LAST UPDATED: 10 June 2024

Race Insurance

Event insurance veteran, Nathan Nicholas, discusses event liability insurance and the protection you can expect from your insurance policy on race day.

Nathan NicholasNathan Nicholas

Race Insurance
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If there’s one thing you can’t have enough of as a race director, it’s race insurance. Particularly - knock on wood - when the unexpected happens and you’re faced with a dreaded lawsuit that threatens to take away your livelihood and your piece of mind.

So how can you best protect yourself and your business from the risks associated with putting on a race? What will your standard event liability policy cover? What does it exclude? And how should you expect to be protected against legal and medical claims should your race be held liable for a participant injury or loss of property?

That’s what we’re discussing today with my guest, Nicholas Hill Group partner and event insurance veteran, Nathan Nicholas. Through Nicholas Hill Group, Nathan has helped develop some of the most robust and widely-used specialist insurance policies for the endurance events industry, and with his help we’ll try to understand where the boundaries of liability insurance protection lie for you, the event organizer; how event liability insurance ties in with other types of business insurance you may be buying; how the type of race you put on affects the cost and availability of insurance cover you might find in the market; and how the diligent use of participant waivers and incident documentation can help reduce the risk of frivolous lawsuits being filed against you.

In this episode:

  • Event liability insurance: what it is and what kinds of contingencies it covers
  • How event liability insurance differs from Business Owner's Policies (BOPs) and other types of general business insurance
  • Will an event liability policy cover me for event-related work outside of race day?
  • Will an event liability policy cover volunteers, spectators and third-party vendors on site on race day?
  • Negligence and gross negligence in the context of liability insurance.
  • Understanding an event liability policy: deductibles, claim limits, additional insured's. 
  • Getting insurance for obstacle races, ultramarathons, night races, races serving alcohol.
  • Liability waivers: do they work?
  • What to do (and not to do) when sued for liability by a participant or other party.
  • How are your legal costs covered in the event of a lawsuit? Will you have to pay out of pocket?
  • Does a virtual race need liability insurance?
  • Race cancellation insurance: what it is and what it covers
  • Will a race cancellation insurance policy cover the costs of postponing instead of cancelling a race?

Many thanks to our podcast sponsors, RunSignup and Brooksee, for supporting our efforts to provide great, free content to the race director community:

RunSignup are the leading all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events. More than 26,000 events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. Find out more at https://runsignup.com/.

Brooksee are the timing technology industry-leader, bringing affordable real-time tracking and timing checkpoints to races with their patented iPhone-sized micro checkpoints. Find out more and get 50% off your timing for your next event at https://www.brooksee.com/headstart.

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