WFTDI COVID-19 FAQs
Will there be roller derby in 2021?
Yes! We are confident and excited about the roller derby that’s to come in 2021, and the planning for that to happen is starting in fall 2020.
We don’t know when roller derby will return in full in each location but our robust return-to-play guidelines give us a framework for each league based on the local area’s rates of infection.
The accident medical coverage is annual, and will cover you for all roller derby activities in 2021, no matter when you start, until next year’s renewal.
Why are you selling insurance during a pandemic?
In order to have insurance available for 2021, we needed to purchase and renew our policies with our provider on the same calendar timelines we’ve been offering since 2011.
If members do not feel comfortable purchasing insurance now, we are extending discounts into winter 2021. We will continue to offer policy renewals at a discount to ensure that members who do not want it to lapse may purchase it.
Why didn’t I get a refund for 2020 insurance?
Insurance products are, unfortunately, not designed for providing the user with money back if you’re not able to use it. This is not a structure that WFTDI can change, but we continue to provide insurance in the hopes that if you need it to help pay for injury or liability costs, it’s available for you to use.
COVID-19 presented a significant economic challenge to everyone — including WFTDA and WFTDI. We paid for the 2020 policy in full, in advance, and less than 50% of the number of skaters anticipated purchased the insurance due to the pandemic.
What can you do for me, and for the community, with 2021 being uncertain?
Our insurer does not refund us for the amount of coverage we were not able to use, and we paid 2020 premiums up-front despite a 50% renewal rate by members due to the pandemic.
While we cannot offer refunds, WFTDI is committed to doing what is within our power including:
- Not raising prices to make up for 2020 losses
- Discounting insurance renewals for 2021
- Unaffiliated officials will receive member discounts and pricing.
- Extending the coverage window (so that even if you typically renew your policy in early 2020, you can still take advantage of discounts before your annual start date)
- Expanding coverage to include skatepark skating
SKATEPARK INSURANCE FAQs
Why are you offering skatepark coverage?
We know many leagues haven’t met baseline criteria to begin indoor derby practices. We know many leagues don’t have access to outdoor rink facilities, and we know many leagues and league members want to get back on skates. We also know many of our skaters already participate in skatepark activities, and leagues have asked about this coverage. We believe skatepark provides an opportunity to help get you back on skates, right now.
What if I don’t want or can’t use this coverage?
The coverage is available, at no additional cost, as part of our standard insurance offering. It’s there if you can and want to use it, otherwise, it does not affect your roller derby coverage. There is no discount for not using it, and we are not charging an additional fee to use it.
Why must a coach be present?
Skatepark skating is a new activity for many of us. Our insurer requires a coach present to ensure the Skatepark Risk Management Guidelines are being adhered to, to instruct and provide guidance, especially to new skaters, and to help ensure best safety practices for skaters participating in skatepark activities.
We have not established criteria for who can coach, but we recommend that coaches have experience with skatepark skating, skatepark etiquette and rules, and a passion for developing good skating skills and habits.
Why does the skatepark have to be closed to the public?
Let’s face it. We live in a litigious society, and we participate in high risk activities, like roller derby and skatepark skating. By limiting who has access to your skating area, your risk is significantly reduced. This doesn’t mean you’ll never get injured. But it means you won’t likely get injured by someone on a skateboard snaking in on your line, and that you and your league won’t be easy targets for liability lawsuits by others skating in the same park. You don’t have to have the entire park closed off, but you do need to ensure the areas you are skating are closed off to the public and available for exclusive use by your league. It’s not an impossible ask. Some leagues have private ramp facilities. Most skateparks will rent out skate time for private events, and RollerCon will continue to offer skatepark ramps at their events.
Why are the Risk Management Guidelines so restrictive?
Insuring skatepark activities is new for both WFTDA, and our insurer. In order for our insurer to consider writing a policy for us, we had to ensure them that we would approach skatepark activities with similar concern for the well being of our skaters and spectators as we do for roller derby. As our experience increases with skatepark exposure, and as we begin to analyze the most common claims that arise from skatepark activities, we anticipate we will be able to revise and update the Risk Management Guidelines to be more accommodating. The first leap is always the most challenging, and this has been a huge leap for our insurer. We appreciate their willingness to give us a chance. Many other insurers will not even consider issuing coverage for this type of activity.
Why am I not covered to skate on my own at a skatepark?
Though we would love to extend coverage to include you skating on your own, doing so would be extremely costly – similar to primary insurance rates. We rely on your league and league members to help ensure Risk Management Guidelines are being adhered to. Besides, we think skating with your pack is a lot more fun than skating on your own!
TIMING & COSTS
How do you decide how much to charge?
American Specialty (our provider) determines what to charge WFTDI for policy costs based on several things, including how many participants we forecast will be covered in the coming year, how many claims have been submitted on the policy the previous plan year, and how well we mitigate our risks. Based on the cost set by the provider, WFTDI sets the insurance price to members in order to cover the costs of the policy. In a typical year, this might cost us $750,000. This is re-evaluated each year in November for the insurance renewal period.
