Sports Insurance Facts

by Dennis Hartman ; Updated July 27, 2017
Sports insurance protects players and spectators alike.

Organizing or officiating a local sports league can be an exciting job. The organizers are responsible for the well-being of the participants, coaches, officials and spectators. Buying sports insurance is one way to ensure that in the event that accidents do happen there will be financial coverage for the victim and the organization.

Definition

Sports insurance, sometimes known as event insurance, is a special type of coverage offered by insurance providers. It offers financial coverage for accidents, lawsuits and damages caused by or during a sporting event. Because a sports league may be a legal or business entity, it requires its own insurance plan and is unlikely to be covered by the personal insurance policies of the individuals involved.

Types

There are three major types of sports insurance. The first is accident insurance, which covers injuries that involve spectators or participants. General liability insurance is separate from accident insurance and extends coverage in other scenarios, such as accidents resulting from negligence. Finally, directors and officers liability insurance covers the business side of the organization.

Coverage

While the level of coverage will vary from one insurance policy to the next, each of the three types of insurance offers coverage for a specific type of incident. Accident insurance covers accidents that occur before, during or after events, including injuries to athletes during play. General liability insurance is designed to cover lawsuits in the event of negligence on the part of the organization. Directors and officers insurance pays court costs and legal penalties arising from lawsuits, such as discrimination or wrongful termination.

Advantages

The biggest advantage of sports insurance is its protection for the financial health of a sports league or organization. Even a well funded league could quickly fall into financial turmoil after just a single lawsuit. This could force the league to terminate employees or suspend operations altogether. The high cost of legal defense, coupled with the number of people who may rely on a league for their incomes, makes sports insurance a necessity. Sports insurance also ensures that participants who are injured, during play, can receive medical treatment promptly, regardless of their personal medical insurance coverage.

Drawbacks

The biggest drawback to getting sports insurance is its cost. Prices depend on the level of coverage, along with the number of participants, the location and condition of the facilities. Once an organization has sports insurance, it may need to enforce certain provisions, such as taking security measures to prevent unauthorized (and uninsured) members of the public from entering the field during play or mandating physical evaluations for athletes.

Photo Credits

  • baseball kids image by Linda Mattson from Fotolia.com