Sports Insurance Coverage: The Ultimate Guide

Sports Insurance Coverage: The Ultimate Guide

In 2021, an estimated 3.2 million people were rushed to emergency departments for sports and recreational activities-related injuries. The activities most frequently associated with these incidents are contact sports such as basketball, football, baseball, soccer, and hockey.

As a sports instructor or organization, you can prevent significant losses due to client injury and property damage claims with sports insurance. Policy details may vary depending on the insurance provider and benefits package, but generally, policyholders will gain financial protection against lawsuits, accidents, and damages caused by a sports incident.

Read on to learn the available insurance for trainers and coaches, their benefits, and how to select the right one for your practice.

Most Common Negligence Claims in Sports

Most Common Negligence Claims in Sports

Sports coaches are responsible for the athlete’s safety and well-being. However, even under the supervision of a trained eye, accidents that result in lawsuits can happen. The following claims of negligence are often linked to sports-related injuries:

  • Inadequate supervision
  • Improper equipment
  • Improper training
  • Failure to properly observe, refer or stabilize the injured player
  • Medical malpractice
  • Failure to warn the player of risks
  • Inability to follow proper rules for concussions and return to play
  • Improper screening or physical examination
  • Unequal matching of opposing players

Sports insurance ensures that you don’t pay out of pocket in case of damages and lawsuits resulting from any of these sports-related events.

Types of Insurance Available for Sports Coaches

Sports is a high-risk activity – athletes undergo hours of rigorous training, putting them at risk of concussions and knee injuries. Coaches can be held liable for these accidents.

The good news is you can protect yourself and your organization from any contingencies with these insurance plans for sports instructors:

General Liability Insurance

This insurance covers costs when a player or spectator claims to have suffered personal injury or property damage due to an instructor’s negligence. If you get sued, liability insurance pays for your legal defense and damages (up to the policy limit) should you be found guilty. Some insurance policies also pay settlements to avoid costly lawsuits.

If you’re part of an organization, consider getting coverage for employees, volunteers, and directors as well.

Accident Insurance

If spectators get injured during one of your sports events, accident insurance pays for medical expenses and other out-of-pocket costs resulting from the incident. Spectators include non-players like volunteers, children, and volunteers.

Accident insurance premiums vary depending on coverage, but most policies include:

  • Diagnostic tests
  • Emergency room services
  • Doctor appointments
  • Surgery

Equipment Insurance

Equipment insurance pays for costs associated with equipment damaged by fire, wind, lightning, theft, and vandalism. This includes playing gear, scoreboards, training facilities, bleachers, and concession equipment. Note that this applies to both owned and leased equipment.

Directors and Officers’ Liability

This insurance protects sports professionals from lawsuits should a third party claim that their mismanagement resulted in rights violations or caused them financial loss. For instance, when an athlete sues for wrongful termination.

Similar to general liability insurance, this covers legal expenses, including lawyer and settlement fees. Despite its name, the policy also extends to non-directors and officers like volunteers and employees.

Crime Insurance

If you own a training facility, crime insurance protects you from claims against employees, including:

  • Computer fraud
  • Theft
  • Destruction of property
  • Social engineering
  • Employee dishonesty                       
  •  Vandalism              
  • Credit card forgery                     

Additional Insurance to Consider

Additional Insurance to Consider

Depending on the services offered, sports instructors can also benefit from the following types of insurance:

Commercial Property Insurance

Any personal training business could suffer a significant financial setback if one of its commercial premises is destroyed by fire, storms, or other natural disasters. Your business property insurance will safeguard you from any losses brought on by unplanned occurrences like these.

If you lease a training facility, the landlord might require that you obtain this insurance.

Cyber Liability Coverage

If you handle any of your clients’ financial or health data electronically, cybersecurity insurance shields you from harmful cyberattacks. This includes coverage for money lost as a result of fraud and any related costs to defending your company in court.

Worker’s Compensation

If you run a personal training firm and hire other trainers, workers’ compensation insurance will pay for any employee injuries sustained on the job, their medical bills, and lost wages. This includes co-workers such as dietitians, massage therapists, or physical therapists.

