Frequently asked questions about the SODA Sports Insurance Plan for teams/leagues
- General Questions
- The Application Process
- Accident Questions
- General Liability Questions
- Directors & Officers Liability Insurance
- Crime Insurance Questions
- Equipment Insurance
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 section of the Amateur Sports Insurance Program for Teams/Leagues. We recommend the Free Report “7 Critical Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Sports Insurance.”
The Accident policy pays medical bills on behalf of injured participants. It has a corridor of $250 (for youth) and $500 (for adult) per claim. The coverage is “excess,” which means that other collectible insurance, such as the participants or parent’s health insurance, must respond first before the Accident policy will pay any bills. In the event that there is no existing insurance in force on the injured participant, the Accident policy becomes primary and pays up to the limit of coverage chosen on the application, subject to the $250 (youth) or $500 (adult) deductible.
The General Liability policy protects the insured sports organization and covered persons against certain liability claims alleging bodily injury, property damage or personal/advertising injury. This policy provides an attorney for your defense and will pay up to the policy limit chosen on the application in the event of settlement or jury verdict.
The Directors & Officers Liability policy protects the sports organization and covered persons against certain 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 Crime policy protects a sports organization against a monetary loss caused by theft or embezzlement by its volunteers.
The Equipment policy protects the property of the sports organization such as sports equipment, field maintenance equipment, and small storage sheds against loss caused by perils such as fire, windstorm, theft, vandalism, etc.
Is our sports organization required to purchase all of the policies, including Accident/General Liability, Directors & Officers Liability, Crime, and Equipment?
No. With youth, you can purchase Accident only ($100,000) or General Liability and Accident as a package. With Adult, you have the option to purchase Accident only, General Liability only, or General Liability and Accident as a package. A signed waiver/release from the adult participants will be required if Accident coverage is not purchased. Please note: in order to add an additional insured or certificate holder on your policy, you MUST purchase General Liability.
D&O, Crime, and equipment can be added as an additional policies if General Liability has been purchased.
Sexual Abuse and Molestation & Non-owned and Hired Auto can be added as an optional coverage to a policy that has General Liability.
Are higher limits of coverage available?
Yes. The basic $2,000,000 General Liability limit can be increased to $5,000,000.
If we are taking out the coverage under the name of our league, are we required to purchase insurance for all persons on all teams that participate within the league?
Yes. The reason for this requirement is that the General Liability policy protects the league and its officers and directors in addition to team volunteers. Since the league and its officers and directors will be targets in virtually any lawsuit, a premium must be collected for all rostered persons on all teams that participate under the league.
Is it possible to insure an individual team as opposed to the entire league?
Yes, if the insurance is applied for under the name of the individual team. It is not permissible to insure a single team if the application is taken out under the name of the entire league.
We strongly recommend that the insurance be taken out in the name of the entire league and a premium is paid for all persons on all teams participating on behalf of the league. In today’s litigation conscience society, the risks are just too high of a volunteer losing everything in a lawsuit.
Is the Accident/General Liability policy subject to a minimum premium?
No, the premium is based on a per team basis.
Are there any other fees charged for the Accident and General Liability policy?
How long does coverage last?
Coverage lasts for one year from the effective date for all policies under this program. As a result, if your particular sport has more than one season, a single premium may provide coverage through two seasons.
What if new teams are added after we have applied for coverage?
If new teams need to be added, you will need to purchase a separate policy for the additional teams. The new team will have its own effective date separate from the original teams purchased.
What if my sports organization only wants to buy Accident insurance and is not interested in General Liability or the other coverages?
Your sports organization can purchase Accident insurance only. Although please be aware that if a facility or property owner requires a certificate listing them as additional insured, you must have a General Liability policy in place in order to comply with this request.
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 excluded by the policy.
Is coverage provided in the event that our league has several all-star teams that travel and play other teams outside our league?
Yes, coverage is provided for your travel teams playing away from your premises as long as the activity is league sanctioned and adult supervised.
What if teams from outside of our league travel to our league to play games on an interlocking schedule?
Coverage is provided for your sports organization for such a competition when teams from outside your sports organization travels to compete against a team within your sports organization. However, the Accident/General Liability coverages are not extended to protect the players and volunteers from the other team.
Does the policy provide protection in the event that our sports organization hosts a tournament?
No, you will need to purchase hosted tournament coverage under the SODA program.
Is coverage provided if my sports organization conducts a sports camp or clinic?
On the other hand, if your sports organization conducts a sports camp or clinic and members of the public outside of your sports organization are invited, such activities are not covered by this plan. It is recommend that you purchase the special coverage for Sports Camps And Clinics under the SODA insurance program.
Can we change Team names during the policy period?
With the SODA program, you must list team names on the policy. This policy is designed to insure the specific teams with the specific rostered players on that team. If the name of the team changes or the participants within the team change, you need to purchase a new team.
What if our team has more than the maximum number of players allowed on the team?
If your team or teams have more than the maximum number of players per team then you will need to purchase another team.
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
Once my sports organization 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 or credit card. An email verifying proof of coverage will be sent to the applicant immediately.
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. Please see the other special instructions on our website about how to fax a check. Keep the original check for your records. We cannot accept checks via fax if the check/bank requires two signatures.
