July 24, 2009
TO: USA Cycling Organizers, Clubs, Local Associations and Officials
RE: Auto and Motorcycle Insurance
Dear Organizers, Clubs, Local Associations and Officials:
There has been some discussion recently regarding insurance for cycling events and we want to address those concerns and questions. We strive to provide quality, wide-range insurance coverage for our members. It is a challenge each year to find comprehensive yet affordable insurance.
We hope that by providing you with this letter you will have a better understanding of the insurance coverage available to you for race related use of automobiles and motorcycles. Please be aware that our description of the policies and coverage is in general, layman terms only. This letter is for general guidance and informational purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon in making any final insurance coverage decision. USA Cycling provides the opportunity for you to obtain two types of insurance for vehicles used in a cycling event. The application forms for each type can be downloaded off of our website. One type is the non-owned/hired auto liability insurance and the other is the non-owned/hired motorcycle liability insurance. Both of these are important to an organizer who is planning to have motorcycles or cars as part of his or her event, as they are intended to provide coverage to the organizer and the drivers (officials/marshals) for liability from accidents involving the vehicles.
It is the obligation of every official/marshal, not USA Cycling, to determine if the organizer has obtained the applicable coverage (automobile, motorcycle, or both). USA Cycling does not require either type of coverage and is not responsible for providing the coverage or determining if the coverage has been obtained for a particular race. The coverage is entirely at the option of the organizer. The insurance purchased must specifically identify the vehicle and driver.
All insurance provided by USA Cycling is secondary insurance by its very nature. It is assumed that you are not driving vehicles without the minimum state required primary insurance. The insurance provided by USA Cycling is in excess of that primary insurance. The hired/non-owned insurance through USA Cycling is meant to increase your limits by giving you an additional $1 million in coverage. It is also meant to help calm fears since a lot of personal vehicle insurance companies will not put in writing that the use of a motorcycle or auto during a bicycle race is not considered part of the normal exclusion related to races or other contests of speed.
We have been told by several knowledgeable motorefs/officials that they have found some insurance companies on a state by state basis that do not exclude use of motorcycles/autos in bicycle races from coverage and will put that in writing. Therefore, when you shop for your own personal vehicle insurance we recommend that you ask to make sure that they do not exclude use of your vehicle in bicycle races and we recommend that you ask them to put it in writing. We know that some motorefs carry their own insurance to a level that leaves them well protected from liability. However, we must emphasize to the organizers and officials that USA Cycling’s main general liability race insurance policy excludes automobiles and motorcycles unless they purchase the supplemental Hired/Non-owned Automobile/Motorcycle Liability coverage using the separate applications. Therefore it is key for organizers to purchase this insurance to make sure they are covered for the non-owned/hired vehicles used as part of the race. From a risk management perspective, USAC believes the best solution is to cover the most people possible, and this would be a combination of the USA Cycling hired/non-owned auto or moto insurance plus the individual policy of the vehicle owner.
Again, the above information is only an overview of the policy coverage. Actual coverage is subject to the terms, conditions, exceptions and exclusions of the policy. Should a discrepancy occur between this synopsis of coverage and the actual terms, conditions, exceptions and exclusions of the policy(ies), the policy(ies) terms, conditions, exceptions and exclusion will prevail.
USA Cycling has continually worked to get the best insurance possible for its membership. As a corporation, there are fee structures that are distinct from what you, the individual, might be able to find. Please rest assured that the current insurance situation is the very best that we could find after considerable effort, and that we will continue to search for better and cheaper coverage for our membership.
Chief Executive Officer, USA Cycling