Fundraising lies at the heart of every booster club, offering many opportunities to hold exciting events throughout the year. These happy occasions often raise lots of money and pass without a hitch. But sometimes they don’t, and your nonprofit organization is not immune from liability. That’s why affordable booster club insurance makes perfect sense.
Fundraisers don’t always go as planned, despite the best efforts of organizers. In a worst-case scenario, a simple slip on a wet surface can prove life-changing. Depending on the nature of the accident, the person may need significant medical care and associated expenses.
With the cost of medical care and recovery so steep, legal suits are a common method of helping to recoup some costs by holding the event organizer, a group just like yours, liable for their injury and associated costs.
|According to WHO: 20–30% of older people who slip or fall will suffer hip fractures and/or head trauma. |
Without booster club insurance protection, your nonprofit organization can face devastating financial consequences if targeted by a lawsuit. This piece highlights the types of liability held against nonprofit events, the potential hazards, and how to reduce risks.
Potential Dangers of Booster Club Events for Attendees
Liability coverage protects you from lawsuits when an event-goer holds your club responsible for suffering an injury. Slips and falls are the most prevalent accidents that can result in a range of harms. Even a seemingly harmless three-legged race comes with risks. But lost footing is by no means the only potential threat.
Other examples include overcrowding, equipment with moving parts, and unruly guests. There are also drink-related incidents if you serve alcohol at an event.
Booster Club Insurance Reason #1: Free-Moving Ride Injuries
Free-moving rides are another money maker for fundraisers. Hay rides and paddle boats seem harmless, but you still need booster club insurance to protect against flips and collisions. People even suffer injuries on flat water by falling overboard or capsizing vessels. In 2022, paddle-craft fatalities accounted for over 26% of all boating disasters. And accidents from terrestrial vehicles are even higher.   
Booster Club Insurance Reason #2: Foodborne Incidents
Food poisoning is another preventable health hazard that happens all too often. Victims may sue if they suffer from a severe and lasting illness. In other words, foodborne infections that cause pain and suffering, medical bills, lost work, and punitive damages. It happens. Also, improper food service will create bad publicity and hurt your booster club’s reputation.
|According to the CDC, 1-in-6 Americans (48M people) get sick from foodborne diseases every year. Of those, 128,000 end up in a hospital, and 3,000 die. |
Luckily, tracing the cause for foodborne illness like food poisoning is very difficult to prove from a liability standpoint. That said, there are specific steps your group can take to minimize the risk of someone falling ill due to your event. One is to enhance food safety practices by offering professional training to volunteers. Alternatively, you can hire qualified vendors to prepare and serve food at your events, which can limit any liability to your group.
Affordable General Liability Insurance for Booster Clubs
AIM’s general liability booster club insurance protects your fundraisers and other events for only $65/year. Our affordable policies for your parent booster cover medical payments to protect your nonprofit organization and its members. At the same time, it supports the injured party for any out-of-pocket expenses they incur through treatments.
Booster Club Insurance Reason #3: Volunteer Injuries
Your enthusiastic army of booster club volunteers is central to a successful event. However, events are temporary occasions. That means many helpers will not have time to get familiar with the layout or location. Thus, the club’s leaders must minimize risks for hands-on support, but eliminating all potential hazards is impossible.
Your volunteers are most at risk during setup and teardown rather than during the event. The harm they’re exposed to depends on the role and type of function. However, bangs, knocks, burns, scratches, slips, falls, and lifting injuries top the list.
Volunteers are not solely responsible for their own health and safety. Organizers should provide specific training, supervising, and monitoring of volunteer helpers during an event to reduce the risk of incident.
Inexperienced volunteers should never carry out duties that carry a potential risk to themselves or others. For these reasons, carefully match your helpers’ abilities to the allocated tasks.
Now let’s look at the most effective ways to reduce liability risks at your club’s events.
Accident Prevention and Safety Precautions
Effective preventative measures will reduce accident and injury potential at your fundraisers. But even the best health and safety practices will not guarantee an accident-free event. For this reason, booster club insurance should be a part of your health and safety policy. The seven practical tips below help prevent accidents and protect your club from liability claims.
|According to the National Safety Council, Preventable US public deaths in 2021 reached 47,300, or 21% of all needless injury-related fatalities. |
1) Identify Potential Problem Areas
The only way to deal with potential hazards and problem areas is by knowing about them. Thus, no event should be open to the public without a thorough risk assessment. If there’s an existing risk valuation, use that as a starting point, and update it if necessary. What your checklist includes depends on the type of event and the expected number of attendees.
