Marathon Swimming Insurance - thoughts?

loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandAdmin
edited February 2013 in General Discussion
@nvr2late just started a thread on cover specifically for Swim Trek so I thought I'd start a new broader one, because it's a subject worth discussing.

I haven't had insurance for my few swims but I looked into it for going to MIMS last year. I did find an insurer in Ireland but ultimately decided against it based on cost (about €225/250 if I recall) and I figured I'm more prepared going into a long swim than many people getting into a car. I already can't afford to do what I'd like in this sport as it is.

* Are extra insurance requirements something we will have to deal with in the future?
*Would there be a way we could partake of some kind of at least third-party liability cover?
* What coverage do we get from our respective national swim organisations? (We get nothing from Swim Ireland, but swims organised with Approval from SI have 3rd-party cover, I think. These are never marathon swims). (I think Public Liability/Third Party are the same thing but I'm not certain).
*What are the implications of this possibility? (I imagine it would further reduce our numbers). Or is a needless concern?
*From organisers POV though, should insurance requirements be part of a marathon swim? @Nickthefish11, @Niek, @RonCollins, @NYCBlueMan/ Any thoughts from you guys?
* Would insurance be even realistic for this sport, both 3rd party and personal? (And I'm talking specifically marathons here not 5 & 10ks).
* Any other thoughts?

http://www.loneswimmer.com The World's Most Popular Open Water Swimming Blog

Comments

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    edited February 2013
    USMS (see the other thread) provides good coverage for sanctioned events, however, they have made it all but impossible to obtain a sanction for marathon swim/events.

    You can bet that anyone running an event or sanctioning a swim will have coverage for themselves and or organization, but it is probably a good idea to have personal coverage as well.

    Divers Alert Network (DAN) offers pretty good insurance coverage to its members for a small fee. Clare and I keep our membership current for travel whether we will be diving or not. Check them out.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member
    The insurance here in the Netherlands is through the National Swimming Federation if they sanction the swim. It is included with the club membership payment to the federation and there are no extra costs involved.
    Every swimming club that is a member of the federation can organize an event.
    I haven't heard that long distances (over 10 km) are disallowed. Only there has to be a safety plan that has been approved.
    Swimming isn't considered a hazardous sport by our (travel) insurance companies.

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • nvr2latenvr2late Central VirginiaCharter Member
    Swim Trek requires insurance that must specifically include Open Water swimming, and to cover accidental and personal medical risks, including repatriation costs, air and helicopter rescue. There is a company that is on the Swim Trek site, that only covers citizens of the UK. Swim Trek gave me the name of a company in the US, and I was able to contact a representative and am relieved to know that he is quite famliar with Swim Trek, and insuring Americans overseas. This is required by Swim Trek for their own liability I am sure. Oddly, I have had no one mention the same type of insurance for Channel swimmers, but I plan to get that covered as well. I was beginning to worry that I could find coverage. Several agents flatly stated that they could not cover such an Extreme Sport.
  • nvr2latenvr2late Central VirginiaCharter Member
    Naturally, no one wants to anticipate an accident in a foreign country, and hopitalization, or repatriation. No one thinks that any harm will come to them on vacation. But the Swim Trek requirement got me thinking about that possibility and I feel comfortable with the coverage that this policy provides, for any future trip overseas, whether swimming is involved or not.
  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member
    I don't really think that dying is the issue, to be honest - it's rescue / hospitalisation etc. that you need the coverage for, especially if you're going to a country that doesn't have socialised health care, or reciprocal health care provision (as with the EU in the case of a UK citizen).

    For my Catalina swim, I called Endsleigh (who Swimtrek recommend for UK citizens for their trips) just to check that they would cover a US marathon swim under "swimming" in their policies. I described what I was planning to do, and they wanted to make sure it was with a boat and a proper organisation etc. and were happy with that. I felt reassured from talking to them, and made sure that the conversation went on record.

    Then just as we were finishing, the guy said: "It's not like there'll be loads of sharks or anything, will there?" That was all I needed!
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    KarenT said:



    Then just as we were finishing, the guy said: "It's not like there'll be loads of sharks or anything, will there?" That was all I needed!

