Protecting your organization from risk is a daunting task, especially when sports are involved. Unexpected accidents don’t just cause physical damage to student-athletes—they can also take a financial toll on the student-athletes, their families, and the program.
Fortunately, risk management and insurance together can make your school sports program safer for your student-athletes and less vulnerable to financial risk. A-G Administrators explains how.
5 Ways Sports Risk Management Can Be Used To Protect Your Organization
Although injuries are unexpected, careful research and planning can reduce their impact or help eliminate the risk. The NFL’s No Running Start Rule is a prominent example of this.
Now players on the kicking team have to line up within one yard of the restraining line, eliminating the running start. On the receiving team, players cannot cross the restraining line until the ball hits the ground or is secured by the returner. The NFL reported that this change drastically lowered dangerous player collisions and resulted in a 38% reduction in kickoff concussions in 2018 after it was first implemented.
This reduced chance of injuries keeps players healthier and also means reduced insurance claims and medical expenses for the program. It’s a win-win all around.
Your organization can also benefit from risk management and insurance working together to reduce the chance of injury and claims through these 5 ways:
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1. Injury prevention, treatment, and recovery.
The most important way to reduce injury risk and costs is to reduce the chance of injuries happening.
There are three types of sports injuries:
- Acute injuries (or trauma) happen when a student-athlete hits or runs into another player or falls.
- Overuse or repetitive stress injuries happen from repeating the same motion over and over again.
- Reinjuries happen when a student-athlete returns to play before an injury is completely healed.
Many of these injuries can be prevented or the risk reduced by proper training and practices such as:
- Developing a plan that includes cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility.
- Teaching players the right techniques and skills.
- Monitoring players’ routines for overuse/misuse.
- Staying on top of the latest sports education and industry news.
- Keeping players hydrated and encouraging rest and proper nutrition.
- Following proper warm-up and cool-down procedures before and after exercise, training, and games.
- Using the right equipment and wearing the right gear.
- Not allowing student-athletes to return until their injury is healed and therapy is completed.
2. Proper equipment and facilities.
Making sure that equipment and facilities are in top shape is the next major sports risk management focus.
- Are goals secure? Is the field free of holes and debris? Is lighting bright enough or too bright? Are lines clearly marked?
- Are your student-athletes wearing the right protective gear? Are their uniforms clean and well-secured? Are they using the right equipment?
- Are medical supplies stocked and available? Are emergency plans and personnel identified?
Knowing the answers to questions like these reduces injury risk and increases player—and even spectator—safety. Correcting and removing hazards can also lessen your organization’s liability risk.
3. Good sportsmanship.
The NCAA places good sportsmanship first on its list of ways to prevent catastrophic injury and death in college athletes. When you consider that good sportsmanship stresses playing fairly, following the rules, and avoiding arguing, it’s understandable how it reduces or eliminates many of the risk factors that could lead to injury during a game. And while instilling good sportsmanship into your organization’s philosophy and methodology can help ensure safer play, it can also build your reputation in the league.
Risk management in sports should be seen as a team sport—it shouldn’t be only one person or department’s responsibility. Working with the right partners is essential.
From athletic trainers and coaches to operations and finances, representatives from all aspects of the athletic program and school should be involved in risk oversight. Another important partner is your insurance company, which comes next on the list as #5.
At A-G, we know that having the right sports accident insurance coverage plays a critical role in implementing a risk management program. That’s why, first and foremost, we start by providing coverage that helps with your injured student-athlete’s medical expenses.
How sports accident insurance works: When a student-athlete is injured, their primary health coverage is billed first for treatment costs. However, recent A-G claims data shows that primary insurance only covers about 63% of the cost. This can cause a difficult financial situation, leaving the rest of the expenses to be covered by the institution or by its participant accident insurance plan like the ones through A-G. Not only does A-G’s sports accident insurance handle those leftover expenses, but it also helps lower claims costs by working with a large nationwide provider network.
A-G can also help you manage your injury risk through cutting-edge technology and partnerships:
- We work with your organization on claims data analysis through our EGBAR (Efficiency Generating Business Automation Resource) technology. EGBAR shows where a new stretching routine, a different exercise, or a different type of equipment could reduce your organization’s injuries. (EGBAR also gets rid of paperwork and claims headaches.)
- Our USCAH (U.S. Council for Athletes’ Health) partnership provides independent, third-party athlete health and safety consultation, education, and compliance from a team of experts with nearly 300 years of experience in athletics healthcare and administration.
- Our cardiac screenings, administered in partnership with Athletic Heart Metabolic & Cardiac Evaluations, provide athletic departments with an affordable, scalable, and specialized diagnostic imaging solution.
- Our Sparta Science partnership uses data-driven exercise prescriptions that minimize injury, along with technology that supports superior student-athlete performance and precision rehabilitation.
- Our 40+ nationwide provider networks help us get the best prices for treatments and services.
A-G Is The Risk Management And Insurance Partner You’re Looking For
Since 1983, A-G has been protecting student-athletes and athletic organizations from the financial risk of accidents. Today, thousands of K-12 schools, universities and colleges, camps, events, and governing bodies trust us with their accident insurance and risk management.
Ready to learn more about how we can help you with your sports insurance needs and reduce your financial risk? Request a quote today. We look forward to talking with you soon.