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Insurance coverage is one of the major benefits of RRCA membership. An organization must be a member of the RRCA to access the insurance program we offer to our members. We believe that insurance is a top priority for clubs and events and should never be an afterthought in the planning process. If a claim arises from a club or event activity, defending the claim can generate extraordinary legal expense. Purchasing general liability insurance through the RRCA covers the cost of litigation as well as any payout of damages in a claim.
All RRCA member clubs and events MUST carry general liability insurance. All RRCA nonprofit clubs and events must carry D&O insurance. Members who choose not to participate in the RRCA insurance program must furnish a copy of their insurance certificate showing similar coverage with another insurance provider to be included on the RRCA running club listing and event calendar.
The RRCA offers two basic types of insurance policies for running clubs and events, General Liability Insurance, and Directors and Officers Insurance (D&O). An additional rider can be purchased to cover for volunteer medical personnel, and an additional equipment policy can be purchased to insure against loss or damage to club owned equipment.
General Liability Insurance
The RRCA comprehensive general liability policy offers insurance for participants including accidental medical coverage, property damage, and sexual abuse and molestation for running clubs and running events. Review the Insurance FAQs and the covered activities information for detailed coverage information. Covered parties include club members, club volunteers, program participants, event participants, and event spectators. As part of the application process, a club must submit a current list of all activities, including races it hosts, with the RRCA. This list can be updated throughout the year by adding new events to the Find an Event calendar.
The RRCA offers a tiered liability insurance program that provides $1 million per occurrence policy with no aggregate limit for clubs and events (our standard policy) and a $2 million per occurrence policy with no aggregate limit based on the number of household members or event participants. We recommend that members select the $1 million per occurrence in liability option if they are not required by their local government to insure their activities for $2 million or more.
Occasionally, a municipality or property owner requests to become an additional insured under an existing insurance policy. These “additional insured certificates” are provided free of charge by submitting a request to Star Insurance. Star Insurance will contact you if the additional party cannot be covered as some exclusions may apply. Timing companies, police departments, and others cannot be named as additional insured parties, as they should have their own general business insurance. Race directing companies who own more than one event annually may request additional insured certificates, but they must pay the liability premium for each event before making the request for additional certificates.
Important Exclusions to Covered Activities:All RRCA members should review the Risk Management Guidelines on this page. For 2012, the RRCA group liability policy will no longer cover high risk events that include overnight relay races run on open roads (no police support, no road closures, or separate lanes for participants), and high risk events commonly referred to as mud-runs, “warrior dashes”, and urbanathons 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. 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. 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. Each member should review and understand the details of the general liability program prior to obtaining coverage.
RRCA Insurance is non-transferable. RRCA clubs and race directing companies that assist other organizations with putting on an event may NOT extend insurance coverage to these organizations. If the club or race director does not own the race or manage all aspects of the event, it is not an insured event of the club or race directing company. In this case, the organization receiving the assistance must join the RRCA as an event member to obtain insurance for their event. Race Directing companies may insure an event through the RRCA if they OWN the race and direct all aspects of the race. If the race directing company is assisting another organization with elements of an event such as timing or finish line services, this event is not owned by the race directing company and not insured. Transferring or selling of the RRCA insurance by race directing companies and running clubs for non-owned events is FRAUD. Race directing companies assisting other organizations with their events must instruct that organization to obtain and show proof of event insurance. For more information please see below, under “Covered Activities”, or call (703) 525-3890.
Volunteer Medical Personnel Endorsement
Coverage for volunteer medical personnel can be purchased by RRCA members covered under the general liability insurance program. The Volunteer Medical Personnel Endorsement covers emergency first aid and/or on-course medical treatment by properly licensed medical personnel working on a voluntary basis. Paid medical staff are not covered under this endorsement. Medical volunteers who provide service at running events typically have professional liability coverage already in place to protect themselves against malpractice claims. The RRCA Volunteer Medical Personnel Endorsement is considered insurance over and above any other insurance held by the medical professional. It does, however, provide coverage when a professional liability policy does not extend coverage to emergency medical professionals volunteering at events held outside of a workplace facility.
