Insurance for sports and fitness
The sports and fitness industry includes thousands of different activities, each requiring a various degree of physical and mental exertion.
According to StatsCan, 35% of injuries result from sports or exercise-related actions in Canada. As a professional in your sport, whether it be coaching a little league or owning a hockey camp, you are likely more concerned about the players’ well-being than your business’s safety.
At Zensurance, we believe that defence is the best offence for your sports business. We wrote the following guide as your risk-management game plan to protect against the potential liability risks that might come into play.
What is sports insurance?
The sporting environment contains ever-changing dynamics from tryouts to tournaments, each presenting a varying exposure to risks. To ensure that your whole team is covered, it is critical to have an insurance program designed to meet your specific needs.
Sports Insurance is a specialized liability policy package that protects sport and fitness professionals from lawsuits alleging negligence, malpractice, or injury.
We’ve insured 1000s of sports professionals, including:
- Professional or Amateur Sports Teams
- Recreational or Private Sports League
- Instructors (e.g., coaches, managers)
- Fitness Facilities (e.g. soccer field, tennis courts)
- Sporting Events (e.g., tournaments, sports camps)
What does it cover?
A comprehensive Sports Insurance package will typically include the following coverages:
- Commercial General Liability Insurance (CGL): provides financial protection against claims alleging third-party injuries and property damages. Suppose you own a field complex, and a spectator slips on the rafters and sprains their ankle. Your CGL policy may cover the subsequent medicals and legal expenses (up to the policy limit).
- Professional Liability Insurance: also known as Malpractice Insurance, offers coverage for actual or alleged negligence, errors, omissions, or failure to deliver a service as promised. This policy is critical for any sports/fitness instructors offering advice, hands-on training, or physical movement instructions. For example, during basketball practice, one of your participants suffers an asthma attack during line sprints. Their parents claim you ignored his request to sit out of the exercise and sue you for negligence. Your Professional Liability Insurance could cover the legal expenses and any settlement fees.
- Cyber Liability Insurance: Cyber insurance offers financial protection in the event of a cyber-attack or data breach against your business’s electronic data. This policy includes both first-party (i.e., extortion, network repair) and third-party (i.e., attorney fees) coverage. If you store your players’ private information, such as financial or medical records, this coverage is critical.
- Directors and Officers (D&O) Insurance: D&O insurance, also known as management liability insurance, provides financial protection for an organization’s directors and officers. It covers costs associated with indemnification, losses, or legal defence against an individual serving as a director or officer for the board of a for-profit, non-profit, public or private sports organization. It typically includes coverage for a broad range of risks, including breach of legal or fiduciary duties, allegations of negligent acts, wrongful dismissals, and failure to adhere to provincial and federal laws and regulations.
- Sports Equipment Insurance: Sports equipment insurance, also known as contents insurance, is a type of property coverage that protects sporting equipment that is owned or leased by an organization if that equipment is lost, damaged, stolen, or vandalized. Examples of the types of equipment covered may include uniforms, helmets, nets, balls, hockey sticks, baseball bats. It may also include facility-related equipment such as scoreboards, storage sheds, and bleachers.
Coverage options within an insurance policy can accommodate your specific fitness or sports business’s risk levels. Speak to your broker about the best choice for your business.
How much does it cost?
The cost of your policy will vary based on the services you offer. On average, a Sports Insurance package for trainers/instructors costs approximately $280 annually and includes a Commercial General Liability and Professional Liability Insurance policy with a combined limit of $2M.
Insurance for sports studios or facilities starts at $350 a year for the same policy mentioned above (GL/PL at $2M limit).
The following factors are taken into consideration when determining the best policy options for your business:
Operation Size (number of participants or teams)
- Length of season or activity
- Training and Education
- Level of Experience
- Past Insurance Claims
Our online application form will ask a series of questions about your business to understand your needs better.
As a sports event host or organizer, you may need additional but temporary coverage that extends beyond your standard business insurance policy.
Sports Event Liability Insurance is a short-term policy, which provides liability coverage for third-party property damages and bodily injury that could occur at the event. Here are some examples where Sports Event Liability Insurance may be recommended:
- You are hosting a sporting event or tournament.
- You are organizing an end-of-season party at your gym.
- You host charity events.
If you serve alcohol at an event, you may be required to add a Host Liquor Liability policy to cover the venue host as an additional insured.
It would be challenging to host any sports tournament or camp without volunteers’ help. While volunteers are not covered like paid employees, your business may still be held liable or sued if:
- A volunteer injures themselves or others;
- A volunteer causes damage to the property; or,
- A volunteer’s inappropriate actions lead to a lawsuit.
Most sports insurance packages include liability coverage for volunteers under Commercial General Liability. Check with your broker to ensure no exclusion of volunteers stated within their policy.
If a volunteer feels that the company’s existing coverage does not meet their needs, they should be encouraged to obtain additional insurance.
Common claims scenarios
Frequently asked questions