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 sports organization has applied for coverage through Sadler & Company, how long will it take for us to receive our proof of coverage certificates and claim forms?
As a general rule once the fully completed and signed application and check for the correct premium amount are received at Sadler & Company, you should receive your proof of coverage documents within 6 to 10 business days via email.
On the other hand, if you apply online, you can print your proof-of-coverage documents immediately 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.
Claim forms can be printed from the Service for Current Clients section of our website.
Is the total premium due up front or can it be financed?
The total premium is due with your initial application and cannot be financed.
In the event that your sports organization has multiple sports that start at varying times during the policy year, you do not have to pay in advance for all sports as each sport can be added prior to the start date. For example, if your effective date for baseball is March 1 and your sports organization plays flag football, you may wait until just prior to flag football season before adding the coverage for flag football and paying the premium that is owed for flag football.
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.
Will I be notified once Sadler & Company has received our application?
No, it is not our normal procedure to provide notification of receipt as this extra step will disrupt our workflow process and will result in additional delays in issuance of the paperwork. If you are genuinely concerned about the effective date of your coverage, you should fax the application and check and coverage will be effective on receipt of the fax at Sadler & Company. Your fax confirmation notice should serve as ample proof that the fax has been received. If you’re still concerned, we suggest that you send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting verification of receipt of your application.
You can also use our online application and proof of coverage will be emailed to you immediately.
ACCIDENT INSURANCE QUESTIONS
Does this coverage follow the participants wherever they go to practice or play?
Coverage will follow the participants of the reported team as long as they are participating in covered, sponsored and/or supervised activities of the insured including tournaments hosted by other organizations. Coverage does not apply to the transportation of participants.
Is the Accident insurance coverage “excess?”
Yes, the Accident coverage is “excess” and requires other collectible insurance (such as participant’s or parent’s health insurance) to respond first before the Accident policy will pay any benefits.
Does the Accident Plan contain a deductible?
Yes, the insurance plan contains a $250 for youth and $500 for adult corridor deductible.
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 Accident policy.
Who is covered under the policy?
What type of travel is covered under this policy?
No coverage is provided during travel. Transportation of participants is excluded.
How do we turn in a claim in the event that a participant is injured?
Claim forms can be printed from a link in your proof-of-coverage email or from our website under Service for Current Clients. The authorized team/league 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 to K&K Insurance where it is processed. All claim questions should be directed to K&K Insurance at the phone number that is printed on the claim form.
GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE QUESTIONS
Who is covered by the General Liability policy?
Coverage is provided for the sports organization itself, its officers, directors, employees, and all volunteers.
What activities are covered?
As a general rule, coverage is provided for all sports organization sanctioned and adult-supervised tryouts, practices, games, and outings.
What are some examples of activities or events that are not covered by the General Liability policy?
Examples of activities or events that are not covered by the General Liability policy include, but are not limited to:
- Transportation of athletes or participants, fireworks, concerts, haunted attractions, high-risk fundraising activities involving amusement devices (ex: rides, slides, inflatables, bungees, climbing walls, or dunk tanks), animals, or motor sports. Call Sadler & Company prior to a high-risk event for more information.
- Events where alcoholic beverages are furnished or 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. Sexual Abuse and Molestation lawsuits unless the coverage option is purchased.
- Non/Owned and Hired Auto Liability unless the coverage option is purchased.
- Leagues that host tournaments must separately purchase a hosted tournament policy under the SODA program.
- Leagues that sponsor camps with participants from outside the league must purchase a camp/clinic policy under the SODA program.
DIRECTORS & OFFICERS LIABILITY INSURANCE QUESTIONS
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; and failure to maintain adequate insurance.
Are there any additional coverages provided by the Directors & Officers Liability policy?
Yes, the following enhancements are included in the policy.
- Security Events Coverage: $7,500 sublimit for data breach resulting from hacker attack including client notification expenses and any credit monitoring required by administrative agency.
- Electronic Statements Liability: $100,000 sublimit for slander and invasion of privacy lawsuits resulting from content on your website and social media.
- Coach’s Professional Liability – Defense Coverage: Legal defense for allegations of inadequate coaching or instruction resulting in loss of a college scholarship or pro career.
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 the Accident and/or General Liability insurance on all participating teams?
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, or 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. Why must a General Liability policy be purchased through Sadler & Company before a league can purchase the Directors & Officers Liability policy? Because the Directors & Officers Liability policy could potentially cover a lawsuit alleging that the board of directors was negligent by failing to purchase Accident or General Liability insurance. As a result, the insurance company will not offer the Directors & Officers Liability policy unless such coverages are already in place.
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.)
CRIME INSURANCE QUESTIONS
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 60 phone calls each 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 as most businesses. For example, most sports organizations have inadequate safeguards for handling cash, don’t require a countersignature on checks, and allow the monthly bank statement to be reconciled by someone who is also authorized to deposit and 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 $175 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.)
EQUIPMENT INSURANCE QUESTIONS
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 a 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.
Note: There is no coverage for losses caused by wind and/or storm surge on property located in Florida, property that is two miles from the Eastern Seaboard (in states where there are barrier islands the starting point is the coastline not the barrier island), and 10 miles from the Gulf Coast.
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 (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 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.