Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

6 Tech Tips for Sports Organizations

Keeping you technologically safe and running smoothly

Almost every youth sports organization has a paid employee or volunteer who is responsible for managing the organization’s website, accounting system, databases, registration system, game and tournament schedules, employee and volunteer work schedules and maybe even social media accounts.

Incoming and current technical managers can benefit from the tips below on efficiency and security offered below.

  • Take stock of the technology you have. The first step in maintaining safe and functional technology is knowing exactly what you have.  Set up a spreadsheet of all your software and hardware systems. Record the product names and versions, where each was purchased and contract end dates. You’ll have all the information you need in one place – preferably where others in the organization can access it if necessary.


  • Talk to your predecessor.  If you’re the incoming tech manager, make sure to have a conversation with the outgoing manager and pick his/her brains about any past or present problems, potential upgrades, and any glitches in the operation. It’s critical that you obtain all the login information for your systems, programs and websites. It’s just as important to know who else has access to this information and to change passwords that former administrators, staff or volunteers may have.  This includes revoking administrator privileges to the outgoing director.


  • Where is everything?It’s important to learn where all the organization’s data is stored – both electronic and paper. If possible, scan paper files into PDF format for online storage. The organization’s data should not be stored on anyone’s personal computer. If multiple users need access, consider using Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, DropBox or another cloud service. They’re more secure, accessible from anywhere, and free!


  • You are your website. Maybe your responsibilities include maintaining the association’s website and managing its social media accounts.Your website is the face of your organization. Review it with a keen eye and see what needs updated and delete anything not related to the current or next year. Make sure it’s mobile responsive, which means the layout and images can be viewed correctly on a tablet or smart phone.  Make sure your site is secure, with at least 256-bit encryption.

    Think twice about letting a player’s parent offer to build and host a website and link it to your social media as an act of goodwill or a money-saving effort. All too frequently these helpful people become less eager or simply disappear as they change jobs, their kids age out of the program, move, or simply become too busy. Depending on such a person to get your website up and continuing to run smoothly can be disastrous. Better to rely on a company that provides technical and customer service when you need it.


  • Get feedback.  Who, other than parents, coaches and board members, would know what’s working and what isn’t? No one! Take the time to ask them if they’re experiencing problems registering players, making payments, etc. Ask if they have suggestions for improvement. Consider emailing a survey asking for feedback. You may not be able to implement all the suggestions, but being a good listener, taking their complaints seriously, and attending to issues quickly calms frustrations and  builds trust.

    As the tech director, you’ll be one of the most sought after people in your association. Therefore, document everything you do in a spreadsheet, from dates of technical repairs to conversations with vendors. You’ll be glad you did when someone raises questions and you have the answers at your fingertips.


  • Liability Concerns from websites and social media.  And finally, you must protect yourself from your liabilities arising from breach of confidential information due to a hacker attack, invasion of privacy, and a libelous posts on your website or social media. These risks are not adequately covered by most General Liability policies due to various exclusions. Many Directors & Officers Liability policies are now offering coverage extensions with sub limits of coverage to address these risks. Or, a stand-alone Cyber Risk policy may be purchased for associations with heavy exposure. Contact Sadler Sports & Recreation insurance for more information on these policies.

Source:  Paul Langhorst. “8 Tips for the New Sports Association Technology Director.” 29 Oct., 2015.

Little League Fraud and Embezzlement

Posted | Filed under Crime

Insider crime leads to big league problems

Vice Sports recently published a story on embezzlement and fraud schemes and apparently lax financial management system in Little League across the country. In “Little Big Crime,” Vice Sports reports volunteer staff embezzled or stole close to $2 million from within 37 Little Leagues in 2009, with 19 of those cases taking place in the last two years.

Every parent, coach, administrator and officer of a youth sports organization should read the article. The point of the story isn’t to paint Little League as a corrupt youth sport organization. The fact of the matter is that embezzlement in volunteer-run organizations and the high dollar amount of funds that go missing aren’t uncommon. It could easily be happening in your organization right under your nose.

We’ve been posting articles on fraud and embezzlement within youth sports for quite some time and offering tips on how to prevent such crimes. If I’ve heard one, I’ve heard a hundred administrators of sports organizations say it could never happen to them. Well, the first few paragraphs of the Vice Sports article illustrates just how shockingly vulnerable every organization is. Over a six year period a trusted and well-respected man serving as a trusted Little League vice president for over 15 years stole more than $200,000 before the crime was discovered.  After accounting for the interest payments on unnecessary loans he took out in the league’s name, the ultimate cost to the league was in the range of $270,000.

