Sports Risk Advisor vs. General Insurance Broker

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Series 1/3: Why you should choose a Sports Risk Advisor instead of your local General Insurance Broker.

Reason #1: Liability

Sports Insurance is a niche market, with unique insurance needs. When it comes to these unique kinds of coverages not all Insurance Agencies have experience in this specific area and aren’t able to provide you with what you need. This could be for a variety of reasons: They may not have contracts with or access to the Insurance companies & certain Insurance Brokers may only deal with  property insurance or maybe they’ve never come across your type of business before.

What you need to know about liability:

Commercial General Liability (CGL) this is a common coverage that you can get from any Commercial Insurance Broker.
What does this coverage do for you? Commercial General Liability provides coverage for bodily injury & property damage to a third party.

What is a third party? Think spectator at a sporting event or coverage for damages (tenants legal liability) that a hockey team caused to a locker room in a rented facility.

What about coverage for the participants? There is no coverage for participants under a Commercial General Liability Policy.

What is Participant Liability? Simply put, Participant Liability covers the participants while playing.

As Sports Risk Advisors we specialize in Sports Insurance which means that the only types of insurance that we handle is sports related, Sports teams, Sports Associations, Sports Organizations, Sporting goods stores etc., you get the idea.

Stay tuned, Blog #2 in this series will be posted in the following weeks.

-Jenn Bishop

Winter- love it, hate it, or deal with it?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014
I have a love/hate relationship with winter.

Every year I complain about the cold weather, slippery roads, and how much I hate winter in general.

Who doesn’t love the warm weather when you can just run outside in shorts, sandals and a T-shirt and go anywhere you want at any time? I definitely am a fan which I am sure many of you are too.

However, we live in Canada and I am in Saskatchewan- winters are inevitable. I visit my family farm almost every weekend (weather permitting) and I can’t explain just how beautiful winter is on the farm. The sun glistens off the snow and the trees look so wonderful when they are coated in frost.

The sporting activities in winter are great too. I enjoy snuggling up on the couch to watch curling. Hockey is always fun to watch too and is a big part of Canadian Winters. I never did play myself but enjoy watching family and friends.

Skiing- I am not very good at this sport- hence my ACL tear in my knee a year and a half ago which resulted in reconstructive surgery in October this year (I don't recommend it!), skiing is a great get away that the whole family can enjoy. I do like the sport and hope with a “new” knee I will have more confidence to hit the slopes again. I would love to try it out in the Rockies.

Tobogganing- it seems that no matter how cold it is- we all bundle up like snowmen and go crashing down a hill on a piece of wood or plastic. It’s always fun- especially when you can warm up with hot chocolate and snacks after.

I don’t think it’s winter I hate, I think it’s the annoying things that come along with winter that are terrible. Scraping windows, shoveling snow, the road conditions, and those -40 days where your car struggles to come alive.

All in all, we can all keep active in the winter doing those activities that require "the white stuff". If you look on the positive side, we are fortunate to be able to participate in these kinds of sports. Many places don’t have snow and don’t have the opportunities that we take for granted. If we keep ourselves busy enough, it wont seem that bad and it will soon be flip-flop weather again!

-Janelle Catherwood
Photo credit (moose): Kristin Catherwood 

Weights, protein shakes and…insurance?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hitting the gym, making gains, looking good, all of which has become deeply engrained in popular culture these days.  Going to the gym has become far less about being active and healthy, and is now all about looking better than the person next to you.  Consequentially, with the rise in gym goers has come a rise in personal fitness instructors, simple correlation is it not?  While this new wave gym goers are becoming increasingly obsessed with their one rep max and fluorescent tights, the onslaught of fresh  personal trainers are equally hell bent on getting recognized for their training techniques and obtaining more clientele.

