SportsEvents Magazine

SEP 2018

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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www.sportseventsmagazine.com September 2018 13 t GAME Plan oes your tournament or sports event have adequate insurance coverage? Can you recoup expenses if your event is canceled? Are you liable if a foul ball hits a spectator and causes an injury? A sports organization and its insurance carrier stand to lose a lot if they don't have the right policies and provisions in place. Approximately 7 million sports- and recreation-related injuries occur each year, and about half of those involve players ages 5 to 24, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most injuries and liabilities incurred by tournament hosts consist of spectator and participant injuries, said John M. Sadler, president of Sadler & Company, Inc., in Columbia, S.C. Spectator injuries include slips, trips and/or falls in parking lots, on sidewalks or on bleachers; stepping into holes in fields; being struck by balls; and golf cart collisions. "Less-frequent but more-severe injuries are often incurred by participants such as players, coaches, umpires and managers," Sadler said. Common participant injury scenarios are caused by lack of supervision, lack of sport-specific instruction, facility defects and faulty design, equipment defects, inadequate injury response, auto accidents involving transportation of participants and lack of emergency planning. What types of insurance do you need to ensure are in place and who's responsible for guaranteeing coverage? That depends. Let's start with the host facility. It should have its own commercial general liability and property coverage that includes legal liability to participants, employee benefits liability and sexual abuse and molestation coverage, said Lorena Hatfield, marketing resources officer for K&K Insurance Group, Inc. Next is the event host or promoter. Facilities can require event promoters to provide their own liability coverage. Liability coverage will vary depending on the size of the event and type of activity but can include general liability; directors and officers liability; property; inland marine; commercial auto; crime; participant accident; sexual abuse and molestation; and, for large events, excess liability. Smaller events usually require less coverage than larger events with a lot of participants. "This type of insurance policy can be purchased quickly and easily online from some insurance providers," Hatfield said. Sadler said if you're the party in power – such as a tournament host – the first thing to do is shift the risk of loss with a contractual transfer. "You want to have a tournament participation agreement with teams and shift the risk of loss to the teams," Sadler said. Tournament hosts should always require teams to provide evidence of both Accident and General Liability insurance. Contractual transfer is simply transferring the risk of loss and/or responsibility to pay for loss to the other party in the contract. Smart contractual transfer is not only a requirement of savvy sports insurance underwriters but may result in instant insurance discounts and lower long-term rates due to a more attractive loss history. The tournament host should specify in an agreement with the participating team – or individual participants – who is responsible for what, providing incentives to everyone involved to ensure safer practices. A simple waiver/release agreement works well for adult participants, according to Sadler. With youth tournaments, it's essential that both minors and their parents/ guardians sign waivers/releases. But don't depend on a waiver/release in lieu of General Liability insurance. Even if a waiver/release does result in a lawsuit dismissal, a legal defense may still cost up to $25,000. Tournament hosts should include a separate waiver/release in registration materials. Facility Lease Agreements Sports organizations should always review lease terms when signing a Facility Lease Agreement to ensure fairness regarding liabilities accepted and transferred. Check the Indemnification/Hold Harmless Provision that's in play governing who is contractually responsible when a spectator or player is injured and suffers damages. What does event coverage cost? Hatfield said the amount sports planners can expect to spend on insurance varies widely depending on size of events, complexity, activities taking place and limits of coverage needed. "The minimum premium for sports events coverage is $300 but can run into thousands of dollars for large events with multiple coverage needs," she said. At Sadler & Company, costs range from $161 to $566 for $100,000 Excess Medical/$2 million General Liability insurance for youth tournaments with up to 50 teams. Costs for an adult tournament with up to 50 teams range from $162 to $1,966 for the same amount of coverage, depending on the sport. Adult tournament insurance also provides an option to purchase General Liability without Excess Medical for a reduced price, Sadler said. Optional coverage may be purchased for Sex Abuse/Molestation and Non-Owned Hired Auto Liability. Other Concerns Insurance can also be provided for things you might not normally think about such as heat illness, concussions and lightning. n How to ensure you have the right insurance coverage BY TAMMY LEYTHAN D

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