Road Runners Club of America

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Covid-19 Information Resources

Virtual Event General Liability and Accidental Medical Insurance Coverage - Additional Insured Limitations


Virtual Events Defined: 
For RRCA purposes, we define a virtual event as a marketing effort that encourages registered participants to run a certain distance and provide for a system where the participant can self-report their participation (completion of a certain distance) to an organization for the purposes of receiving some type of participation premium (shirt, medal, etc.).   If you recommend/prescribe a route, we highly encourage that you insure your organization from a claim of liability, as you have gone beyond just encouraging people to get and run.  RRCA recommends to not prescribe a route for a virtual event.  If an event organizer defines a specific course/route AND provides timing services on said course, the event is no longer virtual and is considered a live event, and must be insured as follows:

Running Clubs - RRCA member running clubs can host virtual events with no additional fees, as hosting virtual events or online challenges that are not timed and are not on a prescribed course are covered under the club's general liability insurance. 

  • Virtual event activities are only covered if the club DOES NOT prescribe a specific route or provide any type of timing services on a specific course/route.  If timing services are provided on a prescribed course/route, the event is no longer virtual, and it is considered an informal, live event for each day it is held. 
  • If you hold a "virtual challenge" on a prescribed course and provide timing services over a period of days, additional insured requests must be submitted for each day of the challenge for property owners and municipal entities (cities, parks & rec, etc.).   For example, you hold a 15-day challenge on a specific course and provide timing services, you must submit AI's for each specific day of the challenge.  That is 15 AI's requests for the entity for each day of the challenge. 
  • Why the multiple requests for AI's?  When requesting an additional insurance certificate for a live event, these are typically issued for a specific date, not a date range that exceeds a 24-hour period.  The insurance company will not cover additional insured entities (cities, parks & recs, etc.) over a date range for live events, because your organization has no control over the overall activities that occur in the insured area during a date range. 
Event Member and Event Management Company Members - Event Members and Event Mgt. Companies that have paid the insurance fees for 2021 are covered for traditional live and any associate virtual event option, so long as virtual only events, or online only challenges, are not on a prescribed course over a period of days with timing services provided.
  • If holding a "virtual or challenge event" and you provide timing services on a prescribed course over a period of days (exceeding 24-hours), the events are considered a live events (not virtual), and insurance must be taken out for each day the event is held.  For example, you host a challenge and provide timing service on a specific route over a 7-day period, you must insure for 7 different events on 7 different days and submit additional insured requests for each day of the challenge for property owners and municipal entities (cities, parks & rec, etc.).  
  • Why the multiple requests for AI's?  When requesting an additional insurance certificate for a live event, these are typically issued for a specific date, not a date range that exceeds a 24-hour period. The insurance company will not cover additional insured entities (cities, parks & recs, etc.) over a date range for live events, because your organization has no control over the overall activities that occur in the insured area during a date range.

VIRTUAL EVENT INSURANCE - RRCA is offering general liability along with participant accident coverage through for members hosting virtual-only events.   

  • Virtual only event under 200 participants, a fee of $107 will be charged for $1million insurance coverage and $217 will be charged for $2million insurance coverage.
  • Virtual only event with 201-500 participants, a fee of $171 will be charged for $1million insurance coverage and $345 will be charged for $2million insurance coverage.
  • Virtual only event with 501-5000 participants,fees will be assessed following normal insurance rates posted for Event and Event Mgt. Company members.
  • Virtual only event with over 5001 participants, please email membership@rrca.org for fee assessment.
This fee includes adding sponsors and charity partners as additional insured at no additional cost.  Please review the information above for limitations for additional insureds for municipalities, parks & rec., physical facilities.  If you need assistance adding a virtual run to your membership, or if you are a new member planning a virtual event, email membership@rrca.org for assistance.

Please draw on expert medical advice from the CDC and from your state and local public health agencies.  Know what's going on in your community. The CDC has a listing of all State Health Departments, which is a quick and easy resource to help you find information for your community.

