When it comes to insuring amateur sports, several key coverages are required: General Liability (GL) which should include Participant Legal Liability, Spectator Liability and Abuse & Molestation; Directors and Officers (D&O); Commercial Property; Equipment; Crime; and Accident Medical, to name a few.

Participant Legal Liability and Accident Medical Coverage

"The biggest exposure for a sports group is always going to be the players," says Will Krouslis, area assistant vice president. One major concern in today's amateur sports world involves concussions.

"The players are on the field driving the action. Participant Legal Liability coverage is at the heart of the GL policy and is designed to protect the players, coaches, volunteers and organization if a participant's injuries result in a lawsuit or damage claim. Participant Legal Liability insurance may also respond if a participant's acts cause harm to others or damage to their property.

"With Accident Medical coverage, you can avoid tapping into the Participant Legal Liability coverage and potentially avert a lawsuit. Accident Medical coverage pays the medical expenses for injured players in excess of their primary health insurance policy. If there is no primary policy, Accident Medical will act as the policy."

It's important to note that a typical GL policy often excludes athletic activity.

"Our program specifically includes athletic activity in the GL policy to provide liability coverage in the event of claims alleging negligence," explains Krouslis.

The amount of coverage an organization purchases will depend on its contractual requirements, the field facilities, jurisdictions, and the individual college, university, and school district.

"Many groups in our program purchase $1 million/$3 million in limits," says Krouslis.

Directors and Officers Insurance for Sports

D&O exposures for sports organizations include claims of improper dismissal, discrimination, harassment and other employment practices-related allegations.

"For example, a coach could sue for wrongful termination, or a player may claim that he or she was discriminated against when not included as part of an all-star team," says Krouslis.

Regarding GL or D&O lawsuits, Krouslis notes that the amateur sports space reflects the larger litigious environment.

"Sport is not an area that is claims-free. Add parents into the mix, and you will have allegations made from various angles. The competitive nature of sports makes for heated disputes that unfortunately can spill into our courts."

So before your clients hit the gym, the field or the pool, give them a 360-degree, detailed look at the exposures of amateur sports and how each coverage is designed to protect them. After all, they need to keep their focus on the game.

Tennis, anyone?

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