This past year was tumultuous for USA Diving in the liability insurance marketplace. Multiple sports industry insurance brokers have acknowledged that increased costs will impact all amateur sports organizations, and USA Diving is not exempt. For all of these organizations, increases in insurance premiums will be multiples of the prior year’s premiums. While USA Diving has made excellent progress in making changes to protect our athletes, we are now facing these same increases, as insurance companies struggle to be able to offer coverage. Multiple professionals in the insurance industry confirm that costs will continue to escalate for all sports in the coming years.
The insurance coverage USA Diving provides to our membership is one of the most valuable benefits we offer. Though we often take this for granted – this coverage protects our members and allows us the ability to offer coverage to clubs and members at practices and events throughout the country. The premium for this insurance has always been one of the largest line items in USA Diving’s annual budget. Late in 2019, very shortly before the policy was to expire, USA Diving was notified that the carrier would not renew. USA Diving immediately sought bids from all other carriers who write the type of policy we require, and learned many had withdrawn from the market altogether. Upon securing a carrier, we received notification that the premium for similar coverage would be almost TRIPLE the 2019 premium. This increase, bringing the premium to slightly over $675,000, far exceeded the budgeted amounts that could be absorbed from other sources of revenue.
USA Diving is not the only National Governing Body (NGB) facing limited options of carriers, and colossal increases. While all are facing increased premiums – smaller NGB’s are being hit particularly hard. Many insurance carriers are withdrawing from the NGB coverage marketplace altogether, further increasing premiums from the few who continue to offer coverage. The USOPC is working with all NGB’s in trying to develop avenues for new options through a collaborative purchasing program, but this program was unable to be offered in time for the 2020 renewal.
Following considerable research and discussion, the Board of Directors was faced with the difficult decision of having the membership absorb this unexpected and unbudgeted cost. As USA Diving seeks ways to stabilize our insurance costs for 2021 and beyond, we ask for your understanding and support while we work with the USOPC to keep these costs from rising even higher, while we strive to continue to offer a wide variety of quality events for our membership.
The Board of Directors has taken into consideration input from the USA Diving membership and has made the decision to waive the $5 insurance surcharge for invitational and local events. This decision is based on USA Diving’s goal to do everything possible to keep the costs as low possible for these types of events.
USA Diving Board of Directors
February 3, 2020
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