We offer the following recommendations and FAQs as restrictions ease around the US:
  • Be prepared for a slow phase-in of return-to-activities in your community. Keep in mind state officials may say one thing, while your county or city officials may say something else based on local conditions.
  • Take your time to work with local officials to understand when you will be allowed to host group runs and produce your race(s). You may find that communities will start to allow for small group gatherings of 10-25 people before allowing events over 100 people. This may present an opportunity to implement some small, controlled group runs to test updated sanitation efforts to implement at future events and larger group runs.
  • RRCA, in Partnership with CARA, has issued Operational Perparedness Plans for Group Runs running clubs can adapt to local considerations. 
  • As a running community leader, do everything you can to maintain/improve the nationwide example of runners being responsible while promoting physical distancing during the return to outdoor group fitness/running.
  • f you have utilized paper sign-ins for group runs for safety reasons, now is the time to move to digital options, such as Google forms for sign-ins.  Utilize a QR code that people can scan for easy access to an online form for checking in, signing a group run waiver, and sharing emergency contact information.
  • Plan, plan, plan - utilize the "Looking Forward: Guidelines for Events" for helpful tips.  The guide, as of May 3, includes small case studies of recent evens utilizing new procedures for physical distancing and sanitation.
  • Find helpful tips in our Return to Running Survey Results analysis.
  • Update your waivers if you do virtual runs or host in-person events. For all events and group runs you will host during the pandemic, we recommend addressing Covid-19 and other diseases in your waiver moving forward.

Q. What are the insurance risks for returning to group running or hosting events?


A.
As always, having policies, plans, and procedures in place are a key element in managing the risks faced by your organization.  Utilizing the resource outlined above, we highly recommend you update any local guidelines you have for group runs, as your organization moves into the "re-opening" phase.  Having plans and procedures in place and communicating those plans and procedures regularly is an important part of minimizing a claim of negligence.   

The activities of RRCA members utilizing our general liability program are covered
, and we strongly encourage you to operate within the regulations in place in your community.  For example, if you are allowed to have groups of 25-people, develop plans to ensure that you are meeting local guidelines.  Make all efforts to enforce any new policies and procedures you have put in place as a result of the pandemic. 

Events may proceed if you are issued a permit to conduct your event as a live event. 
We recommend you adopt plans, policies, and procedures to address event operations with references to any local physical distancing requirements, sanitation efforts, etc.  Refer to the Looking Forward:  Guidelines for Races and adopt updated policies and procedures based on these recommendations coupled with any state or local requirements or recommendations that have been issued. 

Q. If we offer a virtual option instead of a live option, is the event covered?  Can we offer both a live and virtual option? 


A.
Yes, if you offer a virtual option for a live event, that element of your will be included in general liability insurance coverage for the event.  The same is true if you host both a virtual and live option.  We strongly recommend you have written guidelines in place outlining how a virtual event should be conducted, and that you have a virtual-event-specific-waiver that is separate from your live event waiver.  Updated waiver samples a can be found here >>

Q. Does the RRCA's General Liability Insurance Program cover a member if someone claims they get Covid-19 from participating in an activity? 

A. 
In 2021, the General Liability policy provided by the RRCA for its members excludes coverage for claims of negligence if someone sues an event, club, or coach saying they got Covid-19 at the event, club program/run, coached program/run.

The burden of proof that an illness was actually contracted at an event will be a challenge in a lawsuit. Managing risk to avoid a clam of negligence makes it imperative for race directors and run organizers put plans in place for sanitation, physical distancing guidelines, updated waivers, etc. that are in accordance with local and state health department recommendations.  Good plans, along with waivers that specifically include Covid-19 risk acknowledgement (RRCA waiver samples are updated), are a first line of defense if an event, club or coach were to be sued for a claim of negligence if someone test positive following participation after an event or organized run or group activity.
 
Q. Is Covid-19 covered under accidental medical insurance?

A. It is important to understand that communicable disease has never been included in the accidental medical insurance coverage.  So naturally, Covid-19 is not included, and this is not a policy change. The point of this insurance is to cover a participant in the event of a physical accident, such as: a fall with broken bones; being struck by a car or object on course (falling signs); or other accidents that result in physical harm.  Keep in mind, this coverage is not general health insurance for an uninsured participant.  The coverage is supplemental to a participant's own health insurance coverage and is designed to make a participant financially whole to prevent a lawsuit if an injury is incurred during an event. 

Q. Can we ask people during registration if they have had Covid-19 or if they have been exposed to it?


A. Race directors and club leaders should be concerned about the issue of gathering health information from individuals, which can create increased liabilities by doing so.  The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient's consent or knowledge, often referred to as Protected Health Information (PHI) by the legal community and regulatory bodies.  Beyond HIPAA, states have their own laws that protect health information.  While HIPAA is primarily focused on the patient/health care provider relationship, gathering sensitive health information could expose an organization if the information is not managed appropriately.  The fines for PHI being leaked or not protected can be significant (from $2000 to upwards of $100K).

Race directors and club leaders should consult an attorney that specializes in managing PHI to ensure they have systems in place to protect their entities from leaks or misuse of information if they elect to gather sensitive health information, especially Covid-19 infection history. 

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