2) Assess Your Parking and Signage
Few parent-booster event factors hold the potential for mayhem quite like inadequate parking and poor signage at your event. Insufficient parking spaces and confusing or missing signs are a surefire way to shorten tempers. And when people become hyper-focused on feelings, they are less able to concentrate and more likely to suffer accidents and injuries. Also, excessive honking and revving engines are no way to welcome arriving guests and put them in a festive mood.
3) Ensure Adequate Supervision
Every well-run parent booster event practices effective communication. A lack of interaction is more common among newer clubs or those inexperienced in running larger events. But the potential for accidents rises when people are uncertain about their specific duties. To avoid this, ensure all involved parties fully understand their responsibilities. Furthermore, everyone must know who to turn to should there be a problem or incident.
4) Maintain Ground-Level Surfaces
According to the CDC, one in every five falls in the US results in serious injury.  Quite often, accidental slips and trips result from vision problems, inappropriate footwear, and mobility issues. Although older people are more prone to these types of accidents, they can happen to anyone at any time.
Serious falls can result in broken bones and head injuries. Tripping over equipment and uneven flooring is a known hazard at fundraisers. The way to reduce these risks is by maintaining the surfaces around your indoor and outdoor event areas.
Some practical ways to manage these danger zones include the following:
- Cordon off potential hazard areas considered unsafe for walking
- Display hazard signs to warn guests of slippery or uneven surfaces
- Dry wet surfaces and liquid spills as soon as possible
- Place mats for guests to dry their feet at the entrance of indoor events
- Keep spaces free from clutter that would impede movement
Spillages can be a particular issue with food service at your events. Always have a mop, bucket, and cleaning towels available in the immediate area surrounding food and drink stands.
5) Keep Wiring Out of Harm’s Way
Most events have electrical wiring to power equipment, but exposed wires can be extremely dangerous. There are two cable-related dangers to be mindful of: tripping hazards and the risk of electrical shock. So make sure no loose cables trail across areas where people need to walk or stand. Those who fall victim to your ubsecured cables and wires will be eligible to prosecute your club and hold you liable for their accident and costs.
But what if there are no obvious places to tuck away or hide wires in high-traffic areas? The solution is to make them safe using rubber floor cord or cable covers (see image above).
6) Keep Heated Containers Away from Visitors
Serving tea, coffee, soup, and other hot refreshments is a great little money earner at booster club events. The problem arises if these hot containers or their contents are placed in a position where they can scald nearby people. Accidents like these tend to occur when crowds gather too close to the hot dispensers. This risk is higher with lightweight dispensers on rickety legs. Use a quality, well-sealed product on a sturdy level surface to reduce risk, and keep your line of guests orderlay and at a safe distance.
7) Furnish Medical Kits and Trained First Aid Station
Always have a medical kit and someone qualified to administer first aid as part of your event. Although this won’t prevent accidents, a quick response can minimize the severity of an injury and even save lives. Ensure your kits are well-stocked with antiseptic wipes and other necessities before the event.
Bonus Tip: Secure Proper Insurance
Special event insurance offers vital protection for your organization. No matter how well-run your events are, there will always be potential risks. Guests and volunteers can suffer injuries while in your event space and using your group’s equipment, leaving you liable, even during event setup and teardown.
But protecting people must always come first. And without suitable coverage, your club or its officers and directors, will have to pay for financial losses, which could run into the millions. Of course, AIM also offers protection for your group’s equipment through our Inland Marine coverage.
One Day Short-Term Nonprofit Liability Insurance by AIM
AIM’s one day event insurance extends to single events of up to four consecutive days. It protects nonprofit events like yours with a liability policy covering injuries, property damage, and lawsuits. That includes booster events such as fundraisers, galas, high school carnivals, fun runs, cookouts, and other activities.
How Covered Are You?
Many clubs believe they have protection through the high school’s insurance policy, in full or in part. But this is rarely the case as insurance sees your booster club and the school as two different entities. And in the few cases where your club is covered it will most likely only apply if you hold events on the high school’s property. But don’t dare to assume. Instead, find out what coverage, if any, your booster club has from the school district’s insurance. You may also want to consider insurance for your club’s property and additional coverage for social media liability.
Booster Club Insurance and Events: Safety First, Then Fun
Accident victims at booster club events can potentially destroy uninsured organizations with the high reimbursement costs of medical treatment. So, booster club insurance protection brings enormous peace of mind. Even if your club is new with few events in the pipeline, you still have the option of one day event insurance.
Make sure you don’t leave any insurance FAQs unanswered. Having a valid certificate of insurance means you won’t be forced to pay huge, out-of-pocket expenses to claimants who prosecute your organization for liability. It makes perfect sense, and there isn’t a single reason not to take out an affordable policy.