Insurers and Horse-Racing Lobbies Agree on Coverage Options for Workers
A working group formed by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association last November to review the issue of insurance for jockeys issued its recommendations in April.
The 33-member Jockey Accident Insurance Working Group was made up of racetrack officials, trainers, owners, jockeys and other members of the horse-racing and insurance industries.
They recommended that:
- Comprehensive workers' compensation coverage should be a major consideration in all racing jurisdictions where workers' comp is not already in place. Workers' comp models similar to those in place in California, Maryland, New Jersey and New York should serve as industry models.
- Coverage through a private insurance carrier or formation of a private insurance captive also should be given consideration as an alternative to state-legislated workers' comp.
-The industry should strive to raise the level of accidental insurance coverage for jockeys to levels commensurate with coverage provided by the Jockeys' Guild before it discontinued catastrophic accident coverage on behalf of its riders.
- Although placement of coverage and funding must be resolved by industry participants in individual jurisdictions, the working group called for all segments of the industry, including jockeys, to contribute to the funding of any additional insurance coverage for jockeys.
-The working group will share its data and research with industry members and assist in the development of model language for workers' comp legislation.
In addition, a subcommittee of the working group identified private insurance coverage through AIG, which has since written policies for NTRA-member racetracks, the NTRA said. Those tracks include tracks owned by Churchill Downs Inc: Arlington Park in Illinois, Calder Race Course in Florida, Churchill Downs in Kentucky, Ellis Park in Kentucky, Fair Grounds in Louisiana, and Hoosier Park in Indiana; as well as Emerald Downs in Washington, Gulfstream Park in Florida, Keeneland in Kentucky, Kentucky Downs in Kentcky, Sunland Park in New Mexico and Turfway Park in Kentucky.
Several tracks have increased their on-track accident coverage to $1 million from $100,000 after reports that the Jockeys' Guild had discontinued catastrophic accident insurance coverage for its members, and after jockeys refused to ride at Churchill Downs and Hoosier Park. "Those organizations that have taken action to increase their level of jockeys' catastrophic accident insurance coverage should be commended," says NTRACommissioner D.G. Van Clief Jr. "I'm hopeful that all segments of the industry will continue to work together to try to find a long-term solution to this difficult issue."
June 1, 2005
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