    I don't think there are loads of sharks left anywhere.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member
    Only in my fevered imagination in undisciplined moments are there loads of sharks. Sadly for the sharks, the reality is very different.
  • Divers Alert Network is the right direction to look. The British Freediving Association membership fee £20 includes insurance for third party and personal equipment for swimming, scuba and freediving. I believe the answer is to join a national asspciatipn which already has the cover for its membership, even if you are not likely to participate in that sport regularly.
  • BridgetBridget New York StateMember

    Since insurance has been mentioned, has anyone ever gone rogue and done an open water clinic outside the umbrella of USMS or USTA? I am insurance to teach and coach in pools, private and public, but I live near a great beach for instructional purposes, but the town won't let me work there independent of them-- I'd like to do private lessons and workshops in the lake, swimming and aqua fitness. I get blank looks from insurers. Any ideas?

  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    I was a USAT coach back in the 90s and had insurance that covered all the coaching I was doing at the time (pool & open water clinics). The insurance was included with my coaching membership fee. Bridget- you might want to look into that.

    Bridget

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member

    wendyv34 said: I was a USAT coach back in the 90s and had insurance that covered all the coaching I was doing at the time (pool & open water clinics). The insurance was included with my coaching membership fee. Bridget- you might want to look into that.

    The American Swimming Coaches Association might be another place to check. Not sure what they offer as an organization, but it would stand to reason that a swimming coaches organization might have some options or resources.

    Bridget

    Stop me if you've heard this one... A grasshopper walks into a bar... https://elainekhowley.com/

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited September 21
    Moved a couple insurance-related comments from the boat resting thread to this one.

    Any recent experiences or recommendations with OWS insurance?

    For the channel swim assoc. i'm involved with, we maintain two policies through The Camp Team, one for general liability & accident coverage, another for the board of directors. So far our experience has been good, though we haven't had to "test" it yet.
  • SydneDSydneD Senior Member

    Bridget said: Since insurance has been mentioned, has anyone ever gone rogue and done an open water clinic outside the umbrella of USMS or USTA? I am insurance to teach and coach in pools, private and public, but I live near a great beach for instructional purposes, but the town won't let me work there independent of them-- I'd like to do private lessons and workshops in the lake, swimming and aqua fitness. I get blank looks from insurers. Any ideas?

    Bridget, interested to klnow who you use for your insurance, if you are willing to share info. Thanks!

    Bridget
  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member
    edited September 21

    @Bridget said: has anyone ever gone rogue and done an open water clinic outside the umbrella of USMS or USTA?

    uhm, all the time. I do have them sign a waiver ( useless I know). At this point in time, Aquatic Park has a myriad of groups swimming out of it and so far so good. If it's a large group ( a triathlon etc) that uses the entire area then I know permits are required and concomitant with that I am sure insurance. When I do clinics , they are small 5-10 people and since it's a public beach so far no one has hassled me.

    Bridget

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member
    edited September 21

    For my small group here in CO, we use Francis L Dean and Associates. www.fdean.com. looks like they have several offices nationwide, and can help in all 50 states. My contact here is great to work with. They specialize in sports activities.

    @emkhowley said they use this for Boston Light: www.sportsinsurance.com/index.php They also specialize in sports events.

    Bridget
  • BridgetBridget New York StateMember

    SydneD said:

    Bridget, interested to klnow who you use for your insurance, if you are willing to share info. Thanks!

    Philadelphia. www.phly.com
    Thanks for the ideas. I had hoped to use the town beach and their guards during regular hours, offering a percentage of my fees to the town, but was told no. Given our northern climate, I wanted the flexibility of last minute meet ups, not town sponsored events. I need my insurance for other work through the year, but am covered for any aqua house calls I make in warm weather if people have backyard pools. I'm pretty small potatoes, so another policy would likely not offer a return on investment. I'm trying to use my recent local celebrity to promote swimming, but most people have a knee jerk "I couldn't swim across a pool" attitude. Not a huge swimming community. So far. . . I've been trying to change it for several years.

    IronMikeSydneD
  • FilFil Derby, VTCharter Member

    I have used the Camp Team in Colorado for all of my running, biking, and swimming insurance. Ryan Ferris has been my contact and he has been terrific. His contact info: rferrin@campteam.com During the past couple of years, I have gone back to sanctioning Kingdom Swim with USMS, and that saves me some, but is additional work. Any questions, just holler. - Phil

    ssthomas
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