The following is excerpted from a new article on MaxRigging.com; read the full article here.
Bad stuff happens in the rowing world, and sometimes that bad stuff can be bad enough to require insurance. 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.
Are you insurance-ready if something like that happens?
Here are five critical rowing areas to make sure you are:
- Rowing equipment
- Athlete health
- Coach liability
Having proper rowing insurance could save you so many headaches and so much money.
And 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.
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.)
Question 1: Is your rowing equipment insurance-ready?
Your shells and oars should be insured, and your other equipment like the electronics too. If they are not covered, get coverage—or be aware they aren't covered if you choose not to insure them.
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) and put them in the glove compartment now.
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.
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.
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; 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.
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?
To learn more about rigging, check out Mike's new online course, Beginning Sweep Rigging, which launched this week.