Sports Insurance

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Sports Insurance for Businesses

Are you operating a sporting facility? Does your company offer recreational sports programs for youth? Are you a coach for a local youth sports team? If you answered yes to any of these, then we highly recommend you consider Sports Insurance.

Sports insurance provides a variety of coverages for sports and athletic facilities that is geared towards protecting both you and your organization. In today’s world, any individual, instructor, coach, volunteer, referee, organization, association, municipality, club, facility or team involved with sports should obtain sports insurance. Whether you are running a grassroots youth sports league or a high-performance professional athletic program, you have a unique set of exposures that requires protection.

3 Considerations for Sports Insurance


  • Participant Injury Coverage

    This coverage is intended to protect an individual, league or organization if a suit is brought against them by an athlete who sustained an injury by a participating in an athletic event.

  • Abuse Liability Coverage

    Abuse liability coverage provides protection in the event that a participant alleges suffering physical, sexual or emotional abuse by an instructor, coach or representative of the sports league or organization.

  • User-Group Policy

    A user-group policy ensures that policy premiums are rated according to the risk exposure of the activities taking place in your facility versus a blanket rate being assigned to all activities.

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What Are the Most Common Types of Coverages?

The two most common coverages associated with sports insurance are General Liability Coverage and Sports Accident Insurance.

  • General Liability Coverage

    This coverage pays the defence costs in the event a suit is brought on by a third party alleging that a bodily injury or property damage has been sustained by either an athletic participant or spectator for which the individual or organization is liable for.

  • Sports Accident Insurance

    This coverage pays medical expenses over and above what is already covered by respective government healthcare plans for injuries sustained by an individual while partaking in a practice or competition facilitated by the sports entity owner. This can help mitigate exposure to a potential suit being brought against the owner by the injured participant.

Depending on the size of your facility and scope of activities offered, other coverage considerations include:

  • Errors & Omissions Insurance
  • Directors & Officers Liability Coverage
  • Abuse Liability Coverage
  • Cyber Insurance and carrying sufficient limits of property insurance.

Waivers are Not Insurance

We are commonly asked about the use of waivers. Waivers are a great tool and we recommend having athletic participants sign waivers. However, it is important to understand that waivers do not prevent a claimant from bringing forth a lawsuit. While waivers can be used as part of a defense, adequate insurance coverage is still needed to ensure protection and to cover legal costs in the event of a lawsuit.

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How much does sports insurance cost?

There are several factors that influence the cost of a sports insurance policy, beginning with the entity to be insured.  Sports Insurance policies that cover either one person, a small group of individuals, or just a single team, will be far less expensive than a comprehensive policy that covers a sports league or organization. The number of members or athletic participants covered by an insurance policy also has a significant impact on price.  Since the insurance policy issued for a league or sports organization is covering all members and participants associated with the entity the costs of coverage is far greater for these types of entities given the number of people involved.  An individual, group of instructors or a singular team would require insure protection for a finite number of participants, in turn the costs of their insurance is far lower.

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Activities taking place in a sports facility vary in terms of scope and risk of injury. A user-group policy ensures that policy premiums are rated according to the risk exposure of the activities taking place in your facility versus a blanket rate being assigned to all activities. For example, a sports facility could be charged $100 per 100 participants who are playing soccer, but $350 per 100 participants who are playing tackle football.

Given the high exposure to potential cyber claims within youth organizations, comprehensive cyber insurance is necessary. If a cyber-criminal gains access to an organization’s computer network, first party coverage is needed to pay the costs associated with cyber extortion claims as well as the expenses associated with a forensic investigation to determine how the breach occurred. Youth sport organizations can also store a plethora of sensitive information about its members. If this information is accessed by an unauthorized party during a cyber breach this could have serious financial ramifications for the organization. Cyber insurance is critical for the organizations’ defence should a lawsuit brought against them by a third party.

Errors & Omissions insurance reimburses a third party for financial damages that party has sustained as a result of actions taken by the Named Insured. When exploring coverage for your sports facility, it is important to be aware of exposures to a potential Errors & Omissions claim as this type of risk is not always clear and obvious. For example, if an athlete loses an athletic scholarship due to an injury sustained at your facility, they could bring a lawsuit against your organization for the financial loss experienced. An Errors & Omissions policy would be needed to respond to this.

While the cost of Directors & Officers Liability insurance is rising for many sport-related associations, type of coverage is vital as it offers invaluable protection for your association’s Directors and Officers, many of whom are unpaid. If the association’s invested stakeholders allege that its Directors & Officers are negligent in guiding the affairs of the association, this coverage is necessary to pay the costs attributed to lawsuits. It can also cover the damages awarded to the plaintiff, which may otherwise need to be paid personally by the association’s Directors & Officers. Canada is continuing to become a more litigious society which means ever increasing court costs and various legal expenses. Obtaining Directors & Officers insurance will aid in protecting against these costs.

Yes, no matter what type of sport-related policy you are obtaining, coverage should be discussed with a broker. This will help you avoid the risk of obtaining a cheap policy with numerous exclusions that don’t provide adequate protection.

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