General Liability Insurance for Disabled Sports
Disabled teams/leagues need General Liability insurance to protect against lawsuits that arise out of events resulting in bodily injury (typically to a participant or spectator), property damage, advertising injury and negligence. The policy covers attorney fees for legal defense and pays up the policy limits in the event of a settlement or adverse jury verdict.
Accident Insurance for Disabled Sports
Handicapped sports teams/leagues need Accident insurance to pay for covered medical bills of injured participants on an “excess” basis over and above any existing family health insurance. The policy may be subject to a deductible ranging from $0 to $250 per claim.
Insurance Industry Perspective On Disabled And Adaptive Sports
Sadler Sports & Recreation Insurance does not discriminate based on the mental or physical disability of players. We are proud to insure sports leagues and teams made up of or including disabled youth and adult athletes.
And the good news is that the insurance industry generally considers such organizations to have equal or less exposure than their equivalent able-bodied sports.
However, certain premium rating issues can arise that will be handled by the various carriers on a case-by-case basis. For example, some carriers may allow adult players to play with youth players and to get the youth rate. Another example is that some sports require an able-bodied helper and some carriers may not make a separate charge for such helpers, even though they are technically participants.
Through our amateur sports program we insure teams and leagues whose players face a wide ranging level of handicaps. We have many Miracle League clients, which are made up of players with significant mental and physical impairments. We also insure disabled veteran sports teams and leagues, whose players also train and play hard in a competitive spirit.
Common Factors in Disabled Sports Insurance
- Players in wheelchairs are most at risk for sprains and strains related to overuse of the upper shoulder, elbow and wrist muscles.
- Players with Downs Syndrome are prone to loose joints and ligaments, which may result in an increased risk for neck injuries.
- Athletes with mental disorders may be prone to decreased attention spans, difficulty communicating, and poor impulse control. Players with such challenges should be monitored closely during practices and games.
Some sports require adjustments be made in the usual way of doing things in order for children and adults with disabilities to experience the rewards and satisfaction of participation. Many physically challenged individuals compete at the highest levels, but others with physical disabilities need to be more cautious and even adapt their equipment or approach to training to avoid injury.
Adapting for players with disabilities means making modifications so they can participate to the highest extent possible. Many sports use a classification system that puts athletes with physical, sensory or mental impairments on an even playing field with each other. For example, a runner with a sight impairment may be permitted to run with a guide runner.
ADA guidelines require that fitness facilities house at least one of each type of exercise equipment or machine surrounded by clear floor space that offers access to wheelchair users. However, sports facility owners and operators need to understand that there’s a difference between a facility that meets ADA requirements and one that is truly accessible. A few fitness equipment companies offer adapted equipment for use by people with disabilities, but most commercial fitness equipment is not yet designed with this in mind. Not all solutions have to be high tech. For example, weights and equipment can be labeled in Braille for the visually impaired.
Risk Management for Disabled Sports Teams and Leagues
There are particular areas of health for disabled players for which facility owner/operators, coaches, and fitness trainers of people with disabilities should be aware and may require training. Players with brain and spinal cord injuries, paralysis, amputations, muscular spasticity and other disorders often require close monitoring to reduce the risk of seizure, heat illness, pressure ulcers, and changes in blood pressure that are often associated with specific disabilities. The American Association of adaptedSPORTS Programs, offers a good resource in their guide for coaches.
Physical environments, both indoor and outdoor, have an important role in influencing physical and recreational participation by disabled people. Factors that affect accessibility include building and landscape design, equipment, information, staff training, and policies and procedures.
Sex Abuse & Molestation Concerns For Disabled Sports
Children with physical and mental disabilities are at a significantly higher risk for child sexual abuse than able-bodied youth. We offer a free guide to setting up a sex abuse/molestation program and other sex abuse prevention videos and articles for coaches, parents, players and organization administrators.
Eligible Adapted Sports
Indoor Wheelchair Football
Track & Field Events