Back to School, Back to Practice: What You Need to Know About Your Insurance as a Volunteer Coach

By Staff Writer

As children return to school across the country, families know that can also mean a return to the practice field, whether through school sports teams or community sports programs and often parents may find themselves on the sidelines as a volunteer coach. It can be especially rewarding to teach children the skill sets of a sport or to impart important life lessons about winning, losing and sportsmanship, but volunteers should also know that being a volunteer coach may impact their personal insurance coverage. 

Four insurance related questions to consider if you’re a volunteer coach:

Do I have coverage through the organization running the team/league?

Whether through a school, community organization or church group, most organizations should have liability insurance that extends to its volunteers, and in most cases their insurance should be the primary coverage for volunteer coaches. Ask the organization if that coverage extends to volunteer coaches, and if so, how much coverage is provided and what is and isn’t covered.

Do I have coverage under my auto policy while transporting my team?

Many volunteer coaches have been in the position of needing to drive players to a game or a practice, either in their personal vehicle or in a van or mini-bus owned by the organization sponsoring the team. A volunteer driving their own personal vehicle to transport kids should have coverage under their own auto policy. If a coach is driving a vehicle such as a van or a mini-bus that is owned by the school or organization sponsoring the team then the insurance coverage should be the responsibility of the organization, and it’s important as a volunteer to confirm that, since a personal auto policy may not provide coverage in this instance.

Do I have coverage under my homeowners policy?

Your homeowners insurance provides you with protection against claims of bodily injury, but the organization you’re volunteering for may provide this coverage, so your homeowners or renters insurance would be secondary to any insurance coverage provided by the organization if a player in your care were to be injured as part of being involved on the team.

Can I obtain additional coverage?

The good news is that you can purchase additional coverage that will help cover costs over your existing coverage with a Personal Umbrella Policy. It’s important to understand that the umbrella coverage only comes into play after other coverage has been exhausted, but it provides added peace of mind and the premium is usually very affordable.

Volunteering as a coach means that you’ll have the opportunity to be a positive contributor to the growth and development of young people. As a responsible adult, it’s important to look out for the best interests of the kids in your care, as well as your own interests and Trusted Choice ® Independent Insurance Agent can help you answer and understand these questions.

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