While these personal trainers may view eating a slice of pizza as a set back physically, how many do you think consider the tremendous set back they could experience financially due to a lack of insurance coverage?  Most personal trainers are well aware that they require liability insurance, in order to be protected against any claims made against them by a third party during a training session such as a slip and fall incident. However, very few personal trainers consider how desperately they require Errors & Omissions coverage.  For personal fitness instructors Errors & Omissions coverage is necessary for protection when lawsuits are being pursued because a client suffered an injury as a result of the personal trainer’s instructions.  For example, a personal trainer informs a client to do a certain leg exercise four times a week, the client subsequently over trains his/her legs and suffers a hamstring injury.  If the disgruntled client brings a lawsuit against the personal trainer the trainer would only be covered by their Errors & Omissions policy.

With this is mind, another question that needs to be asked is, “are personal trainers who post their workout routines online exposing themselves to Errors & Omissions claims?”   The answer, shockingly, is yes.  Trainers who post their routines online can be sued if a person following their program sustains an injury.  Now it would be very difficult for the injured party to be successful in their lawsuit, as there would have to be no doubt that following the program lead directly to their injury, nonetheless if a lawsuit is initiated the trainer will need Errors & Omissions coverage in order to avoid paying out of their own pocket.  The shocking aspect of this is how few trainers realize that the expertise, routines and techniques they post online could result in a staggering lawsuit against them by an unknown person who decided to follow their training program.  It would be wise for any personal trainer to use disclaimers exempting them from liability for injuries suffered by participants following their online program, which will help mitigate the risk of a lawsuit.  A disclaimer  as simple as, “Jim Trainer is not responsible for any injuries suffered by participants following Jim Trainer’s 12 Week Body Blast Program” could go a long way to ensuring the trainer is not responsible for  injury suffered by a third party following the program.

In the present day legal environment, where lawsuits are omnipresent, it is crucial for all people involved in a business to speak with their insurance broker and ensure that they are properly covered.  You never know when you will need to be protected, and there are times when it will be difficult to realize when you are exposed, that is why you need the guidance of a trusted risk advisor.

-Tyler Tisdale

Damage Control

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Since joining CSIB in early September it has become clear to me that I am pursuing this niche market of sports insurance at exactly the right time.   During the course of my short tenure numerous scenarios have occurred where different people, whether it be a personal fitness instructor or the general manager of a pickup hockey league, approach CSIB claiming that they can no longer proceed with their current operations.  Why have these people had their operations halted?  Due to the fact that facility owners and operators are now strictly mandating that any entity performing sporting or physical activity cannot use their facilities unless they are covered by liability insurance.  This new demand has caught some clients off guard as they weren’t required to have liability insurance in their previous years of operation.  Another emerging industry trend is more and more clients are requesting a 5 million dollar liability limit instead of the traditional standard 2 million for liability coverage.  Reason being that not only are the liability claims more prevalent these days, but the litigation process has become more expensive than ever.

With the increase in liability claims blossoming at a startling pace, more and more sport managers and athletic participants are realizing the benefits of participant accident coverage.  Participant accident coverage is typically thought of in its traditional sense of being used to cover out of pocket medical expenses following an injury (i.e ambulance needs to take someone to the hospital or the use of a defibrillator) but its benefits as a deterrent for liability claims is also now being more recognized.  When proper coverage is in place at the time of an accident, contingent on the type of accident, your risk of being sued at a later date dramatically decreases.  It is essential to ensure that an injury situation is diffused sufficiently at the time of the incident and proper participant accident coverage will certainly help.  Sports are fun and exercise is great, but always discuss with your broker your exposure to risks when organizing, hosting or directing operations that involve physical activity.


Who is your # 1 Concern? Protecting Participants

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

“Regular General Liability” – protects against bodily injury & property damage to a third party.

A generic commercial general liability policy does not protect the individual player. It includes coverage for third party bodily injury and property damage. This is most common for businesses that do not include sporting activities.

“Participants Liability”— protects the individual player or team member from negligence arising from their actions.

Participants liability is a unique coverage and is generally required for all sports teams. For example, two team mates collide while jostling for the puck.