Coverage limits for medical volunteers are the same as the RRCA’s General Liability policy, either $1 million or $2 million per occurance in coverage. The cost of this optional endorsement is either $250 if you insure your organization with the $1 million liability policy or $300 if you insure your organization with the $2 million liability policy.
Operations Package Program - $750*
The insurance program also offers the optional Operations Package, which provides for basic business type insurance coverages for your club or event management companies. This insurance coverages for items such as timing clocks, club or event owned computers, etc. It also helps cover clubs in the event that a volunteer or employee embezzles funds from the club or event through theft,forgery, or alterations of documents. Clubs and events MUST have documented evidence that RRCA recommended financial policies and procedures are in place in advance of a claim.
- $25,000 business income loss
- $5,000 miscellaneous office equipment coverage
- $75,000 business personal property coverage
- $10,000 hardware/software coverage
- $25,000 employee/volunteer dishonesty coverage – must have RRCA recommended financial policies and procedures in place for your club or event management company.
- $25,000 forgery and alterations
- $10,000 theft, disappearance, and destruction
*Exclusions include wind, hail, earthquake, and flooding as a peril. To include coverage for these perils, contact Star Insurance for a quote.
Directors & Officers Insurance (Nonprofit Organizations Only)
Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance extends a safety net beyond the classic tort, or negligence situation, which might generate a claim against a member organization.Our comprehensive general liability policy offers insurance for an “occurrence” which is generally defined as an act or omission, which gives rise to liability in the area of “torts.” A classic illustration of this type of occurrence is a negligence action resulting in personal injury. D&O coverage will protect the officers and directors of nonprofit clubs and events from certain situations where the club might find itself subjected to a claim as a result of an error in judgment or challenged matter of policy. Some specific illustrations of errors and omissions occurrences are as follows:
- A claim of discrimination against a club as a result if barring a runner from participating in an event (e.g. male runner files a suit when barred from a women’s only race).
- A violation of someone’s constitutional rights as a result of policy or procedure taken by a member club.
- An occurrence of age or disability discrimination.
- A decision by a race director to cancel a race (inclement weather), which results in a monetary loss to a runner.
The RRCA believes that the additional insurance coverage afforded by D&O coverage is very necessary in a day and age when some clubs have already found themselves and their officers subjected to allegations of discrimination as a result of race policy and procedure. Even if the claim is a questionable one, to have to defend a tenuous claim in court can generate extraordinary legal expense.
Nonprofit RRCA members are required to carry D&O Insurance. If a member club holds a D&O policy with another insurance provider, this fee can be refunded by providing a copy of the insurance certificate to the RRCA. D&O insurance does not extend to for-profit business entities that own and direct races. Individuals that own races and direct races for a profit are highly encouraged to obtain their own business liability insurance to ensure that their business activities are covered.
The RRCA offers affordable equipment insurance to all of our members through the Inland Marine Equipment Floater Policy and is available directly from Star Insurance. To obtain a piece of mind and coverage for your equipment all you need to do complete a simple application, include a narrative describing the facility where your equipment is housed, and provide a list of the equipment you wish to insure. The policy period runs from March 1st to March 31st of the next year, and the premium is $2.30 per $100.00 of the equipment’s replacement cost. Premiums for equipment insurance are sent directly to Star Insurance. Click here to access the equipment insurance application.
Download Equipment Insurance Application (Word doc)
Activities Covered by Insurance
Covered activities for a running club range from adult training programs, youth programs walking programs, group runs, track workouts, social activities, meetings, pot-luck meals, 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.
These events and activities will be covered by the RRCA general insurance policy as long as the club has jurisdiction over 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 hold an event, usually a race. While the RRCA does not want to discourage member clubs from assisting other organizations with race directing services, it is important that the club does not extend its insurance to races that it does not own and is not integrally and directly involved with.
Below are some guidelines to determine if a road or trail race is club managed. If it is determined that a race is not “owned” by the club, then the organization that does own the race should contact the RRCA to become an event member and thereby insured for the race.
A club managed race is one in which the club can answer “yes” to almost all of the following questions:
- Does the club list the race on its calendar and discuss its status at board meetings?
- If the club is a nonprofit organization, is the race referred to in club minutes as a club owned race?
