What you REALLY need to know about Insurance

We ask Nick Sullivan from Towergate to explain...

There are a variety of different insurances you may wish to consider when participating in OCR depending on your own personal circumstances and the nature and location of the events you are doing.

1. What types of insurance should I consider when participating in OCR?

There are a variety of different insurances you may wish to consider when participating in OCR depending on your own personal circumstances and the nature and location of the events you are doing. I’ve listed below the types of cover we can provide here at Towergate which we believe deals with the main risks associated in OCR participation. I have also detailed some things to consider for each.

Travel Insurance – provides a range of cover for you whilst you are overseas including emergency medical treatment expenses and repatriation back to the UK, Cancellation, personal baggage, travel delay and missed departure to name a few.

Things to consider –
a) as a “hazardous” activity, many travel insurance policies will not be able to cover OCR participation so if you have a travel policy already, check the cover meets your requirements.
b) am I better off buying an annual travel policy that can cover ALL my overseas travel as opposed to a single policy for my OCR trip? If you are travelling 2 or more times, then you may be better off buying an annual travel policy. You can also include your family as our policy covers independent travel of all insured persons including children.

Participant Personal Accident Insurance – provides set benefit payments should you suffer a serious (pre-defined) injury as well as set weekly benefits for temporary total and temporary partial disablement. This type of cover is not designed to protect your income!!!

Something to consider –
a) do you have any cover in place already – maybe via a paid membership or as part of the package provided by the race organiser? If yes, do you understand what it is covering you for and do you feel this meets my requirements?

Life Insurance, Serious Illness and Income Protection –
- this cover will pay out when you die and you can choose whether you want the cover to last for the whole of your life or for a set period of time.
Serious Illness - if you are diagnosed with a life-changing illness, this policy will pay out a lump sum; and includes benefits for conditions that may come back, such as cancer.
Income Protection - if you can’t work because of illness, injury or disability, this cover will cover your salary or self-employment earnings, help you recover and settle back into work. Get a monthly tax-free income, which you can use as you see fit. You can choose when you’d like your income to start, from as early as seven days.

Things to consider –
a) if you were to suffer an injury whilst participating in OCR would your ability to earn be jeopardised? The main thing to understand here is your employer’s sick pay policy and the extent of injury that would prevent you from being able to fulfil your role (and continue to collect your pay cheque!). If your employer’s sick pay policy is restrictive, or if you are self-employed, you may wish to consider income protection insurance.
b) there are a number of additional benefits available via Towergate’s exclusive arrangement with Vitality and the cover obviously extends to include OCR participation.

Personal Liability - it’s a relatively slight risk but OCR participation could leave you open to a claim against you in your personal capacity should it be alleged your negligence caused injury to a third party. Most home insurances provide the policy holder and their immediate family residing in the home a level of protection for this scenario (known as personal liability insurance) but it may not extend to OCR participation.

Things to consider -
a) for those people who are particularly risk averse it may be worth checking the extend of the cover provided by your home insurance policy.

If you are still unsure, have any questions or would like a quotation, please do get in contact – my details are at the end of this article.

2. What if I have an accident while training and not actually at a race?

The various covers referred to above can usually be extended to include training as well as event/race participation (if they don’t automatically). There may be limitations to the type of training (e.g. recognised team training as opposed to individual ad-hoc) however, so be sure to make sure you understand the specifics of any policy you are considering.

3. Can I add my family onto the same cover?

Yes, our bespoke OCR travel insurance policy is designed for individuals, families or teams. Policies for the other covers we have mentioned may also be able to be extended for family members.

4. Does this policy cover the UK and overseas?

Out travel insurance policy can be arranged to cover three geographical areas: Europe, World Wide excluding USA and Canada or World Wide including USA and Canada. Most travel insurance policies do not provide cover for travel to specific countries when the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against travelling there without prior agreement, so always ask your insurance advisor if you are unsure (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice). The travel insurance policy will cover trips within the UK as long as there is at least 2 nights stay in pre-booked accommodation.

The other types of cover referred to can usually be arranged to operate on World-Wide basis also but as always, check the specifics of your policy.

5. Does it cover me for all treatment and any loss of earnings?

In respect of our Travel insurance policy, I would be reluctant to say it covers ALL treatments, but the insurer will pay up to a maximum of £10,000,000 in respect of medical treatment necessary, incurred as a direct result of accidental bodily injury.

Loss of earnings is not something provided by a travel insurance policy but as referred to above, separate cover can be arranged for loss of earnings/protecting your income which can be extended to respond to injuries occurring overseas that impact your usual earnings within the UK.

6. Can I claim for any rehabilitation costs such as physio or sports rehab sessions?

In respect of travel insurance, rehabilitative type treatment is not usually covered as the policy is designed for emergency medical treatment required whilst overseas. Additionally, UK residents benefit from NHS treatment when back in the UK. This is also the case for our OCR travel policy. Private medical insurance policies are a possible way to expedite rehab type treatment.

Personal accident insurance policies can sometimes be extended to provide cover in respect of physio and rehab but these are not usually automatic inclusions so individual policies would need to be checked and understood.

7. Even if it’s not a life-threatening condition, will I be able to get treatment straight away?

Immediate treatment (or non-NHS wait list treatment) for non-life-threatening conditions is what is usually provided by Private Medical Insurance as opposed to any of the insurances referred to in this article and available via Towergate.

8. Do I need to pay upfront and claim it back?

The answer to this question again varies on which type of cover we are talking about. Any claim under our Travel insurance policy should be advised to the travel insurer’s assistance company as soon as practicable for initial authorisation and guidance. On occasion and when costs are high, the insurers may be able to make arrangements with the relevant parties to make payments on your behalf and avoid the need for the insured to pay up-front. In other scenarios and for other types of claim (e.g. loss of personal baggage) it is more likely that you would replace the lost items and submit receipts and other supporting documents to the insurer who will then reimburse you.

9. Who are Towergate and why should I choose you?

Towergate Insurance Brokers are one of the UK’s leading independent insurance brokers and risk management advisors but maybe more importantly, we are OCR insurance specialists!

Our OCR specialism sits within a team of sports insurance experts and is fronted by me! I believe that combining my own sports insurance expertise with my love of OCR and Towergate’s status, puts us in a unique position. Our key goals are to offer independent advice and education to the OCR industry as to the risks faced and what insurance products are available as well as identifying opportunities of developing new OCR specific products and services where appropriate.

If you are still unsure, have any questions or would like a quotation, please do contact – [email protected]



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