Youth sports administrators, coaches and officials may be personally liable for the actions of the organization, including any incidents that occur during play. Being well-versed in youth sports association insurance can help guard organizations and volunteers from financial disaster.
A youth sports organization of any type should purchase at least four different insurance policies, which are the following:
Accident Insurance - This pays for medical bills on behalf of injured participants. This policy assures that participants and volunteers will receive the type of medical treatment that they deserve. Also, the threat of a lawsuit being filed by an injured athlete is minimized if his/her medical bills are taken care of by the accident insurance. Be aware that many people don’t have personal medical coverage. In fact, 25% of children have no form of medical insurance. If the medical bills are not paid, the lawyers will seek damages from the youth sports organization and all those involved – directly and/or indirectly.
General Liability Insurance - This covers certain types of lawsuits alleging that a spectator or player has suffered bodily or property damage due to the negligence of the youth sports organization. This policy provides an attorney for the defense and pays for costs of settlement or adverse jury verdict. Covered persons should include the youth sports organization and respective directors, officers, employees and volunteers. Lawsuits are filed every day for injuries that occur at games and practices and during off premises non-sport activities, such as end of season parties.
Directors & Officers Liability (D&O) - This covers certain types of lawsuits (not covered by the General Liability Policy) alleging that the youth sports organization’s mismanagement has resulted in economic injury to another party or that another party’s rights under state, federal or constitutional law have been violated. Examples of types of lawsuits commonly covered include discrimination, violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act, wrongful termination or suspension of your league personnel or players, or failure to follow your own rules or bylaws. This policy also provides an attorney for the defense and pays for costs of settlement or adverse jury verdict. Covered persons should include the youth sports organization and respective directors, officers, employees and volunteers. Again, the high attorney’s fees must be paid despite the outcome of the case.
Crime Insurance - This covers a financial loss suffered by the youth sports organization as a result of embezzlement of money (or other property) by employees or volunteers. Also, this policy should cover theft of money by outsiders.
Other Insurance Policies - Some organizations may need to purchase additional insurance policies depending on their exposures. Examples of other policies to be considered include Workers’ Compensation if required by state law; Property insurance to cover buildings and contents against loss due to fire, wind, theft, vandalism, etc.; Equipment insurance to cover equipment that may move from location to location; and Auto insurance if vehicles are owned. Also, some Accident and General Liability policies have dangerous exclusions which eliminate essential coverage.
Sadler Sports & Recreation Insurance provides an exclusive team/league insurance program for organizations that train their coaches through NAYS Coach Training & Membership. The types of youth sports insurance available include General Liability, Accident, Directors & Officers Liability, Crime, and Equipment policies.
Each NAYS Coach receives $1,000,000 excess liability insurance coverage. The coverage increases to $2,000,000, with an additional $250,000 in excess accident medical insurance once the member renews his/her membership. A NAYS Coach is covered while acting in their capacity as a coach during youth sport activities, which are defined as non-scholastic sports involving participants 19 years of age and younger. In order for coverage to apply, the coach or official must be trained in the sport in question. This insurance will pay all sums up to the policy limits which a NAYS Coach becomes legally obligated to pay for claims arising out of bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury as outlined in the policy of insurance.
NAYS Select Coaches receive $2,000,000 in excess liability insurance and $250,000 in excess accident/medical insurance.
League Directors & Officers Liability coverage: Individuals who successfully complete the NAYS League Director Training & Membership receive Directors & Officers Liability coverage. Under this policy members are covered while acting in their capacity as administrators in youth sports activities if they become legally obligated to pay for claims arising out of wrongful acts in the running of the league or team, employment practices, person injury or publishers liability.
Examples of potentially covered lawsuits include:
General Liability: NAYS League Directors also receive Commercial General Liability, which covers NAYS League Directors while acting in their capacity as administrators in youth sports activities if they become legally obligated to pay for claims arising out of bodily injury, property damage and personal injury. The limit is $1,000,000 per occurrence with a $2,000,000 General Aggregate. There is a sublimit for abuse and molestation claims of $1,000,000 per occurrence with a $1,000,000 General Aggregate.
Youth sports organizations should also carry Workers Compensation, Business Auto, Umbrella Liability, Property and other coverage unique to each program. Despite the need for each youth sports organization to investigate various types of coverage, the Accident and General Liability insurance remain mainstays in the field of youth sports.
Excess General Liability: Covers NAYS Officials, but only while acting in their capacity as officials during youth sport activities, which are defined as non-scholastic sports involving participants 19 years of age and younger. This insurance will pay all sums up to the policy limits which NAYS Officials become legally obligated to pay for claims arising out of bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury as outlined in the policy of insurance.
Policy limit is $1,000,000 per occurrence with $2,000,000 general aggregate.
Please keep in mind that this information is not intended as legal advice, and whenever making decisions for your program it is always best to consult with an attorney.
National Alliance for Youth Sports, Inc
2050 Vista Parkway
West Palm Beach, Florida 33411
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