Protecting your organization

Needless to say, without a Crime Insurance policy, there’s little hope of ever recovering that money. Crime Insurance protects organizations from employee dishonesty, forgery and alteration, and theft of money and securities. Such a policy should be specially endorsed to cover theft by employees and officers.

It can’t be stressed strongly enough how important it is to put safeguards in place to prevent theft of registrations fees, concession profits, fund raising money and abuse of credit cards and bank accounts. If you or someone other than the person handling the finances of your organization hasn’t checked the books and bank statements lately, do it today.

And if your organization doesn’t have a Crime Insurance policy, call us today to discuss your needs and get a quote at 800- 622-7370.

Source: Aaron Gordon, “Little Big Crime:The Multimillion Dollar Little League Fraud Crisis,” 06 Oct. 2014.

Crime and Equipment Policies for Sports Organizations

The difference is important

Some administrators who make the insurance purchasing decisions for sports organizations are confused over the difference between Crime Insurance and Equipment Insurance.  They mistakenly believe that theft of equipment by outsiders or vandalism of equipment is a crime covered by a Crime Policy.  This is not correct.

Here is an easy way to distinguish between the two policies:

Equipment Insurance = Loss of sports equipment due to fire, wind, vandalism, theft, etc.

Crime Insurance = Employee/Volunteer theft of equipment or embezzlement of funds.

Of course, the above explanation is an over simplification, but it is an easy way to understand the main differences between the two policies.

Crime Insurance for Sports & Recreation Organizations

Employee/volunteer theft are more prevalent than many realize

Sports and recreation organizations can have significant assets at risk from the traditional employee or volunteer embezzlement and the modern perils of electronic fraud. Most sports organizations are not properly insured for these exposures and don’t have adequate risk management controls in place.

The Commercial Crime policy form (ISO CR 00 20 05 06 and CR 00 21 05 06) offers the following coverage parts that may be individually purchased:

Employee Dishonesty Provides coverage for employee theft of money, securities, or other property such as equipment. Employees are defined as regular employees, temporary workers, leased workers, trustees of employee benefit plans, interns, managers, directors, or trustees.

If applicable, it is critical that sports and recreation organizations request special endorsements to extend coverage to theft from volunteers, non-compensated officers and members of specified committees, specified directors and trustees on committees, partners, LLC members, computer software contractors, agents, brokers, or independent contractors.

It is also important to purchase Employee Dishonesty coverage on a blanket basis that protects against theft from all employees or others in a designated class as opposed to specified employees or others who must be individually named on the policy. Sports and recreation organizations experience a high rate of personnel turnover. It’s not uncommon for an organization to fail to update the list of specified employees.

Forgery and Alternation Provides coverage for forgery or alteration of a check, draft, or promissory note drawn against the insured’s accounts.

Money and Securities Provides coverage for theft, disappearance, or destruction of money and securities from either inside the premises/banking premises or outside the premises. Coverage may also be extended to robbery or safe burglary of other property.

Computer Fraud Provides coverage for financial loss due hacker access effecting a fraudulent transaction. An example of computer fraud occurs when company A sells services to company B. An employee of company B hacks into the computer of company A and changes the bank routing and account numbers. The next time a payment is made foElectronic crimer services, the funds are fraudulently transferred to the employee instead of company A. According to a 2008 survey by Computer Security Institute, the average financial loss due to computer fraud was $289,000.

Electronic Funds Transfer Fraud Provides coverage for financial loss due to a hacker access to a financial institution, accessing an online account, and circumventing normal online authentication controls to affect a fraudulent wire transfer. An example of this type of fraud occurs when a hacker gains bank account and password information by planting a Trojan virus in an email attachment sent to a company bookkeeper. When the attachment is opened, a keyword logger is launched that secretly obtains account and password information. The hacker accesses the online banking system and completes a fraudulent electronic wire transfer. According to a 2008 survey by Computer Security Institute, the average financial loss due to funds transfer fraud was $500,000.

Money Orders and Counterfeiting Provides coverage due to loss by good faith acceptance of money orders that are not honored or counterfeit money.

