DIXIE SOFTBALL FAQS
- General Questions
- The Application Process
- Accident Insurance
- General Liability Insurance
- Directors & Officers Liability Insurance
- Crime Insurance
- Equipment Insurance
- Tournament Insurance Requirements
What are the differences between the various insurance policies such as Accident, General Liability, Directors & Officers Liability, Crime, and Equipment?
The best place to go to get a “crash course” in sports insurance basics is under the Risk Management tab on the upper navigation bar of the Dixie Softball insurance website. We recommend the Risk Management entitled “How To Avoid The 7 Deadly Sins When Buying Sports Insurance.”
The $250,000 Accident policy pays covered medical bills on behalf of injured participants. It does not have a deductible. The coverage is “excess” which means that other collectable insurance such as a parent’s health insurance must respond first before the “excess” Accident policy will pay any bills. In the event that there is no existing insurance in force on the injured participant, the “excess” Accident policy becomes “primary” and pays from the first dollar up to the policy limit of $250,000.
The $2,000,000 General Liability policy protects the Dixie Softball League and its covered persons against covered lawsuits alleging injury to a spectator or player. This policy provides an attorney for your defense and will pay up to the policy limit in the event of a settlement or a jury verdict.
The $1,000,000 Directors & Officers Liability policy ($2,000,000 limit available) protects the Dixie Softball League and its covered persons against covered lawsuits alleging discrimination based on age, sex, race, or handicap; wrongful suspension or termination of league personnel or players; failure to follow your own rules or by-laws when making a decision; and other similar alleged violations of someone’s federal, state, or constitutional rights.
The $25,000 Crime policy protects a league against a monetary loss caused by theft or embezzlement by its volunteers.
The Equipment policy protects the property of a league such as sports equipment, field maintenance equipment, and small storage sheds against loss caused by perils such as fire, windstorm, theft, vandalism, etc.
Is my league required to buy all of the policies that are available?
No, a league may simply buy the Accident policy if it chooses to do so or it can buy the Accident and General Liability policies. In order to purchase the General Liability policy, the only prerequisite is that the league must have an Accident policy in force with a medical limit of at least $50,000. Otherwise, General Liability coverage would be voided in the event of injury to a sports participant and resulting lawsuit. There is no requirement that the Accident policy be purchased through the endorsed Dixie Softball/Sadler Insurance Program; however, it is probably in your best interest to do so.
Purchase of the Directors & Officers Liability, Crime, and Equipment policies are optional; however, they are highly recommended. In order to purchase these policies, there is a prerequisite that the General Liability policy must be purchased through Sadler & Company.
Does the Dixie Softball rulebook require that insurance be purchased for the regular season?
The rulebook does not require the purchase of either Accident or General Liability insurance for the regular playing season. Once again, these policies are strongly recommended. Not purchasing both of these policies on all teams prior to the first activity is a huge risk. Please note that if your league does purchase regular season coverage through Sadler & Company for all of the teams in your league, coverage is automatically provided for your All Star teams, hosting an officially sanctioned tournament and for fall softball. Such coverage meets the Dixie Softball tournament insurance requirements for travel teams and tournament hosting.
Does the Dixie Softball rulebook require the purchase of insurance prior to participation in a sanctioned subdistrict, district, state, area or world series tournament?
Yes, the purchase of a $50,000 Excess Accident policy and a $1,000,000 General Liability policy is required. Please see the rulebook for additional details and requirements. The tournament insurance requirements can be met by the purchase of league insurance on behalf of all teams prior to the start of the regular season. If regular season insurance is not purchased (it is strongly recommended), a special tournament insurance policy can be purchased through Sadler & Company on behalf of a single All Star team.
Do the insurance policies provide coverage for accidents and lawsuits that arise out of travel to another state?
Yes, coverage is provided anywhere in the United States as long as the event is league sanctioned and adult supervised and not otherwise prohibited by the Dixie Softball rulebook.
Do the policies provide coverage for scrimmages, tournaments or other play?
No, unless such play is approved by the league president and follows Dixie Softball safety rules and regulations.