Commercial Auto Insurance

This insurance covers vehicles used for work-related purposes. Let’s say you operate a car, van, or truck to shuttle clients or equipment to and from training sessions – expenses for bodily harm, property loss, and even death are paid by commercial auto insurance.

Consider how you operate on a daily basis. Assessing your risks can help you decide whether to invest in other policies besides general liability.

How Much Does Sports Insurance Cost?

How Much Does Sports Insurance Cost

For general liability insurance, sports and fitness firms often pay a premium of $400 to $1,000 annually. This coverage offers financial protection against third-party property damage, personal injury, and advertising injuries.

If you want to insure your training facility, you can also opt for commercial property insurance, which costs between $150 to $700. For further savings, you can choose a business owner’s policy (BOP) which combines general liability and property insurance at a more affordable rate.

Ultimately, your sports coach liability insurance will cost more or less depending on things like:

  • Location: Businesses in areas with minimal crime risk or severe weather typically pay less for insurance.
  • History of Claims: Making several claims makes your company appear riskier to insurers, which can raise your premiums.
  • Employees: Although most states require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, having employees also raises your risk of theft, customer lawsuits, and property damage.
  • Business-owned property: Insurers also consider the type, size, and value of the real estate your company owns, as well as its general condition.
  • Risk Management: Personal coaches who have security systems and fire alarms may be eligible for savings from some insurers. Trainers who frequently employ written contracts may also see their prices reduced.
  • Revenue: Higher-paid personal trainers may have to pay more for insurance, partly because lawsuits against them are more likely. Additionally, if they are sued, decisions rendered against them may occasionally take their income into consideration.

Personal trainers can save money on insurance by raising their deductible or lowering their coverage limits. However, because the trainer assumes more financial duties in the event of a claim, both of these solutions could be problematic.

What to Watch Out for When Choosing a Sports Insurance

Exclusions and limitations are the most concerning aspect of insurance coverage for sports and recreation leagues. Ensure that there are no exclusions for sports participants, punitive damages, or sexual abuse and molestation in the policy conditions before purchasing it. Avoiding these exclusions or trying to add a coverage “buyback” is advised because these are crucial coverages.

In addition, make sure the per event and aggregate coverage are sufficient according to the insurance limits. You want to be sure that your policy provides coverage in case numerous athletes are hurt and expensive medical expenses are incurred.

Sports Insurance FAQs

  • What policy is best for sports? Your policy should include coverage for games, tryouts, practices, and games. Make sure you’re covered in other states should your team travel.
  • Who should my policy include? Aim coverage for all team members, including coaches, players, directors, supervisors, the organization, and even the venue.
  • What is typically covered by sports insurance? It depends on the policy. However, a good policy includes injuries, property loss and damage, abuse, and defamation.
  • How much protection do you need? If you’re a professional, you might even need to cover pro salaries. Injured athletes may seek compensation for lost wages or college tuition, even at the amateur or academic level. Parents of young athletes may also file claims for compensation for the time they missed work to care for their wounded children.
  • Who may file claims for coverage? Make sure you can provide benefits to participants, coaches, administrators, attendees, and, occasionally, onlookers. For instance, if a wayward ball hits a bystander, a window nearby, or a parked automobile, the victim may seek compensation.


Once ready, you can work with a broker, use an online marketplace, or get in touch with insurance companies to compare different insurance for sports coaches. We recommend getting multiple quotes before making a decision. Consider the policy costs, inclusions, and customer service the provider offers.

Doing so will help you secure a policy that protects you and your team in any contingency.

Get Superior Coverage

Most organizations provide insurance coverage for their coaches. But, oftentimes, these aren’t enough to fully protect the coach. At API Fitness, we offer affordable and comprehensive coverage for sports and fitness professionals in Los Angeles, California. You’ll receive insurance tailored to your needs and budget and a policy that protects you from specific risks.

Call API Fitness at (800) 860-8330 or fill out our contact form to apply for membership today.