- Is the club involved at each planning stage of the race?
- 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?
- Is the club responsible for overseeing the safety and risk management of the race?
- Could another organization assisting with the event be named in a lawsuit arising from an incident occurring at the race as the responsible party for the event ?(If yes, consult with the RRCA)
- Does the club name appear in the race name? For example, “Road Runners Club 5K Run for Heart Health”?
If your club does not own the event or if your club is hired by a third party to conduct an event on their behalf, this 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 and 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.
Risk Management Guidelines
The collective risk management efforts by our members ensures the RRCA’s ability to obtain affordable insurance for our members. As noted in the General Liability Insurance section above, there are two types of events that are excluded from the RRCA’s insurance coverage. While activities including animals, bicycles, skateboards, jogging strollers, and roller or in-line skates are not excluded from the insurance policy, These types of events are strongly discouraged. The high risk of potential injury involved in these activities could cause an increase in RRCA insurance premiums, or worse, a refusal by the insurance company to renew the RRCA’s insurance policy.
Special note about the use of headphones
The RRCA has a written guideline against the use of personal music devices in running events and group training runs. We feel this is a safety precaution and a risk management responsibility for race directors and group run leaders. As such, race directors and group run leaders are encouraged to ban or strongly discourage the use of headphones in races and group runs.
The RRCA understands that enforcement of a headphone ban can be a challenge for race directors, especially for races that exceed several thousand runners. Because of this, the use of headphones in events and group runs is not excluded from the RRCA insurance policy. This means that if a race director bans the use of headphones during a race, and a participant uses headphones anyway, and is involved in an accident, the insurance policy will cover the cost of litigation and any potential payout.
While the insurance policy does not exclude headphones, and the RRCA does not have an outright ban on their use during races, RRCA members cannot actively encourage runners to run with their headphones. On January 17, 2009, the RRCA Board of Directors passed a policy stating that RRCA members taking advantage of the group general liability and Directors & Officers insurance benefit may not actively promote that headphones are welcome at RRCA insured events. RRCA club and event members, who engage in marketing campaigns that invite participants to participate in a race or group run while wearing will be removed from the RRCA group insurance coverage.
As part of the annual renewal process, RRCA members are asked to review RRCA’s Guidelines for Safe Event Management and Guidelines for Leading a Group Run and attest that this information has been reviewed and will be followed to the best ability of their ability. As part of the insurance program, all RRCA member clubs are required to obtain waivers from their members and guests and all events insured by the RRCA are required to obtain waivers from participants and volunteers. Click here for sample waivers.
Questions About Procedures
Q. Is liability insurance optional for members?
An RRCA member club or event must have liability insurance either through the RRCA, or provide proof through another carrier. Any insurance policy taking the place of that being provided to the RRCA should contain equivalent coverage including participant liability as well as the other standard liability policy items. You must be a member of the RRCA to access the insurance program, we do not provide insurance coverage for non-members.
Q. How is the insurance premium determined?
For RRCA clubs, fees are based on the number of household members in the club. For event clubs, fees are based on the number of participants in the event. You can see the detailed fee structure in the membership section of the website.
Q. If a club opts for comparable insurance coverage, what information must it provide?
The RRCA needs a copy of the certificate of insurance from the insurer. Proof of alternate insurance must be provided to the RRCA upon joining and renewing membership.
Q. When is the insurance premium due?
Membership fees and insurance premiums are paid in full by December 31st for the upcoming year, and cannot be paid in installments. After January 1st, insurance coverage begins on the day fees are received. Clubs should make sure fees are paid prior to the first club activity in order to assure RRCA insurance coverage is in place.
Q. Do I get proof of insurance coverage?
Yes, your club or event primary contact person will receive a copy of the certificate of insurance by email. This email will come from Star Insurance. It will take up to 14 business days to process the certificate of insurance from the time full payment is received by the RRCA after joining or renewing membership. Replacement copies can be obtained by emailing Judy Weaver at Judy.Weaver@starfinancial.com. Please do not email Judy to inquire about your certificate status if you are within the 14-day window of making your payment and awaiting your certificate.
Q. If club membership fluctuates during the year are there any additional charges?
No. The annual fee is fixed for the year. Any changes in club membership numbers, either up or down, will be reflected in the following year’s renewal.
