Directors and Officers (D&O) can protect against allegations of willful acts of harm by the youth sports organization or its leadership. This may include libel, slander, discrimination, or wrongful dismissal of a coach or volunteer. Such claims can result in costly lawsuits affecting the finances and reputation of both the organization and individual board members.
Accident Insurance covers medical expenses resulting from injuries sustained by participants or volunteers. Sports-related injuries send more than 5 million children to emergency rooms each year, so accident insurance is vital to offset medical expenses not covered by medical insurance. Plus, accident insurance may help deter liability claims if medical bills are paid thanks to the league’s accident insurance policy.
Property Insurance is vital for youth sports organizations even if they don’t own their game or practice facilities. Sports equipment is expensive, and unfortunately is a target for theft. Property insurance can cover equipment lost due to theft, vandalism, or fire. If equipment is moved to different locations, additional equipment insurance coverage may also be beneficial.
Youth sports leaders are strongly urged to discuss all potential risks with an insurance agent who understands the complexities of the organization. With the proper coverage in place, youth sports organizations can focus on the game knowing they’re covered in the event of injury or loss. Atlantic Specialty Lines has access to several products ideal for youth sports organizations and can help agents identify the best coverages for a multitude of sports.
Kelley, B., & Carchia, C. (2013, July 16). Hey, data data – swing! ESPN Magazine. Retrieved from http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/9469252/hidden-demographics-youth-sports-espn-magazine
National Alliance for Youth Sports. Youth sports insurance. Retrieved from https://www.nays.org/resources/more/youth-sports-insurance/