Once my league applies for coverage, how long does it take for coverage to become effective?
If applying for coverage online through our website, coverage is effective immediately upon completion of the online enrollment after the website has accepted your check. An email verifying proof of coverage will be immediately sent back to the applicant. Over 90% of our clients apply online.
If applying for coverage by fax, coverage is effective upon receipt of the fully completed application and correct check amount at Sadler & Company. When faxing a check, simply make the check payable to Sadler & Company in the correct amount, sign it, photocopy it, and fax the photocopy. Keep the original check for your records
If applying for coverage by mail, coverage is effective upon receipt at Sadler & Company. Please note that the sole determining factor of the effective date is receipt at Sadler & Company and not the postmark date on the envelope.
Once my league has applied for coverage through Sadler & Company, how long will it take for us to receive our proof of coverage certificates and claim forms?
If you apply with our online option, you can immediately print your proof of coverage documents and will receive an email with links to your documents for future reference. Save this email so that you can reprint or issue additional certificates of insurance at a later date.
As a general rule once the fully completed and signed application, along with a check for the correct amount of premium are received at Sadler & Company, you should receive your Proof of Coverage Documents within 6 to 10 business days via email.
What if I don’t know the exact number of teams that will be participating prior to applying for coverage?
Very few leagues know the exact number of teams prior to the application process. It is suggested that you complete the application based on your best guess estimates and pay the appropriate premium amount. If you initially underestimated the number of teams, an additional premium will be owed with the Add/Delete form. On the other hand, if you initially overestimated the number of teams, you will receive a refund after forwarding your Add/Delete form to Sadler & Company. (Requests to delete teams must be received within 2 months of your effective date.)
Add/Delete forms may be printed from a link in your proof of coverage email, or from our website under Service for Current Clients. You can use this Add/Delete form to adjust your figures after your roster has been finalized.
Is the total premium due up front or can it be financed?
The total premium is due with your initial application and can’t be financed.
Can I make my payment by credit card?
Yes, We can accept payment via check or credit card. (Note: We can only accept payment by credit card if you are entering the application information directly into our online enrollment form.) When paying by check online the payment will be processed electronically as an ACH transaction.
When purchasing Accident insurance in the name of our league, are we required to insure all of our teams?
Yes, when applying for coverage in the name of your entire league, it is required that Accident insurance be purchased on all teams.
On the other hand, if you are not purchasing Accident insurance for the regular season on behalf of your league and if it is your intent to only purchase Accident coverage for a single tournament team or teams to meet the tournament insurance requirements, it is permissible to purchase coverage on a single team or teams under the name of your league’s All Star Team.
Is the Accident insurance coverage “excess” or “secondary”?
Yes, the Accident coverage is “excess” and requires other collectable insurance (such as parent’s health insurance) to respond first before the “excess” Accident policy will pay any benefits.
If existing insurance coverage is through an HMO, PPO, or similar arrangement, is the person filing the claim required to follow the HMO or PPO rules for obtaining benefits?
Yes, failure to follow the HMO or PPO rules for obtaining benefits can result in a reduction of any potential amounts paid under the excess Accident insurance policy.
Who are covered persons under the policy?
Coverage is automatically provided to include all registered players, coaches, scorekeepers, umpires, batboys and girls, safety officers, managers, league officers, league board of directors, employees, and other volunteers that participate on behalf of teams for which a premium has been paid.
How do we turn in a claim in the event that a participant is injured?
Claim forms may be printed from a link in your proof of ocverage email, or from our website under Service For Current Clients. The authorized team official must complete part 1 of the claim form verifying that the injury occurred during a sanctioned event as well as the section asking specific questions about how the injury occurred. The parent must complete part 2 of the claim form. The claim form is then submitted directly to the claims administrator for processing.
When purchasing insurance on behalf of my league, is it a requirement that all teams within the league are covered?
Yes, when purchasing insurance on behalf of your entire league, it is necessary that a premium is paid for all teams within your league. If this requirement is not met, coverage will be voided for the league itself and its directors and officers.
