The risks organizations face and the preconditions for coverage
Sexual abuse and molestation is, unfortunately, a major topic of conversation within youth sports insurance in the past decade. The sports insurance carriers that write General Liability have been decimated with a number of large settlements and adverse jury verdicts.
As a result, most carriers are not willing to extend coverage for abuse/molestation unless risk management controls are in place. In other cases, the coverage is only available by tapping into custom programs for larger governing and sanctioning bodies that have significant negotiating power.
Coverage for abuse/molestation is important because all directors and officers will be sued along with the alleged abuser. The directors and officers will be sued for failure to screen out staff with criminal backgrounds, failure to respond to an allegation, and failure to implement policies and procedures such as the use of a “buddy system” and prohibition of overnight sleepovers.
As a precondition of coverage, many insurance carriers will require mandatory background checks on all staff with access to youth, as well as the adoption of a risk management awareness program.
We have more detailed information on the various types of background checks and the strengths and weaknesses of each, as well as a free and simplified Abuse/Molestation Protection Program on our risk management page.