CSIB wants to make sure you are protected properly and most of our policies include participants liability. It is automatically included in our unique hockey programs.

We want to protect the players on your team. Without participants liability, one of the most important part of your team (players- your kids) are not protected.

You may save a dime for opting for general liability without participants coverage, but in the long run protecting what’s most important to you should be the number one concern, it is for us at CSIB.

Visit us at www.csib.ca to learn more about out organization or connect with us on Twitter @CSIBSports

-Janelle Catherwood


Melting Ice: Canada's Hockey Crisis

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I grew up in a hockey arena, not literally of course, but it still felt that way.  From the age of 4 right up until I left home to attend university competitive hockey was always my number one passion.  I was fortunate enough to play rep hockey for my hometown Aurora, Ontario, was a member of my varsity school hockey team for five seasons and played numerous seasons of four on four summer hockey. During that time there were endless hours of practice, plenty of painstaking off ice sessions, numerous thrilling victories, too many anguishing losses and handful of championships to top it all off.  Those are just memories now.  What I still have from those days of playing minor hockey is the special relationship I share with my dad, who was the Head Coach for almost all of my rep teams, and the everlasting bonds and friendships I still have with many of my ex-teammates.  My life would have been very different had I never played hockey, which is why I am deeply saddened by decreasing participation rates amongst Canadian hockey players.

I am going to throw some statistics at you, I hope you're sitting down:

-There are currently 572,00 players enrolled in Hockey Canada, that number is down more than 200,000 from our nation's peak participation rates! (Therien, 2012).  This stat is incredibly hard to fathom considering that the number of registrations by Canadian female hockey players is at an all time high

-There are currently more ice hockey participants in the U.S then there are in Canada (CBC News, 2013)

-Nearly twice as many Canadian children under the age of 14 play soccer than hockey (CBC News, 2013)

-According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information there were a reported 8,000 hockey-related injuries in Ontario hospital emergency rooms alone! (Therien, 2012)

-A five year-study of on-ice amateur-hockey injuries indicated that 66% of overall injuries were the result of accidents that happen during the game, such as colliding with the boards/teammates or getting hit by a puck, the other 34% of injuries were attributed strictly to body-checking! (Therien, 2012)

-A joint study by the University of Calgary, McGill University and the University of Laval revealed that 11 to 12 year old hockey players in leagues that allow body checking are 2.5 times more likely to sustain an injury and 3.5 times more likely to suffer a concussion (Therien, 2012)

-It cost approximately $740 dollars to purchase average to below average equipment for one youth player, not including goalies (CBC News, 2013).  That number gets amplified significantly when purchasing high-end equipment or equipment for teens and adults.  New goalie pads for teens and adults now cost well over $1000.

-A survey by Hockey Canada indicated that the average hockey parent spent roughly $3000 on minor hockey in the 2011-2012 season (Mirtle, 2008)

-A family has to pay an estimated $8000-$15,000 per year to enroll a child in AAA hockey (CBC News, 2013)

-Hockey Canada surveyed parents whose children had recently stopped playing hockey and 46% of those surveyed indicated that lower costs would make them "much more likely" or "somewhat more likely" to allow their kids to return to the ice

What are these numbers trying to tell us? Well, clearly the price of playing hockey has gotten astronomical, which is why hockey is now widely regarded as a "white-collar sport".  Participation rates are dropping drastically, although participation rates amongst females are increasingly rapidly.  That clearly indicates that the number of Canadian boys participating in minor hockey has fallen off a cliff.  With the rise in concussion awareness, coupled with the results of studies linking the onset of hockey injuries to body checking, it is very reasonable to believe that the natural tenacity and aggression of competitive hockey is turning male players (and/or their parents) away from the sport. 

