Bad stuff happens in the rowing world.
Sometimes that bad stuff can be bad enough to require insurance.
And if you don’t have the proper insurance . . . well, that’s a mistake you might regret for a long, long time.
As we twiddle our thumbs waiting for rowing to resume this is a perfect time to check that you are insurance-ready.
The day I became a rowing insurance fan
Years ago one of my shells, an eight, was rowing to the starting line.
It was a full-buoyed course and our boat was in the proper, assigned lane.
Another crew, a four, was coming down the same lane—the wrong way! We were in the right, they weren’t.
None of that made any difference in the head-on-collision
At the last second, both coxswains swerved, which saved lives.
But even though it was a glancing blow—it was disastrous.
Our eight snapped completely through between the two- and three-seat. The boat sank in seconds.
Their four broke in the bow, and went under quickly.
Fortunately there were only minor injuries, yet there were two destroyed shells, broken oars, lost gear.
Having the equipment insured and the athlete’s insurance information handy made a terrible experience workable
So my question to you is if something like that happened to you are you insurance-ready?
Here are five critical rowing areas to make sure you are:
- Rowing equipment
- Athlete health
- Coach liability
Have proper rowing insurance could save you so many headaches and so much money
So let me ask you 5 questions, and now is a perfect time to work on your answers.
(Full disclosure—I’m not an insurance expert and won’t advise you on what coverage to get. My goal is to get you so pumped to be insurance-ready you drop everything and call your insurance expert pronto.)
Question 1: Is your rowing equipment insurance-ready?
In my accident the insurance made a world of difference. Yes, the boat and oars were replaced. But other expenses were also covered including transportation and lost belongings.
Your shells and oars should be insured, and your other equipment like the electronics too. Find out if they are insurance-ready. If they aren’t, get coverage—or be aware they aren’t covered if you choose not to insure them.
It’s not just accidents on the water you should worry about
Here’s a reality check for you…more rowing equipment is damaged in transit and storage than in any other manner.
Your boathouse can be a dangerous place.
Question 2: Is your vehicle insurance-ready?
Vehicle insurance is mandated by law almost everywhere but that doesn’t mean that yours is current.
Make sure the insurance is current through to the end of the season. Do this now, because once you start back you’re not going to have the time or brain power to think about this during season. (Trust me on that one.)
Find the insurance cards for the tow vehicle and trailer (or your car if you’re car-topping). Then put the insurance cards in the glove compartment of the tow vehicle or car, or someplace that guarantees the cards will be with the vehicle.
Or better yet, take a picture of them and keep the photos on your phone.
Question 3: Do you know where your athlete insurance info is?
Each athlete in your program should be covered by health insurance—regardless of his/her/their age group.
As a coach, you’ll want (and are probably expected to have) copies of your athletes’ health insurance information with you in case of accident or injury, especially when traveling.
This single, smart action can save you hours of hassle.
One year, we had an athlete lose a fight with a bee. She was allergic, and we had to take her to a Doc-In-A-Box.
I didn’t have her insurance information with me so instead of a quick doctor’s visit that missing info led to hours of hassle and filling out many other forms. I also had to pay for the visit myself and then spend additional time later to get reimbursed.
Today, I travel with a copy of the insurance forms for each and every athlete on the team, including mine. It’s not a bad idea to have them for other coaches too. I have the info in a notebook and also have pictures of them stored on my phone.
Question 4: Do you have coach-liability insurance?
Few coaches take this next step, but the smart ones do: ask if YOU are covered for professional liability insurance.
You may never need professional-liability coverage (and I hope you don’t), but if it turns out you do need it, then you will REALLY need it.
I’ve been told by some very smart people to have at a minimum $1 million in coverage. If your program or coaching organization doesn’t cover you then contact your insurance company and ask about an umbrella policy on your own insurance.
Question 5: Is your rowing event insurance-ready?
If you are hosting an event then being insurance-ready is crucial.
One way or another you will want coverage (again, check with an expert on what and how much coverage you should have).
In the States, USRowing offers event coverage in specific situations, so that could be a resource for you.
And event coverage can be more than for accidents.
Some sporting groups had cancellation insurance coverage which they were glad to have when they had to cancel their event due to the COVID outbreak.
Save the future-you time, head space, hassles
Before you think all this insurance-ready checking will eat up your day, know that you are investing in making your future rowing a better place.
The time you spend now making sure your rowing world is insurance-ready can save you a huge amount of time, money, and hassle down the road.
And one last question:
Are you going to check to make sure your rowing world is insurance-ready NOW, or are you going to wait until it’s too late?