Clarke & Sampson Blog

Are Participant sports injuries covered under your current GL Policy?

Posted by Trent Tuttle

Jul 23, 2015 11:40:52 AM



Risk managers and leaders of youth sports organizations are often confused or misinformed about the differences between General Liability (GL) and Accident Medical coverage. This misunderstanding could prove costly in the event of a sports related injury claim. Consider the following scenario:

A little league baseball team gathers to practice for the biggest game of the season, and they find the playing surface to be a little damp. Their volunteer coach determines the conditions to be playable, and practice goes on as scheduled. During batting practice, an outfielder slips and badly breaks her leg and ankle while shagging a fly ball. Medical expenses total $10,000 and on top of that the parents sue the league/coach for $100,000 claiming negligence… So, is your organization and its volunteers covered under this scenario?

General Liability Insurance will cover the sports team/league from any damages due to a lawsuit filed by a player or spectator who experienced bodily injury or property damage as a result of team/league negligence. Under this type of insurance the team or league will be provided with a defense attorney, and will also be covered from the costs of settlement or adverse jury verdict. Even those who are proven not negligent must pay their attorney’s fees, which can often reach upwards of $50,000.
Note: not all General Liability policies will cover the damages associated with participant injury. It is in your best interest to speak with an insurance professional about what is actually covered under your GL policy before purchasing.

Accident Medical Insurance will pay for the medical expenses of injured players or volunteers. The possibility of a lawsuit being filed by an injured participant is minimized if his or her medical fees are covered by this type of policy. Did you know that 10% of U.S. children have no form of medical insurance? This percent varies widely from state to state, with Florida and Texas having the highest rates of uninsured children. Although the amount of medically insured citizens has increased since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act it has given way to a new problem: rising health insurance costs. These higher cost mean more out-of-pocket expenses on mild injuries, which results in unpaid medical bills that may possibly bring a lawsuit.

Accident and General Liability Insurance will cover you from most issues that may arise, however you may want to consider Directors & Officers Liability, Crime, and/or Equipment Insurance. Failure to purchase any of these policies may lead way to lawsuits for managerial negligence.

At Clarke & Sampson, we recognize that insurance is not your day-to-day business. That’s why we encourage you to obtain a basic understanding of the differences between General Liability and Accident Medical Coverage. We have markets that include participant injuries under the GL limits at no additional cost to you.

For more information on how to manage risks/costs for your organization please call us at (703) 683-6601, or click the button below.


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