On the other hand, if you are not purchasing General Liability insurance for the regular season on behalf of your league and if it is your intent to only purchase General Liability coverage for a single tournament team or teams to meet the tournament insurance requirements, it is permissible to purchase coverage on a single team or teams under the name of your league’s All Star Team.
Who is covered by the General Liability policy?
The policy provides coverage for local leagues*, executive officers and directors while serving in their official capacity*, including coaches, assistants, managers, safety officers, players, umpires, representatives, employees and volunteer workers, but only as respects their liability arising out of authorized activities on the insured local league as such, or for authorized activities performed on behalf of the insured local league. (*Note-Coverage is provided for the league and its officers and directors only if ALL of the teams in the league are insured under this policy.)
What activities are covered?
Please see the General Liability plan description for a detailed outline of covered activities. However, as a general rule, coverage is provided for all league sanctioned and adult supervised tryouts, practices, games, outings, tournaments, scrimmages, tournaments and games against non-Dixie Softball teams, but only if such play is approved by the league president, follow Dixie Softball safety rules and regulations, and is played with players who are officially registered with such league for regular season or fall ball play.
What are some examples of activities or events that are not covered by the General Liability policy?
- Team or league activities that are contrary to the rules or directives of Dixie Softball, Inc.
- Activities on a team level that are not directly supervised by the insured or authorized team staff or that are contrary to league rules or directives.
- Any scrimmages, tournaments or other game play against non-DSI teams unless such play is approved by the league president and follows DSI safety rules and regulations.
- Leasing or subleasing of premises to non-Dixie Softball, Inc. organizations or for non-Dixie Softball related league activities such as sporting events, fairs, or other special events.
- High-risk fundraising activities which include amusement devices, fireworks, motorsports, etc. Call Sadler & Company prior to the high-risk event as coverage may be added for an additional premium charge.
- Dances and concerts used for fundraising when the attendance exceeds 2000 attendees. Call Sadler & Company prior to such dances and concerts as coverage may be added for an additional premium charge.
- Events where alcoholic beverages are served where either 1) a charge is made for the alcoholic beverage or 2) a permit or license is required by a governmental entity to be taken out in the name of the sports organization. Call Sadler & Company prior to such an event as liquor liability coverage may be added for an additional premium charge (the minimum premium will be at least $500.)
Does the policy provide coverage for lawsuits alleging sexual abuse and molestation?
Yes, coverage is provided at a limit of $1,000,000 Each Occurrence and $2,000,000 Aggregate. However, coverage for sexual abuse and molestation will not apply unless the insured team or league implements the following requirements:
- Has a system in place to perform criminal background checks on all managers, coaches, and other authorized participants in the league who have repetitive access to and close contact with minor athletes.
- Has written procedures that include sexual abuse and molestation prevention.
- Has written procedures that include a response plan for allegations of sexual abuse and molestation including a requirement that law enforcement be contacted.
The Dixie Softball policy has a $2,000,000 limit for Non-Owned/Hired Auto Liability. What is this coverage and why is it important?
The Non-Owned Auto Liability provides protection for your league (but not the individual driver) if your league is sued as a result of an automobile accident arising out of a volunteer’s use of their auto for league business (ex.: driving to buy additional equipment or carpooling players). In most states, not only can the owner of the car and negligent driver be sued, but also any organization for whose purpose the errand is being run can also be sued. Your league is “wide open” for this type of lawsuit if the owner of the car is either uninsured or carries minimal limits of coverage such as $30,000.
Hired Auto Liability provides liability protection for your league and the driver for rentals of vehicles if for league business. Please note, however, that the Collision Damage Waiver must be purchased from the rental car company to provide coverage for damage to the rental vehicle itself.
Coverage is excluded for the use of 15 passenger vans and for the driver while transporting youth or adult participants.
Why is it a requirement that Accident insurance with a limit of at least $50,000 be purchased so as not to void your General Liability policy in the event of injury to a sports participant?
