Liability Claims Experience Recap 1998 Through 2003 123 Claims $1,700,138 Paid & Reserved Frequency Alleged Premise Defect 57% Third Party Property Damage 22% Player/Coach Injury 8% Goal Post Related 6% Sexual Assault 5% Other 2%
Common General Liability Losses Involving Playing Fields Players injured by improperly seated sprinkler heads or glass on the field Pot holes in the parking lot, spectator side lines and playing fields Defective Bleachers-splinters, rotten boards, or faulty steps Defective gates / walking paths
Common Losses Cont. Spectator struck by a soccer ball Errant soccer balls kicked into parked vehicles Players climbing over soccer field fences Golf cart striking players/spectators Players/Spectators injured by goal posts
Soccer Fields Lease of premises agreements are a common contractual instrument used by field owners (municipalities, parks & rec depts.) which delineate the responsibilities of the field owner and user soccer club Agreements commonly include hold harmless and indemnification wording transferring responsibilities from the property owner back to the soccer club
Soccer Fields Cont. Lease of premises agreements normally contain certain requirements where the field owner is named as an additional insured under your club’s soccer policy. This is accomplished by the field owner being provided a certificate of liability insurance Example: prem agreement.PDFprem agreement.PDF
Risk Management Techniques Always enter into a lease agreement with a field owner outlining responsibilities of the lessor and lessee Never enter into an agreement without complete understanding of what your signing. Pay attention to hold harmless and indemnification wording of contracts Never enter into a contract where you accept responsibility for the field on a 24/7 basis
Risk Mgt. Techniques Cont. Resist entering into contracts where you become responsible for another party’s negligence Coaches must inspect playing fields and spectator areas for hazards (pot holes, glass, bleachers, and parking areas) prior to activities Do not allow participation if hazards can not be immediately corrected Club must notify field owner in writing of any deficiencies
Risk Mgt. Techniques Cont. Inspect, re-inspect and do not allow any of your players on the field if dangerous conditions are not corrected Remember most contracts signed by clubs are one way agreements. Push back where you can and get legal assistance Implement a record storage system of executed lease of premises agreements Always inspect goals prior to any activity. This is the responsibility of coaches and parents
Goal Post Safety Loss Experience In the past seven (7) years there has been seven (7) goal post related liability claims Two (2) of the claims involved individual portable goals that were not properly secured during practice One (1) claim resulted in the death of a player Only 2% of all accident medical claims involved goal post accidents 98% of all medical claims involved collision with goals. Head injuries are the most prominent injury type
Reducing Goal Post Related Liability Claims Eliminate homemade goals. Do not manufacture or design your own goal posts Eliminate club owned goals on public property—reduces liability exposure on a 24/7 basis. Let field owners supply goals If club owns portable goals on public property, implement inspection procedures for maintenance, security, and storage.
Reducing Goal Post Claims Cont. Never perform any type of installation or maintenance on the goals. This should be done by an independent contractor with liability insurance Never enter into a lease of premises agreement with a field owner where the club assumes the liability for goal posts which it does not own Perform periodic inspections of all field locations. Keep records and notify owners in writing of any deficiencies
Reducing Goal Post Claims Cont. Coaches must always inspect goals prior to use Always properly secure portable goals at the conclusion of play Never allow horseplay on or around the goals Coaches and parents must supervise all activities. It is a shared responsibility. Get the message out!
Goal Post Risk Management Always inspect portable goals prior to any activity to insure they are securely anchored (portable goals are frequently moved for field maintenance). Communicate this to all coaches, parents and players! Remove nets from the goals when not in use Never allow anyone to climb on the net or goal framework
Goal Post Risk Management Cont. Anchor or chain one goal to another, to itself in a folded down position, or to a nearby fence post or other sturdy structure when not in use Check for structural integrity and proper connecting hardware before every use. Have damaged parts replaced ASAP
Goal Post Risk Management Cont. Ensure safety/warning labels are clearly visible (placed under the crossbar and on the sides of the down-posts at eye level) Fully disassemble goals for seasonal storage Always exercise extreme caution when moving goals. Movable goals should only be moved by authorized and trained personnel
Goal Post Risk Management Cont. Only use movable goals on level (flat) fields Coaches must instruct players and their parents about the danger of climbing on or around portable goal post Again, both the coaches and parents are responsible for the supervision of the players while on the fields.
Kids Safe What Is The Quality Of Your Risk Management Program? Does your member clubs conduct criminal background checks or is it administrated at the state association level? How often are they conducted? Does your risk management program encompass record retention and privacy issues?
Background Check-Best Practices Have all volunteers with direct contact with children complete a disclosure form Conduct annual criminal background checks on new volunteers that have direct contact with children Conduct annual random sampling of existing volunteers Check your insurance policy—Does it have a prior conviction clause?
Automobile Issues Communicate to your clubs that drivers transporting participants to and from games/tournaments are not provided liability protection in most policies Communicate to your clubs about the increased rollover risk with 15 passenger vans What are the rental agencies' liability insurance requirements?
Automobile-Best Practices National Highway Traffic Safety Admin. (15-passenger van information source) Rental Vehicle Insurance Options: 1. Use personal Auto Policy (Your limits may be insufficient) 2. Purchase Rental Vehicle Insurance 3. Credit Card Insurance
Fundraising Event Issues Advise clubs that your liability insurance may not extend coverage for claims which involve serving alcoholic beverages and the collection of the money from the sales.
Fundraising-Best Practices Clubs should contact state association and discuss with the underwriter Endorse liability policy to provide liquor liability protection if needed Have venue concessionaire extend liquor liability protection to the club and it's volunteers
Club Owned Fields Club owned fields may not be extended liability coverage under the state association insurance contract
Club Owned Field-Best Practices GL protects the club when they are acting on behalf of the state association Clubs that allow other organizations to use fields should consider purchasing additional liability insurance Club should execute a lease of premises agreement including indemnification and hold harmless language
Miscellaneous Fire, theft, and vandalism of club’s equipment (goals, uniforms) and business personal property (office equipment, computers) is NOT part of your general liability insurance program Make sure all medical claims have a state authorization signature
Miscellaneous Cont. Employment Guide Lines--most D&O carriers offer risk management assistance and solutions regarding employment law solutions to include preserving employment at will status An excellent employment guide for non profit organizations: http://cber.chubb.com/epllossprevention/