Traditional Crime Risk Management Controls

Many smaller organizations are not run as serious businesses and as a result don’t have strong risk management controls to protect against employee and volunteer dishonesty. The key to preventing insider dishonesty is separation of duties so that no single person has total control over any one process or audit procedure. Below are recommended controls:

  • Require a countersignature on all checks or on checks over a certain amount.
  • The person who reconciles the bank account should not be authorized to deposit or withdraw funds.
  • If credit cards or debit cards are used, authorized users should not be tasked with reviewing the monthly statements.
  • Keep detailed inventory records of all equipment and require a log to be maintained when equipment is assigned or checked out.
  • Create an audit committee to review all financial records, account statements, and to take an inventory of all equipment.
  • Collect checks instead of cash during fundraisers.

Electronic Crime Risk Management Controls

Pfishing scams, Trojans, key loggers, and similar techniques allow hackers to gain access to online banking transactions and to circumvent standard online authentication controls. Internal controls such as antivirus software, firewalls, and employee training are critical but don’t offer 100 percent protection. Computer Fraud and Electronic Funds Transfer Fraud coverages are strongly recommended.

Get a Quote

Contact Sadler Sports & Recreation Insurance at 800-622-7370 for a Crime Insurance quote. We have an existing Crime Insurance program available for smaller, locally-based organizations for as little as $175, which includes coverage for Employee Dishonesty, Forgery and Alteration, and Theft of Money and Securities. Larger sanctioning and governing bodies will be asked to complete an application that outlines your financial risk management practices and we will be able to provide a proposal within several days in most cases.

Insurance Policies Needed by Sports Organizations

The minimum needed for maximum benefit

Because many sports organizations are run by volunteers, they are often under-insured. Insufficient insurance coverage may be a by-product of money-saving efforts or simply a matter of not understanding the risks of exposure to the athletes, coaches, staff and volunteers, and board members

Below is a list of the most important insurance policies that may be needed by community-based sports organizations such as teams, leagues, and municipal recreation departments.
  1. Accident: Pays medical bills on behalf of injured participants such as players and staff.
  2.  General Liability: responds to lawsuits arising from bodily injury, property damage, personal/advertising injury.
  3. Directors & Officers Liability (AKA Trustees Errors & Omissions for municipal recreation departments): Responds to certain lawsuitSports orginizationss not covered by General Liability such as discrimination, wrongful suspension or termination, failure to follow your own rules or bylaws, and violation of rights of others under state, federal, or constitutional law.
  4. Property/Equipment: Covers your buildings, equipment, and contents against loss due to fire, vandalism, theft, etc.
  5. Crime: Covers employee or volunteer embezzlement of funds or theft of property; forgery or alteration of checks by outsiders, and theft of money and securities by outsiders.
  6. Workers’ Compensation: May be required by state law if three or more employees and pays benefits to injured workers for “on the job” injuries including medical bills, lost wages, disability lump sums, disfigurement lump sums, and death benefits.
  7. Business Auto: Covers liability and physical damage to owned, non owned, and hired autos.
  8. Consult with your insurance agent about other types of policies such as Liquor Liability, Cyber Liability, Media, etc.

We provide more detailed information on each of these policy types and insider tips on purchasing insurance in our article, 7 Critical Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Sports Insurance. If you have questions or want assistance in deciding which policies your organization needs, call us at (800) 622-7370.

Copyright 2002-20014, Sadler & Company, Inc.

Stealing from your local league

Yes, it’s really a crime

How can a youth sports league protect itself from embezzlement and theft by volunteers? These crime rates are  growing quicker than people may notice or care to see, and it’s no longer just a corporate problem. In a tough economy many people are losing their homes and vehicles, and deHandcuffssperate to find a means to pay for the lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed.

Unfortunately, all too often their solution isn’t just an innocent rearranging of funds, but a matter of stealing from children.  Although we have stressed the importance of risk management in local leagues for years, even national organizations such as the National Alliance for Youth Sports have begun an awareness campaign about swindling of funds in their publication, Sporting Kid Magazine.

When we speak to leagues about risk management and crime insurance for league funds, here are some of the responses we often receive:

  • “It would never happen to us.”
  • “We have measures in place for that.”
  • “I’m the only one in control of the money, and I wouldn’t take it.”

Unfortunately, we can’t dictate people’s actions or decisions.  We’ve seen too many cases of individuals who went to great lengths to appropriate funds and no one, not even the treasurer, saw what is was going on until it was too late.

Don’t let it happen to your organization. Call us at (800) 622-7370 so we can help you put the safeguards you need in place today.

