Thoughts on race insurance and sanctioning in the UK

I've had five e-mails from concerned triathletes about this weekends Stratford Triathlon in the UK and an unambiguous but one-sided news alert on the BTA web site.

Actually this is all a load of scaremongering, started by the British Triathlon Association.

The organiser has insurance. It is being funded through the regular race fee, and a £5 top-up that the non-BTA members are paying

Think of it this way, to minimise expense the organisers are allowing BTA members to race at a £5 discount, ie they are putting in the extra £5 to cover your insurance. BTA members must show their 2005 license or pay the insurance otherwise the organiser is effectively giving away a fiver per person.

The organiser already has Public Liability Insurance Certificate and Personal Accident Insurance and the details of these are on the web site. This makes good sense for a race organiser, especially one running a race series.

For public liability they have £3 million covered by Allianz Cornhill.

For Personal Accident they have various cover issued by Haxton Nichols Hutton Ltd. which covers travelling to/from and during the event.

[5th May 21:15 update:] However, it seems at least according to the wording on the Stratford website, the Personal Accident Cover ONLY applies to BTA Members. Since the BTA won't be issuing day licenses for this event, non-members won't be covered by BTA or Excellent Promotions Insurance, or at least thats what it seems. I'll call the brokers in the morning and update here.

[6th May 9.15 update:] I spoke to David Morrish at Haxton Nichols Hutton Ltd., he confirmed the Personal Accident Insurance only applies to those who can prove they are current BTA members. He spoke to Keith Hancock who is the promoter and organiser through Excellent Promotions and has asked Keith to call me to discuss.

You can see scanned copies of the documents here: http://www.stratford-triathlon.co.uk/

Participants can decide if the cover is enough, but is compares pretty favourably with the BTA cover... and how many ever checked that. Just because the BTA has cover doesn't mean its good enough either.

The BTA no longer sanctions events in the UK at all... its all done through the local authority safety action group. Assuming they approve the race and various forms are sent to the BTA, they effectively issue a race "insurance cover" through their blanket policy.

The cost of this to the organiser for this BTA "approval" is £1 per competitor plus £2 per non-member for a day license.

Commercial organisers are not covered by insurance that the BTA provides. They have to get their own to cover most things anyway.

So, for an organiser who is doing a race series, or a number of events, they can possibly get an all-in insurance policy insurance cheaper than the money they have to submit to the BTA plus the insurance for what the BTA doesn't cover anyway. The BTA might not like it, but they don't have a monopoly on races in the UK

BTA members will have to claim for any loss, damage, injury or 3rd party claim from the organisers rather than the BTA.

It doesn't matter if you tell the BTA Insurers that you were training in Stratford, what they think that counts and since you paid an entry fee to a race... but it's not important since the race organiser is covering you anyway. Just check the policies before racing.

I petitioned the BTA back in 2001 to have the clause about racing in non-sanctioned races removed from the rules, which it was I think in 2003. So you cannot be banned by the BTA for the GB Age Group team etc for taking part in a non-approved race.

I don't think I know Keith, but Vic has been organising races for years and has long expressed frustration with the centrally enforced race processes and costs. I say good for them. The more companies paying and asking for insurance, the more competition, the lower the price hopefully!

Do your own homework, its pretty straight forward, lots of commercial race organisers think the BTA has them over a barrel, one has done something about it. I've never done Stratford so can’t comment one way or the other about the safety or organisation of the event...

but there is no reason why an organiser needs the BTA seal of "approval" assuming they have made alternative insurance arrangements, which this one has. Assuming they have insurance cover which this seems to have, and they have Police and Local authority safety action group approval then its almost nothing to do with the BTA.

The BTA wanted out of the liability for race organisation, especially commercial sanctioning, they got out of it, and now they have no control except through some pretty weak member insurance coverage.
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(Anonymous)
thanks for taking time to help us out on this Mark - appreciated

dr dre