The General Liability policy contains a policy provision voiding coverage for lawsuits arising out of injuries to sports participants unless an Accident policy with a limit of at least $50,000 is carried on behalf of such participants. The reason for this requirement is that if an Accident policy guarantees that the parent of an injured child will have no out of pocket medical expenses, this takes away much of the incentive for the parent to sue in the first place. Virtually every insurance company that writes sports liability in the US has such a requirement.
Are Players and Parents Required to Sign Waiver/Release Agreements?
No, this is not a requirement but is a strong recommendation. The signing of waiver/release agreements is quickly becoming a universal requirement for organized sports participation. Waiver/release forms are now required by virtually every municipal recreation department, YMCA, and health club in the U.S. as a precondition for participation. Private sports leagues should take note of this and follow their lead.
Waiver/release agreements give some protection to the insured sports organization and its covered persons against a litigation system that is out of control as evidenced by numerous frivolous lawsuits and outrageously excessive jury verdicts. While waiver/release agreements may not result in the immediate dismissal of a lawsuit where a minor is involved, they will likely reduce the amount of the settlement or jury verdict costs by up to 35%. This is of great value to you and your insurance company.
What if a parent balks at signing a waiver/release?
If your league has required the signing of a waiver/release by all parents and players (which we strongly recommend), you should hold firm on your requirement and not make exceptions for the few parents who may complain. It has been our experience that a waiver/release requirement will not drive participants away.
Should a parent complain or ask questions, you should cover the following “talking points”:
1) The litigation system in the U.S. is out of control with too many frivolous lawsuits being filed and with outrageously excessive jury awards. These excessive jury awards are scaring sports organizations into settling cases that lack merit.
2) The cost of legal defense and run away settlements and jury verdicts can drive up the cost of insurance to unaffordable levels and this can threaten the future survival of sports organizations and the availability of volunteers upon which they depend.
3) Requiring players and their parents to sign a waiver/release form helps to equalize the fairness in the legal system since players and parents must acknowledge that participation in sports does have some element of risk that cannot be totally controlled and that they assume this risk. In other words, the sports organization will do its best to provide a safe environment, but freak accidents do happen where no one is really to blame.
4) Signing a waiver/release agreement does not necessarily mean that they can’t collect damages in a lawsuit because most courts will not give waiver/release agreements full weight. The typical outcome in the context of an injury to a minor is that the use of waiver/release agreements reduces the amount of damages that are owed by up to 35%.
5) Almost all municipal recreation departments, YMCAs, and health clubs in the U.S. require the singing of a waiver/release form prior to participation and private sports organizations are now following their lead.
What is the difference between the Directors & Officers Liability policy and a General Liability policy?
This issue has caused quite a bit of confusion over the years. It is important to note that both policies cover exactly the same entities and people: the sports organization itself and its directors, officers, employees, and volunteers. However, each policy protects against a different type of lawsuit.
The General Liability policy primarily protects against lawsuits alleging the sports organization and its people have negligently caused “bodily injury” to a spectator or player. The policy also covers other types of lawsuits such as “property damage” and “personal injury” which includes slander and libel.
On the other hand, the Directors & Officers Liability policy protects against certain types of lawsuits that are not covered by the General Liability policy. The types of lawsuits that the Directors & Officers Liability policy is meant to cover include those alleging purely economic damages or that someone’s rights have been violated under state, federal or constitutional law. Examples of potentially covered lawsuits under this policy include discrimination based on race, sex, age, or handicap; wrongful suspension or termination of league personnel or players; a league’s failure to follow its own rules or by-laws when making an administrative decision, managerial negligence resulting in bankruptcy for the sports organization.
Are there any additional coverages provided by the Directors & Officers Liability policy?
Yes, the following enhancements are included in the policy.
Cyber Privacy and Client Identity Theft Included:
- Network Remediation $5,000 OR $25,000
- Loss or theft of client personal information $2,500 per person with $25,000 aggregate OR $10,000 per person with $100,000 aggregate.
If my sports organization is really only interested in protecting its directors & officers, why can’t it just purchase the $1,000,000 Directors & Officers Liability policy for $300 instead of spending all of the money that is required to purchase Accident/General Liability insurance on all participants?
