Field Owners Insurance
Field Owners are Often Targets of Softball Lawsuits
The frequency of lawsuits arising out of the play of softball continues to increase each year. Despite the inherent risk in playing sports, like softball, our society has moved toward an atmosphere of blame. While many injuries are simply accidents, the lawsuits arising from these accidents target the field owner, alleging poor maintenance, negligent field design, improper installation, and failure to warn of
Inspect Fields Regularly
Even though these lawsuits can be without merit, field owners are rightfully expected to maintain playing fields in good condition. Poor field conditions should not cause or contribute to injury of players and spectators. Field owners can best prevent injuries and protect themselves by conducting regular inspections of their fields and the surrounding areas. USA Softball officials and USA Softball Registered Umpires can help with these inspections and be of invaluable assistance in maintaining safe, hazard-free field conditions.
Keep Inspection Records
Maintaining a written record of these inspections and of the corrective actions taken can provide a solid defense in the event of a lawsuit. Inspection forms are provided to all field owners when they purchase USA's Softball Field Owners’ Liability Insurance, and they are encouraged to keep written inspection forms on file for five years. Not only should a thorough inspection be conducted at the beginning of the softball season, but also regular, routine inspections should be continued throughout the season to ensure that fields remain in safe, playable condition. These inspection forms will provide the first line of defense to protect you against injury claims and lawsuits, and will, most of all, help your facility provide a safer environment for all softball participants.
USA's Softball Field Owner's Insurance Plan
This USA Softball Liability plan is available to owners of fields on which USA Softball is played. Coverage is in effect only when USA Softball registered teams are practicing or playing softball, and when the activities on those fields are authorized by the local USA Softball Association; therefore, the plan is offered only to field owners who require all teams at their facility to register with USA Softball.
|Liability (per occurrence)||$2 million|
|Participant Liability (incl. in above)||$2 million|
|Aggregate (per location)||$5 million|
|Personal Injury / Advertising Injury||$2 million|
|Products / Completed Operations||$2 million|
|Damage to Premises Rented Liability||$300,000|
|Sexual Abuse Liability (per occurrence)||$2 million|
|Sexual Abuse Liability (aggregate)||$2 million|
|Med Pay to Others (non-participants)||$10,000|
Liability Plan Underwritten by: Markel Insurance Company - rated A by A.M. Best.
Liability Insurance Policy Exclusions: In addition to the usual exclusions in the standard Commercial General Liability policy, there is no coverage for furnishing, serving or selling any alcoholic beverage, nor for the acts of intoxicated persons. There is no coverage for damage to parked vehicles.
IMPORTANT: Only Field Owners and Long Term Lessees can purchase this coverage. It is not available to teams and leagues. To insure team activities, you must purchase the 2015 USA Softball Team Insurance Plan.
Choose From Two Plans
|WAIVERS REQUIRED Under this plan, ALL players are required to sign an approved Waiver and Release Form. In the case of Junior Olympic (youth) players, a parental waiver is required. For lawsuits brought against the field owner by a player, coverage is provided only if that player has signed a waiver. No coverage is provided for lawsuits brought by players who have not signed waivers. Signed waivers must be kept on file by the field owner for a minimum of five years. In the event of a claim, the field owner must supply a copy of the signed waiver with the claim report. One premium covers all fields owned by the field owner.|
|Cost of Plan A||$500 per Field Owner per year|
|WAIVERS OPTIONAL For those field owners who are unable to obtain signed waivers from ALL players, this plan will provide coverage for all player lawsuits, regardless of whether or not the player has signed a waiver. We strongly recommend that the field owner obtain signed waivers from as many players as possible for his or her own protection. Waivers have been proven to be a deterrent against frivolous lawsuits. One premium covers all fields owned by
the field owner.
|Cost of Plan B||$1,500 per Field Owner per year|
Note : Lawsuits brought by spectators or bystanders against the field owner are covered according to the terms of the policy under both Plan A and Plan B.
Benefits to Field Owners
An alternative plan is available to provide $2,000,000 of liability insurance to field owners. This optional plan has two distinct advantages:
- No cost to the field owner
- No waivers are required
To obtain this coverage, the field owner must require that all USA Softball teams utilizing the fields purchase USA Softball Team Liability Insurance and then list the field owner as an additional insured on the team’s or league’s liability policy.
The USA Softball Field Owners Plan Helps in Other Ways
USA’s Softball objectives for the Field Owners Insurance Plan are:
- To protect the field owner with a solid insurance program in the event of a lawsuit
- To help prevent and deter lawsuits from happening by offering a risk management program for each field owner
The risk management program is comprised of:
- General safety & maintenance guidelines for your fields
- Pre-game safety checklist
- Player waiver & release forms
- Guidelines for field inspections