In my playing days I was a beefy, power forward and loved getting involved in the physical aspect of the game.  Upon reflection, I was extremely luckily that I never suffered any serious injuries, although more than a few of my teammates did. With more and more studies being published that clearly link the prevalence of hockey injuries to body-checking it is hard to argue against anyone who does not want to be subjected, or have their child subjected to that kind of danger.  No wonder we are seeing the inauguration of hockey leagues, like the Safe Rep Hockey League (which is a division of the Canadian Independent Hockey Federation), that are tailored towards talented  hockey players who want to play in a competitive environment, but with the risk of injury due to body checking mitigated.

All in all, as a Canadian who is extremely passionate about the sport of hockey I am deeply troubled by the current climate and future of hockey in our country.  So I am asking you, is it the rise in injury awareness, or the dramatic increase in the cost of playing hockey that is turning our fellow Canadians away from the sport.

Please tweet your response to @CSIBSports on twitter, we would love to hear your feedback.

-Tyler Tisdale

One of the Boys?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Girls on boys teams. Boys not allowed on girls teams. Who is allowed to use the same dressing rooms?  Lack of funding for female athletic programs.  Male teams receiving preferential treatment from their sport organization.  The place of transgender athletes on minor sports teams.  The previously mentioned situations can all constitute some form of controversy regarding athlete participation, a now eternal issue in the sport world.  While great strides have been made to improve equality in sports, it does not appear as though gender discrimination and participation issues are subsiding, rather these issues are seemingly becoming more complex.  More...

My First Year with CSIB

Thursday, October 02, 2014

CSIB is celebrating our 1 year anniversary. 

We have accomplished so many things this year and I can't wait to see what is to come in the years to follow.

A few of our highlights during this past year include: 
Sponsored the Regina AAA Spring Hockey Classic
Attended the Sticks on Rose Street Hockey Tournament in Regina in June
Was a major sponsor of the Toronto Triathlon Festival in July

We have worked hard to revamp our website and appearance and spent hours brainstorming ways to make CSIB flourish. We have absorbed our clients feedback and the experience of the past year to make the coming years even better than ever before. 
Last October HAL made the decision to bring CSIB back to it original founder, Susan Ewart. She created this company in 2000. I was honored to be a part of the move and Susan and myself worked hard to get CSIB and our programs up and running for the fast approaching hockey season.

In August, James Pham & Jenn Bishop joined our team. We all travelled to Ontario to attend the Toronto Triathlon Festival in July. Here we all bonded over the excitement of growing CSIB into something fantastic. The energy and dedication we had in Toronto has carried with us ever since and we are more motivated than ever to make an impact in the world of Sports Risk Management.

September rolled around and another person joined our team- Tyler Tisdale. He is representing us in Ontario and is anxious to get CSIB’s name trending in that part of

Canada. Tyler spent three weeks in Regina with us in September learning the ropes and forming relationships with the team here at CSIB and HAL. It was great having him out here and we look forward to expanding CSIB into Ontario. 

The last year has been extremely busy and I can only imagine the next few years to be busier. It has been a great experience and I am thrilled to be part of this great adventure.


The Trapezius Muscle - Concussion Prevention's Natural Shield

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
In this blog we are discussing the neck and the trapezius muscle, a large superficial muscle that ranges from roughly the bottom of your hair line which extends laterally towards your shoulders and extends horizontally into your mid back on both sides of the human body.  In the present day sporting landscape where concussion awareness and prevention is at an all time high, developing strong trapezius and neck muscle's is a very simple and effective way to protect oneself against concussions.   More...

Hello from Tyler Tisdale

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hello hello, I am Tyler Tisdale and I currently represent the Canadian Sports Insurance Brokers in Ontario.  To say I am an avid sport enthusiast would be a gross understatement, sports has always been my number one passion and for as long as I can remember I've always been a sport fanatic.  From a young age right up until the present day I have dabbled in a myriad of sports.  I have very fond memories playing rep and school hockey extensively while growing up in Aurora, Ontario.  While hockey may have always been my go-to sport I also played multiple seasons of football, soccer, ball hockey, lacrosse and rugby. Over the past few years I have become increasingly engaged in being active through personal fitness and up keeping proper nutrition.  More...