There are a number of reasons why this thinking is flawed. First, since the Directors & Officers Liability policy does not cover “bodily injury,” “property damage,” and “personal injury,” it is still necessary to purchase a General Liability policy to protect the directors and officers against these types of lawsuits. For example, the directors and officers can be sued in the event of injury to a spectator or a player. Second, in order to qualify to purchase the Directors & Officers Liability policy, the General Liability must be purchased through Sadler & Company.
Is it possible to purchase Directors & Officers Liability coverage with a higher limit of coverage?
Yes, there is an option to purchase either the $1,000,000 limit of coverage for $300, or a $2,000,000 limit of coverage for $450.
Is it important for my sports organization to renew its Directors & Officers Liability policy prior to its expiration date each year?
Yes, since your Directors & Officers Liability is a “claims made” policy, it is essential that there not be any lapse in coverage on the renewal. If there is a lapse in coverage, this can result in your protection being voided in the event that an incident that arose in the past does not result in lawsuit papers being filed until after your renewal. (Please keep in mind that the expiration date of your Directors & Officers Liability policy may not be the same as the expiration date of your General Liability or Accident coverages.)
What exactly does a Crime Insurance policy cover?
This policy protects the local sports organization against a monetary loss caused by theft of money, securities, or other property (equipment, machinery, concession supplies) by dishonest volunteers. This includes forgery by an identifiable officer or volunteer. Coverage is also provided for theft of money or securities by outsiders. This policy does not cover vandalism or theft of property by outsiders. See the optional Equipment coverage if such protection is desired.
Do volunteers really steal money from organizations that serve children?
Yes, this happens much more often than anyone would like to believe. As a matter of fact, our office receives about twenty (20) phone calls per year from leagues that have lost substantial amounts of money due to theft by volunteers. It is relatively easy for a dishonest volunteer to steal from a youth sports organization since such organizations don’t have the necessary financial controls in place like most businesses do. For example, most sports organizations have inadequate safeguards for handling cash, don’t require countersignature of checks, and allow the monthly bank statement to be reconciled by someone who is also authorized to deposit or withdraw.
Is there a deductible on the Crime insurance policy?
Yes, there is a deductible of $500 per loss
How much does the Crime insurance cost?
The premium for $25,000 Crime coverage is $200 per governing Board of Directors. Coverage will expire one year from the effective date of the policy.
Is it important that the Crime policy be renewed prior to its expiration date each year?
Yes, it is absolutely essential that the Crime policy be renewed without a lapse in coverage. A lapse in coverage under this policy can void coverage for past thefts that have not yet been identified if the claim is filed after the policy renewal date. (Please keep in mind that the expiration date of your Crime policy may not be the same as the expiration date of your General Liability or Accident coverages.)
What does the Equipment policy cover?
Items that can be covered include sports equipment, uniforms, field or facility maintenance equipment, concession stand equipment, concession stock, dugouts, benches, bleachers, fences, scoreboards, lights, or small storage sheds that your league owns, leases or rents. The coverage is for loss or damage to your equipment due fire, theft, vandalism, or other specified causes (subject to actual policy terms and conditions). Payment will be made on replacement cost basis.
How soon after we apply for insurance can the coverage become effective?
Coverage would be effective the date and time that your application along with premium payment are received by Sadler & Company.
However, certain weather conditions such as tropical storms and hurricanes, wild fires, etc. in your area may prevent us from binding or issuing coverage upon receipt of the application & premium. If this happens, we will make coverage effective as soon as the insurance company allows us to do so.
When setting the value for our equipment coverage, should we insure all of our equipment and should we choose an amount equal to book value (includes depreciation) or replacement cost value?
Because your policy has a 100% co-insurance requirement, you are obligated to insure 100% of your equipment. In addition, the values that you set must be based on replacement cost valuation. This means that you should insure the equipment for an amount that would replace such equipment with a brand new piece of equipment at today’s prices. Failure to meet the policy’s 100% co-insurance requirement based on replacement cost can result in a reduced payout when a claim is filed for a partial loss.
Is it possible to insure items like bleachers, scoreboards, and fences?
