Are you covered?

Whether we want to think about it or not, all events, and organizations should make sure that they protect themselves.  While many take precautions and steps to protect themselves it’s important to ensure that you’re covered from liability.  Whether you run instructional classes, or a full-fledged league you want to be covered.  In most cases this means that you need to have liability insurance.  While the type of insurance may vary depending on what you’re looking to have covered.  At the same time, your insurance company may classify a special event, which could exclude it from a general liability policy.

You may be thinking that insurance is a difficult proposition to undertake, or that the cost associated to get insurance is beyond your reach. Honestly it’s not. If you’re just starting out you can do some different things to help you get off the ground. One potential is to partner with an organization that has liability and can cover you and your activities. Another is buying your own insurance. You’ll need to do some research and confirm your specific coverage needs, but you can find insurance coverage for around $50 a month. As your coverage needs increase your monthly will increase, but there are ways to ensure that gets covered.

If you’re renting space in a facility it is likely that they will require a certificate of liability from you or your organization.  This is a simple process, and will require you contact your broker to provide the certificate of liability naming the rental facility on your insurance.  Below are some common policy limits for general liability, though each broker may have variances to these limits.  It’s recommended that you research various policies to suit your needs.

Common Policy Limits

Each Occurence $1,000,000
General Aggregate $2,000,000
Products/Completed Operations Aggregate $2,000,000
Personal/Advertising Injury $1,000,000
Damage to Premises of Others $   300,000
Premises Medical Payments  (spectators) $       5,000
Participant Legal Liability $1,000,00

It’s important to have some sort of liability coverage, but it’s not a fool proof plan.  It is important that organizations take necessary steps to mitigate potential risk as needed.  It would be wise to develop a risk management plan.  A risk management plan allows you the opportunity to think through how the organization will respond to issues as they arise.  Having a plan in place ahead of time will help you think through all the potential risks, and hopefully avoid unnecessary ones.  Regardless of a well throughout and executed plan injuries and accidents will occur.  The important thing is to be ready for them and can respond accordingly.  Do you know how to respond in a medical emergency?  Does the facility have an Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED) with staff to properly use it?  These are important questions to answer when walking into any facility, especially if you’re putting on an event, or league.

In addition to having liability insurance it is important that organizations protect themselves.  In the case of an athletic event it is important to have a liability, or form of waiver.  It is recommended that this type of legal document be vetted by a lawyer to ensure the language in the waiver will cover you and your organization.   Whatever you do make sure you have a plan set in place ahead of time, and be prepared.

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