Safeguarding Against Volunteer Theft

Posted | Filed under Crime

Protecting your funds and equipment

We have seen a growing number of theft occurrences in youth sports organizations by trusted directors, officers, and other volunteers.  Such theft can take the form of embezzlement or the taking of equipment.  Media accounts of such activity are Organizational embezzlementbacked up by the recent claims paid out by our insurance carriers.

The primary reasons for volunteer theft are dire financial circumstances often attributed to personal financial problems and gambling addictions.

Youth sports organizations present the perfect opportunity for theft because most aren’t run as a true business and limited or inadequate controls are put in place. These organizations are often run by a small group of volunteers who have build up a great deal of trust among one another.

Below are some common sense controls that can help to limit volunteer embezzlement and theft of equipment

  • Require a countersignature on all checks or checks over a certain amount.
  • If you allow the use of credit or debit cards, make sure that the monthly statements are reviewed by someone who is not authorized to use the card.
  • Collect checks instead of cash during fundraisers.
  • Keep detailed inventory records of all equipment and require a log to be kept when equipment is assigned or checked out.
  • Create an audit committee to review all financial records, account statements, and conduct an inventory of all equipment.

In addition to these safeguards, all sports organizations should carry a Crime Insurance policy that covers employee dishonesty, forgery and alteration, and theft of money and securities. Such a policy should be specially endorsed to cover theft by employees and officers.

Identifying Theft in Organized Sports

An insider tells why you need Crime Insurance

One of our clients wrote a fantastic article on how to prevent insider theft in youth sports organizations. Unfortunately, this insight was gained from his first-hand experience and he now wishes that he had purchased crime insurance to go along with his Accident and General Liability coverages.

This article covers Corruption cartoonnew ground on the following topics:

  • Behavioral signs of those most likely to steal
  • Warning signs that theft may be occurring
  • Overall protections that should be implemented
  • Protecting against  concessions and gate receipts theft
  • Statistics on the mindset of the embezzler

To protect against the 10% who will steal no matter what, all sports organizations need Crime Insurance. We offer a $25,000 Sports Crime Insurance policy for $175 a year.

You can read the article in it’s entirety here.

Source: Anonymous

Hotel Safety: Teams Traveling Overnight (Infographic)

Protecting athletes and staff from sex abuse/molestation incidents

 All parents have the expectation that youth sports organizations provide a safe and fun environment for the athletes. Any organization that supervises kids has a clear mandate to incorporate policies to prevent injuries of any kind. Child abuse and molestation can take place anywhere, and any program where adults supervise children is fertile ground for predators.

Most child predators are “groomers” as opposed to “grabbers” and it’s their modus operandi to earn the  trust of the child and parents prior to any abuse taking place. They create an emotional bond with the child, which works to prevent the child from reporting incidents. Youth sports programs are prime targets for perpetrators of these crimes.

Extra precautions need taken when youth sports teams travel out of town overnight for tournaments and camps. Below are basic tips to help protect young athletes from adults who intend to do them harm, and minimize the risk of coaches and chaperones being accused of improper or criminal behavior toward the children.

Hotel safety

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Please visit our Risk Management page for more sports tips and safety information.

Protecting your team and league from liability claims

Did you know that liability protection is critical for all teams and leagues? It only takes one injury-related lawsuit to financially ruin your organization. Having the right insurance protection offers you peace of mind.

Getting the right insurance coverage does not have to be complicated if you work with an agency like SADLER. The insurance experts at SADLER understand your needs and the unique risks associated with your sports or recreation organization.

To learn more about liability prevention or get a customized insurance quote, you can apply online right now or call us at 1-800-622-7370. There are no obligations. Most quotes are sent in just a few hours. Since there no application fees and we offer the most competitive rates in the industry, what do you have to lose?

Rise in Little League Crime Claims

Posted | Filed under Crime

All leagues are at risk for theft and embezzlement

The  article Crime Insurance Steps Up to Plate for Little Leagues as Thefts Rise details recent theft and embezzlement cases in Little League Baseball, Inc.  Sadler Sports Insurance clients have experienced a similar uptick in Crime Insurance claims over the past several years. In the past, we blogged about risk management controls to reduce the possibility of crime claims but there is no substitute for Crime Insurance, which provides important protection at a very reasonable cost. For most sports organizations, a $25,000 limit if offered at a premium of $175.

Source: Insurance Journal, July 5, 2011