Road Runners Club of America

Growing the Sport of Running Since 1958

Covered Activities & Exclusions

RRCA general liability insurance covers for the activities conducted by each membership class:

For events and event management companies, review the the membership section along with the insurance FAQs to understand coverage for event members.  For clubs that own events and conduct training programs, group runs, etc., review below to understand covered activities.

For all membership categories the following items are covered:

  • The policy does protect its members against claims arising from incidents, accidents, or random acts of violence that occur and affect participants resulting in a claim being filed against a member organization.
  • The policy does protect the RRCA and its members against spectator claims as long as the claim does not involve an excluded condition (see below).  If a spectator is injured, the accident medical coverage may cover for a claim.
  • Volunteers working on behalf of the RRCA member are included. For example, if a volunteer is named in a liability suit while working a member race, the insurance would protect the volunteer. If a ​volunteer is injured, the accident medical coverage may cover for a claim.
  • Covered events include traditional road races, trail/ultra runs that do not contain man-made obstacles, cross country events following IAAF/USATF course guidelines, and track events that exclude jumps and throwing events (steeple events are excluded).  Traditional road races that include runners in costume or events that throw/launch Holi powder (colored powder) are included.  Soap or bubble runs that create a man-made slippery course are excluded.  Review the exclusions below to learn about event formats that are excluded.  If in doubt about a wacky event format, ask before insuring the event with RRCA, email membership@rrca.org
Covered activities for a running club
In addition to the events outlined above​, covered club activities include adult training programs that meet multiple week during the year, youth running programs, walking programs, club-organized group runs, track workouts (running only), social activities, meetings, banquets, community volunteering, fun runs, low-key club races, all the way up to large road and trail races. Depending on membership size, running clubs organize and manage a myriad of activities and events.  With that said, a "club" with a small membership (10-25 people) and no training programs or organized, weekly group runs claiming to organize a road race in excess of 5,000 people must review their organization structure with the RRCA in advance of joining as a club to verify proper membership classification.  The RRCA reserves the right to dictate membership classification, and clubs ​found to be event management companies will be classified as such and must pay the dues and insurance fees according to that membership category.

Club activities and events are covered through the RRCA general liability insurance policy so long as the club has jurisdiction over the organization of all aspects of the activity. This is usually straightforward, however, confusion may arise when a member club is hired, or supplies volunteers to assist another organization holding an event, usually a race.

Below are questions to determine if a race is "club owned/managed." By answering "yes" to most all of the questions, it is a club-owned race and can be reported for insurance coverage purposes.  If you answer "no" to most of the questions, then it is not considered a club-owned event by the RRCA, and the actual event owner ​should become an RRCA event member or event management company ​to properly insure the race.  Please review the club membership information and ensure you are not committing fraud by reporting events for insurance that the club does not own.

A club managed race is one in which the club can answer “yes” to most of the questions below:

  • Does the club name appear in the race name? i.e. “Road Runners Club 5K for Heart Health”
  • Does the club  designated a volunteer or paid race director for the event that reports directly to the club's board of directors?
  • Does the club's board have final oversight of the event and hold discussions about its status at board meetings?
  • For nonprofit clubs, is the race referred to in club minutes as a club-owned race?
  • Is the club, or its duly authorized race director, involved at each planning stage of the race including obtaining a permit, maintaining a certificate of insurance on file, safety planning, and risk management?
  • Does the club train and supervise the volunteers on the course, at the aid stations, and at the start and finish of the race?
  • Do the registration and sponsorship funds run through the club’s bank account?
  • Could another organization assisting with the event be named in a lawsuit as the responsible party arising from an incident occurring at the event?(If yes, consult with the RRCA)
  • If another party, not considered a sponsor, elected not to assist with the organization of the event, would the club still operate the event?  If the answer is "no," the event is most likely NOT a club-owned event.

If your club is hired by a third party to conduct an event on behalf of another organization, ​it is NOT a club-owned event and should not be reported by the club for insurance coverage.  If a club is hired by a third party to conduct an event on their behalf, the club should required the event to become an RRCA and show proof of insurance from either RRCA or USATF.  Clubs that engage in event management services should review the information on the Certified Race Director Insurance Program page.  Clubs that report non-owned races for the purposes of insurance coverage will come under the RRCA's Member Accountability Process.

Important Exclusions to Covered Activities: Starting in 2012, the RRCA group liability policy does not include high risk events that include:

  • Overnight relay races run on open roads  with no police support, no road closures, or separate lanes for participants
  • High risk events commonly referred to as mud-runs, “warrior dashes”, urbanathons, MOB (mud, obstacle, beer) that include man-made obstacles such as, man-made mud pits, man-made slippery slopes, wall climbs, tunnel crawls, or other similar man-made obstacles.
  • Events run on man-made trails or cross country courses that do not include man-made obstacles ARE included in coverage, but the course cannot be altered to create man-made obstacles such as watering-down a dry trail or cross country course with a hose to make it muddy.
  • As the use of drones to take aerial videos for marketing purposes increases, the RRCA’s position on drone use at events, per our insurance underwriter, is that events should not allow them to be flown by volunteer operators.
  • Amusement devices such as moonbounces or bounce houses, dunk tanks, and pools are excluded from the policy.
  • Multisport training programs and events (triathlons, biathlons, etc.) are excluded. 
  • Fireworks, terrorism, fungi or bacteria, pollution and asbestos are excluded.
  • The RRCA reserves the right to deny access to the insurance program for activities it deems beyond the scope of the covered activities of policy, which is designed to covers for risks associated with traditional road races, trail/ultra runs with no man-made alterations, and cross country events. Each member should review and understand the details of the general liability program prior to obtaining coverage.
Star Insurance can write a policy specifically for your event if the RRCA insurance program cannot cover the event due to exclusions to our policy. Contact Terry Diller at 260-467-5690.

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