Yes, even though these items are more similar to buildings as opposed to equipment, it is permissible to insure them under the policy. Please make sure that they are individually scheduled if their value exceeds $1,000 per item.
The plan description in the brochure indicates that it is permissible to insure small storage sheds. Is it also permissible to insure larger building with higher values?
In some cases it is permissible; however, please call Sadler & Company at 1-800-622-7370 to discuss such buildings on a case-by-case basis.
Do individual items need to be scheduled under the policy?
Only if their replacement cost value exceeds $1,000 per item. Items valued $1,000 or more per item must be listed on a schedule along with a brief description (including serial numbers when possible) along with the corresponding replacement cost value. Please keep in mind that the expiration date of your Equipment policy may not be the same as the expiration date of your General Liability or Accident coverages.)
How much does the Equipment coverage cost?
The premium is $2.00 per $100 of equipment coverage (subject to a $200 minimum premium). For example, if the total replacement cost of all of your equipment is $8,500, you would divide that amount by $100 and then multiply it by $2.00, which would give you a premium of $170. However, since this amount is less than the $200 minimum premium you would be charged $200.
Is there a deductible on the Equipment insurance policy?
Yes, there is a deductible of $500 per loss
Before purchasing our insurance, should we check with our insurance agent to make sure that our policies meet the minimum recommendations?
Yes, you should definitely review these requirements before purchasing your policies. If you purchase a policy that does not meet the minimum requirements of this rule, you will be required to purchase another policy before you will be eligible to participate in a sanctioned tournament.
Since the rule only applies to tournament insurance requirements, does this mean that we should not purchase insurance for our regular season teams in our league?
Absolutely not! It is strongly recommended that you purchase both Accident and General Liability insurance on all of the teams within your league for the regular season prior to your first activity. Being uninsured during the regular season is too big of a risk to take since the league and its hard working volunteers can lose everything in a lawsuit.
When buying regular season insurance for all the teams in our league, should we go ahead and make sure that the regular season insurance meets the tournament requirements?
Absolutely! If your regular season insurance meets the minimum insurance requirements of the tournament insurance rule, there will be no need to buy a special tournament policy for your all star team. Prior to your all star tournament event, simply request that your insurance agent issue a certificate of insurance that will meet the above referenced requirements including naming Dixie Softball, Inc. as “additional insured.”
If we decide to take our chances and not buy insurance during the regular season (even though this is not recommended), can we buy insurance just for a single tournament team? And if so, are we required to buy this insurance through Sadler & Company?
It is possible to purchase tournament insurance for a single all-star team from many different insurance agencies. Therefore, there is absolutely no requirement that you must purchase this coverage from Sadler & Company. You can purchase the coverage from any source that will meet the minimum recommendations as outlined above.
If we buy our regular season coverage from Sadler & Company under the endorsed Dixie Softball, Inc. program, do we have to buy a separate policy to cover our tournament all-star teams or if our league hosts a tournament?
No, as long as you purchase both the Accident and General Liability policies through the endorsed Sadler & Company/Dixie Softball Insurance Program for the regular season, such coverages automatically will provide protection for your tournament teams and if you host an officially sanctioned tournament. Just present your regular season proof of coverage certificate to the tournament credentials committee and you have met the requirements. There is no need to add Dixie Softball, Inc. as “additional insured” if you purchase your insurance through the endorsed program.
If we did not buy regular season coverage, can we purchase a tournament only policy through Sadler & Company that will meet the above referenced requirements?
Yes, Sadler & Company has a special tournament policy for all-star teams both which includes Accident and General Liability that will meet the above referenced minimum recommendations. This policy can be purchased for a single all-star team. The cost for both the Accident and General Liability policies for the tournament coverage is exactly the same as the cost for such policies during the regular playing season. Please note that this special tournament policy will be limited to “tournament coverage” only and will terminate once your teams have been eliminated from Dixie Softball sanctioned post-season tournaments. Because the coverage is limited to “tournaments only”, it will be necessary for you to include as part of your league name the words “All-Star Teams” (ex: Anytown Dixie Softball All-Star Teams).