We are committed to offering discounts to the community (for the 2021 renewal period) at a potential loss to WFTDI because we want to support the community as much as we can afford.
We’ve been able to keep costs stable over the past few years because of the stellar safety records of the WFTDA members using our policies. Other roller derby insurance providers sell plans that are almost twice the cost and are not a full calendar year of coverage. Other insurers have declined to write policies in 2021 and have dropped their insureds.
Where does WFTDI money go?
WFTDI revenue goes back to supporting the growth and development of roller derby. Specifically, there are two primary places where WFTDI money goes:
- Back into extensive policy costs, and
- to support the parent organization, the WFTDA.
Each year, the WFTDA can take up to roughly one-third of revenues as a dividend, which means WFTDI money is going into Education and online learning, Membership programs and scholarships, Anti-Racism initiatives like the ART Project, and, historically, the production of WFTDA Playoffs and Championships events. In 2019, we put funds towards establishing two new programs: WFTDI Canada, and Quad Media.
Why do I need to purchase NOW?
You do not have to purchase now. The renewal period for the policy is right now, through the end of the year, so those who have insurance at this time do not lose their annual coverage.
Then why are you encouraging people to buy now?
If we want to play roller derby in 2021, we must renew in Q4 2020. The WFTDA is investing this up front for the community so that we have as seamless a transition as possible when planning regional return to play as the pandemic guidelines allow.
Our policy renews each calendar year, January 1st. We re-evaluate rates for the coming year in November. In order to make sure we have insurance in place, our provider requires that we pay for a percentage of the policy up front. We try to cover those costs by opening sales as soon as we can.
What happens if I can’t (or don’t want to) purchase now?
To avoid a lapse in coverage, participants and leagues should renew prior to their coverage expiration date, but enrollment for insurance is always open, and coverage will always be effective for 12 months from the date purchased (if you renew coverage, the renewal will extend 12 months from the expiration date of the policy renewed).
GENERAL INSURANCE FAQs
What is WFTDI in relation to WFTDA?
As you are likely aware, WFTDA is a non-profit organization, and therefore limited in our operations and how we can generate income. WFTDA wanted to provide our membership with insurance options, but could not do so under the restrictions of a non-profit organization. WFTDI was incorporated as the for-profit subsidiary of WFTDA, in order to provide insurance options for members, as well as investment and growth opportunities that benefit and support the WFTDA and its mission.
Is WFTDA Insurance the same thing as Dues?
No. The WFTDA collects membership dues through each league or club that belongs to our organization. Your accident/medical insurance does not confer membership in the United States; it simply provides coverage.
WFTDI Canada, however, provides membership to Canadian skaters and officials that includes insurance as a benefit.
Why do I need WFTDA Insurance?
Accidents can and do happen, and if you aren’t adequately insured, it could leave you and your league in financial ruin. Liability insurance protects you as an individual, and your league as a business, so that a third party can’t come after your personal assets. Landlords and venues require that leagues and participants carry liability coverage in order to hold events and practices there. Many U.S. venues require a minimum of $2 million in liability coverage. WFTDA Insurance exceeds this minimum by providing coverage for $10 million, for leagues and their members, to ensure you are always adequately covered.
WFTDA Insurance, and the Risk Management Guidelines that accompany it, are meant to minimize risk and make sure our members are skating and operating as safely as possible. This helps keep our rates low, so that insurance is affordable. General liability insurance protects individuals and leagues in the event that something catastrophic happens, whereas the accident medical coverage helps to cover costs in the unfortunate event that you are injured playing with your league.
By offering these types of insurance to our collective membership, we are able to keep the costs of operating manageable, protect you, and ensure a baseline level of safety across WFTDA Roller Derby.
What does the accident medical coverage cover?
Accident medical coverage covers you for injuries sustained while participating in roller derby and skatepark activities, when you are adhering to the appropriate risk management guidelines.
Does WFTDA Insurance replace my primary health insurance?
Accident medical coverage is intended to supplement primary insurance and some participants don’t have primary insurance. Each primary provider’s coverage is different, and some primary insurance excludes injuries sustained in high risk activities, like roller derby and skatepark.
In those cases, your accident medical coverage is the primary payer on your claim. Additionally, many individuals carry primary insurance with higher deductibles than $2500. In those cases, your accident medical coverage will begin paying your claims before your primary insurer does.
How do I file a claim, and why do I only have 14 days?
We want you to report injuries and get treatment, quickly. Ignoring an injury and continuing to skate is likely to make the injury worse, and recovery longer. Additionally, if you continue to skate with an injury, you could sustain additional injuries.
Derby is a fast-paced sport. Report your injuries in a timely manner while details are still fresh. We allow a 30 day grace period, and reporting your injury has never been easier – the injury report form can now be submitted online.