Two policies cover member clubs and affiliates automatically with their membership in Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer:
The Automatic Coverage
General Liability: Each affiliate is covered by a General Liability policy that contains the core coverage, and an umbrella policy that raises the limits of the General Liability policy. This is the basic coverage for the main exposure of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer, which are claims of bodily injury or property damage (of others –you’re your own property). This is the critical coverage requested by field owners of rented fields. The certificate of insurance clubs ask for is really a proof of insurance to the field owners that they are covered when an injured player sues the field owner, or when a player damages a port-a-john, breaks a car windshield, etc. The field owner has the right to ask us to name them as additionally insured, which we gladly do. Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer is not the issuer of the certificate, the carrier is. We obtain it on behalf of the member upon request.
Excess Accident Insurance: Players, coaches’ volunteers etc… are covered by an Excess (Secondary) Accident policy. This is commonly, but perhaps mistakenly, referred to as "medical" insurance. This policy provides additional coverage, as a secondary policy after an individual’s personal primary insurance is accessed. There is a deductible, meaning a portion of the expenses, the first $250 under our policy, is the individual’s responsibility. To file a claim, the individual simply needs to contact our office and we would supply the appropriate forms.
Our insurance follows the players and coaches, much like car insurance follows the car- not the driver. So, whenever our players and coaches are engaged in sanctioned soccer activity, they are covered by these two policies, even if there is no certificate issued. That being said, if you are playing on a municipal park or a school district field, they have liability coverage too. So in reality, if something happened, all would be covered. That’s not the recommended scenario of course. You should always be on scheduled, permitted fields as often as you can. Also as an example- you could technically hold training in your backyard. The players do have our coverage, but the caveat is that your homeowner’s policy is the coverage on the property- you should avoid that.
As stated above, the general liability and accident policies are in effect when your teams play in sanctioned soccer activity. That applies to regular practices and club approved training or clinics. When a team competes in a US Youth Soccer/ US Soccer sanctioned tournament, with state association permission to travel, the insurance is in effect. If it is a non-sanctioned event, there is no coverage. If you rent field time from a commercial or municipal facility, indoor or outdoor, the insurance is in effect. However, if you play in any non-sanctioned or non-affiliated leagues, indoor or outdoor, there is no coverage.
Also of note is that along with our insurance, legal defense is attached. In certain unfortunate instances where a lawsuit is imminent, our insurance carriers will defend us. For clubs or individuals who believe they are "self-insured" because they have significant funds in the bank, they may be able to pay the medical bills, but they may then also have to pay legal fees or damages. This would be devastating to your organization.
Additional, Optional Insurance
There are additional coverage’s that are recommended for all members and affiliates.
Directors and Officers Liability (D&O): This policy essentially provides protections to those making the decisions for the organization, for the decisions that they make. An injured player suing the club would not be an example of a D&O claim. The directors and officers are automatically covered for such a claim under the General Liability policy. The D&O policy offers a defense and indemnity for suits that arise out of enforcing the rules and regulations of the club. It is highly recommended that each member club has this coverage. It is not part of the state association’s "blanket coverage" for its members and affiliates. The state association has this coverage for its board of directors, only.
Property & Equipment Insurance: If an organization owns any property - goals, lawn maintenance equipment, storage shed, a snack bar or clubhouse- they should have their own property and/ore equipment coverage. Property is defined as buildings or "permanent structures). Equipment is defined as "property that can be moved." The state association’s policy does not cover property theft, vandalism or storm damage.
Crime Insurance: A crime policy is also recommended to cover theft of money or securities by employees or others.
Workers Compensation: For clubs that have true employees, they should be aware of the laws requiring the purchase of Workers Compensation for employees.
Our automatic coverage (General Liability and Excess Accident) premium is based on the total number of players in the association, currently 130,000. That gives the membership an aggregate purchasing power which produces a premium of approximately $1.50 per player. This rate, with the current coverage, would not be obtained on an individual club basis.
Currently, player insurance fees are derived from the individual player registration fee and the "team medical" fee. The current fee structure which created well over 20 years ago allows intramural/rec organizations to take their total player count and divide by 18 to arrive at a team count for the "medical insurance." With the advent of small sided games, this gives us an inaccurate number in terms of the number of teams. The fees collected don’t coincide with the premiums owed, and we make up the difference from other program revenue. In addition, due to the number of accident and liability claims we’ve had over the past five years, our premiums have risen substantially in each of the past two fiscal years. This association has not raised its fees for intramural/rec players in over 7 years.
The additional insurance coverage the state association has (D&O, property, crime) are expenses that are also paid for from member fees. These are general and administrative expenses. We also carry Workers Compensation Insurance for our employees. Also of note, the same policies that cover our players also cover all of our volunteers and coaches and are paid for from the children’s player fees. Risk management fees and expenses associated with the adults are also funded by the player fees. Several other states, in an effort to make up the deficit, directly assess fees for the registration to those "non-players."
Insurance can be difficult to navigate without the basics. You do not need to be an insurance professional or an attorney to understand it, but you do need to make the effort to understand it. Please take the time to inventory your organization’s situation and examine its needs. The state office can assist you with contacting our broker and or carrier directly.
On the left is a presentation of the top twenty youth soccer insurance claims across the country and a brief, general explanation of insurance and a glossary of terms. And also, please review our insurance website at www.bollingersoccer.com
and click on the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer link.