USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of October 11, 2010

Oct. 12, 2010, 5:33 p.m. (ET)

Week of October 11, 2010  

There may be something you did not know about USA Field Hockey Insurance

I know nothing….
As I came to USA Field Hockey back in January, I had the opportunity to look over the multitude of insurance products that had been assembled to protect athletes, venue owners, coaches, spectators, and, especially one group; umpires. In the policies, umpires stood out as being different. They are. Umpires are special….seriously. If we did not have legimate, well trained umpires the creditability of the game would not exist. Umpires are the glue of the sport. Truth be told, umpires or officials from any sport need to be treated with a higher degree of care than others. To not have good umpires; to not have an active set of perks to help recruit them would mean “The end of the world as we know it”.  

Several years ago, special provisions were put into place to protect our umpires from liability claims (General Liability coverage) and medical expenses (Sport Accident Insurance) associated with injuries they incur while officiating field hockey events.  The sport accident policy provides medical reimbursement on an excess basis.  The coverage is provided to all of our participants/members who sustain an injury in one of our sanctioned activities, and protect them with Sports Accident insurance (a excess insurance product we provide everyone in the event of injury during competition). In the case of umpires, we set different limits. For instance, with sports accident insurance we set the limits at $100,000 while everyone else has a limit of $25,000. Both limits are rich from an insurance perspective as offered by a typical sport national governing body. Another interesting broad expansion of insurance through USA Field Hockey is to provide insurance coverage to umpires regardless if they were officiating a USA Field Hockey sanctioned event or non-sanctioned event (not endorsed by USA Field Hockey). This enhancement enables our officials to officiate all competitive Field Hockey competitions  at any level and still be covered under USA Field Hockey’s insurance coverage.  That meant our umpires could officiate at any level of field hockey competition and still be covered by USA Field Hockey insurance protection. That is pretty broad and very helpful in the provision of protection. And, finally, our umpire insurance coverage provides lost wage provisions if an umpire is incapacitated during an officiating event so she or he is not adversely affected income wise. In checking with other sport national governing bodies, the provisions we have made are unheard of, but, in hockey they are definitely needed to encourage members to enter the umpire ranks.
As we proceed into 2011, we are exploring other opportunities to enhance the USA Field Hockey umpire program. You can help, too. A key opportunity that you can help provide is to regularly respect the job umpires do as they are in a thankless position. Umpires prove on a regular basis that it does take someone very special to fill their role. 

It may not sound of consequence, but we are changing our insurance brokerage for 2012. Without a doubt, insurance is the backbone of any sport national governing body. Not having well placed, economical insurance, we would be unable to protect athletes, umpires, coaches, volunteers, spectators, venue owners, event producers, and all others associated with USA Field Hockey events. While a discussion of insurance and the many products we purchase to protect everyone would cause most people’s eyes to glaze over, it is the essential, fundamental element of a national governing body’s existence. Without that protection, and with our country’s proclivity toward litigation, we could not exist. So, it is important to continually examine policies; and, it is important to continually look at all ways to risk-manage events in order to protect our insurance asset. ESIX brokerage will begin serving our risk management needs effective January 1, 2011. ESIX is without a doubt the strongest brokerage in the national governing body environment due to their continuing emphasis on risk-management, and their ability to obtain the most comprehensive insurance at the most economical premium cost. ESIX also represents a huge stable of pro sports such as many NHL, MLB, NFL, and NBA clubs. Additionally, they represent 22 Olympic sport national governing bodies. In 2011, we will be developing new insurance products to help protect coaches in the light of the need to increase awareness and risk manage safe environments for athletes.  Also, we are looking at other products to provide comprehensive protection for clubs in all activities they conduct (be it USA Field Hockey sanctioned or not). Insurance is a basic need; a need that often is taken for granted until such time a claim is made; and we feel it is our responsibility to provide our consituencies with the best coverages we can find.
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: A new poll found that only 5 percent of Americans think the public school system is working well. While the other 95 percent think it “could be working gooder.”


Have a great week!