Q. Must a club report its races to the RRCA?
Yes. Insurance coverage is provided only for races listed on the RRCA online calendar. The calendar can be accessed from the RRCA homepage under “Find and Event”, and a user ID and password are required for entering race details.
Q. Can additional insured certificates be added?
Yes. The Additional Insured form can be found on the RRCA website here. The completed form should be sent directly to the RRCA insurance broker at least 15 days prior to the date it is needed. A handling fee may be charged for last minute requests.
Questions About Coverage
Q. What is the limit of coverage?
The RRCA policy comes standard with a $1,000,000 per occurrence with an unlimited aggregate insurance; $500,000 in rented property coverage; $10,000 in accidental medical coverage ($250 deductible per claim); $1,000,000 in hired and non-owned auto liability coverage; and $500,000 ($5,000,000 aggregate) for abuse and molestation coverage. $1,000,000 per occurrence coverage is available for volunteer medical personal for an additional fee. The RRCA policy comes with the option to purchase an additional million in coverage up to $2 million per occurrence based on the household members in a club or the number of event participants. The property damage, accidental medical, auto, and SAM coverage for the $2million liability policy is the same as the $1 million liability policy.
Q. Is it possible to obtain higher limits of liability for a specific event?
Yes. You will need to contact Star Financial to find out the specific rates for additional coverage.
Q. Is the club protected if a spectator should bring suit?
Yes, the policy does protect the RRCA and its member clubs against spectator claims as long as the claim does not involve an excluded condition.
Q. Are volunteers covered?
Yes, as long as the volunteer is working on behalf of the RRCA club. For example, if a volunteer is named in a liability suit while working a club race, the club’s insurance would protect the volunteer. This would apply to non-member volunteers as well.
Q. Are headphones excluded?
The insurance policy does not exclude headphone use, and the RRCA does not have an outright ban on their use during events or group runs. However, RRCA members cannot actively encourage runners to run with headphones, as this could jeopardize the integrity of the insurance program.
Q. What are excluded conditions?
High risk events that include overnight relay races run on open roads (no police support, no road closures, or separate lanes for participants), and high risk events commonly referred to as mud-runs, “warrior dashes”, and urbanathons 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. Amusement devices such as moonbounces, dunk tanks, and pools are excluded from the policy, as well as multisport training programs and events (triathlons, biathlons, etc.). Also excluded are fireworks, terrorism, fungi or bacteria, pollution and asbestos. 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 260-476-5690.
Q. Is an event covered if alcohol is served?
Yes, as long as the club is not “in the business of selling, serving, manufacturing, distributing, or distilling alcoholic beverages.” If alcohol is served, there should be no charge. Someone should ensure that no minors are served alcohol. Check your local rules and regulations for more information about alcoholic beverage service. If other vendors sell alcohol at your event, incidents arising from the sale of alcohol are not covered by RRCA insurance.
Q. Are races for charity covered?
Yes, as long as the club is directly responsible for the administration of the race and takes full responsibility for the race. If the club does not take full responsibility for the event then the charity partner can join the RRCA as an event member to have the event covered under the RRCA insurance policy.
Q. Are club owned autos to and from races covered?
No. Auto insurance on the vehicle would be used for the coverage.
Q. What if a club member is driving a vehicle not owned by the club and is in an accident?
Or is on club business and is involved in an accident?
His or her own insurance should cover personal injury or damage to the vehicle. If the club were named in a liability suit in these circumstances, it would be covered. Note: Coverage is included for the official business of the club but does not include transportation of athletes to or from events, without an additional underwriting and premium. 15-passenger vans are entirely excluded from any coverage.
Q. How can a club insure its equipment?
There is a separate equipment insurance policy available to clubs participating in the RRCA liability insurance program. Forms are available from the RRCA insurance agent who directly administers the program, and the cost is based on the replacement cost of the equipment. Find contact info.
Q. How can a club handle minor medical expenses when an official or participant is injured at a race?
The RRCA general liability policy also includes a medical component. The policy will cover up to $5,000 of medical expenses, subject to a $250 deductible, over and above other health insurance the injured party owns.