According to statistics from the National SAFE KIDS Campaign and the American Academy of Pediatrics, 3.5 million minors age 14 and below get injured every year playing sports and participating in recreational activities.
Sports activities can be fraught with the risk of injury. Therefore, it's beneficial for youth sports organizations to hold comprehensive accident and health insurance policies.
Many organizations might feel they are protected through waivers, especially if they do not have a history of injuries and legal action. The truth is that any youth sports league, club, or premises can be at risk if it does not purchase additional coverage.
With the right insurance, youth sports organizations can be confident that a personal injury claim won't come out of left field and potentially impact their finances. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about why youth sports organizations may need accident and health insurance.
Sports-Related Accidents Are a Leading Cause of Injury in Youths
One of the reasons why holding accident insurance is beneficial for youth sports organizations is that sports-related accidents are a leading cause of injury among children and young adults.
Statistics from the Insurance Information Institute show that being struck by another person or object is one of the most common causes of injury among minors. What's more, sports concussions have been identified as a frequent outcome.
Although they can be minor injuries, concussions are a form of brain injury. Severe or repeated concussions can result in memory loss, coma, and in worst-case scenarios, death.
Because concussions can be commonplace injuries in sports games, and their effects can be severe, it's essential that sports organizations help protect themselves from potential legal action.
Sports Injuries Can Cause Long-Term Disability
As mentioned above, comas can result in severe injury if serious or left undiagnosed.
However, this is not the only chronic and long-term sport-related injury. Thanks to the physical nature of sports, other injuries resulting in long-term disability are not uncommon. Some of these include:
- ACL injuries
- Broken bones
- Nasal complications
- Spinal injuries
Although most of the injuries that happen on the playing field will heal over time, serious things like spinal injuries can cause life-long disability.
The Public Is Increasingly Aware of Sports Injury Liability
Traditionally, injuries have been accepted as a risk involved during sports. With a rise in injury lawsuits from sports professionals, there is now an increasing awareness that liability can at times be proved against third parties. While this can be beneficial for keeping the playing field fair and safe, sports organizations may need to be extra prudent when it comes to taking out insurance.
Signed Waivers Are Often Not Enough
Most sports organizations and facilities require that parents and guardians sign a waiver before minors are allowed participation.
While this can provide some protection against liability, it's not always enough. In certain states, waivers are entirely unenforceable. In other states, waivers are upheld, but only if they meet certain requirements.
What's more, depending on the injuries and surrounding circumstances, there is no guarantee that even the most thorough waiver will provide complete protection against liability.
Injuries Don't Just Happen on the Field
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to sports insurance is that injuries don't just happen on the field.
When baseball and softball leagues have to travel, team members can incur injury while on the road. Between getting to destinations, there are a plethora of things that can go wrong.
One of the most serious is a road accident. If a bus containing a softball team is in an accident, numerous team members could sustain injuries. This would potentially open up a large liability for the sports organization, one which many would be hard-pressed to cover.
Assumption of the Risk Does Not Cover Against Negligence Charges
When it comes to sports injuries, there is an assumption of risk. What this means is that one can justly assume that there's some risk associated when playing a sport.
A ball could come out of nowhere. A player could trip and break their nose, dislocate their shoulder, sprain their ankle, etc.
These are some of the accepted risks. However, the assumption of risk around sports does not include certain things. For instance, if one player were to intentionally hit another, this would not fall under assumed risk.
What's more, if the sports facility or organization is negligent, this is also not an assumed risk. As an example, if a coach puts a player back onto the field after being injured, this could be considered negligence.
How Accident and Health Insurance Can Help
True, there is some level of assumed risk that helps protect sports organizations. However, there are many instances where organizations can be found liable as well.
Government data shows that recently, 4.3 million children had no health coverage whatsoever. Rising premiums and deductibles mean that even those with coverage don't have their medical needs paid for all the time.
If parents have to face medical costs for their child's injuries, they may be more likely to open a claim. On the other hand, if medical bills are covered by sports insurance, this may lower the chance of them levying a lawsuit.
Accident and health insurance for youth sports covers numerous events. These include:
- The medical bills of injured players
- Injuries incurred before, during, and after an event
As mentioned above, our medical sports insurance also provides coverage for travel to and from events.
Now’s the time to remind your clients about the importance of accident and health coverage. Our customized options can help make sure everyone is properly protected. Call us today at 1-800-475-2691 to learn more or book an appointment here.