How do company sports teams affect my insurance rates?
There are a ton of advantages to starting a company sports team, such as more camaraderie, learning to work as a team, and more fun at work, etc. However, there can be drawbacks too. One question many have is how do company sports team affect insurance rates. So, let's take a look at how a company sports team could affect your insurance:
What happens, if your office manager drops a bowling ball on her foot while bowling for the company team? Is she eligible for workers' compensation?
What if a fight erupts at a softball tournament and a spectator gets hurt?
Or what if someone brings alcohol to an after-game party and a drunken employee hits a pedestrian on the way home?
With the above circumstances, whether the question concerns workers' comp for employees injured in a company-sponsored game or liability for the injuries of a third party, the basic question is the same: How closely is the company tied to the team or the sporting event, and does this tie effect insurance?
So, to determine if your insurance is going to be affected by having a company sports team, ask yourself the following questions:
However, if you answer no, then it won't likely affect your insurance rate. If you organize it, but that is it, then that is where your insurance responsibility ends.
These decisions were not made by the insurance companies per say, in fact, they were decided by the courts. The following are 2 cases where an employee playing on the company softball team hurt their knee. In one case, worker's compensation had to pay, and in the other, they didn't. Let's take a look at why:
In case one: the employee learned during his job interview that he'd be expected to play on the company softball team. The company paid nearly all its team's expenses, including uniforms, bats, gloves, weights and other equipment, plus air fare, hotel accommodations, meals, drinks and fees for tournaments around the country.
However, in case two an employee was injured playing softball for his company-sponsored team, but he was denied workers' comp. Why? Well, the court noted that the team was organized through employee initiative, but all games and practices took place off the employer's premises, and all meetings, practices etc. were held during lunch breaks or when workers were off the time clock. So, although the company furnished uniforms, equipment and league dues, it never paid players or coaches.
So, how your company sports team will affect your insurance rate will depend heavily on the involvement of the company with the team. If playing is required, and you are paid for time spent practicing, etc. then your insurance rates will increase to meet increased risk. However, if you sponsor the team, and organize it, but everything takes place off premises and off the clock, then the individual insurance of each player would be responsible for any injury etc.
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