Insurance FAQ - ACA

Insurance FAQ

General Information

What types of policies are provided by ACA insurance?

The ACA provides the following policies for the benefit of insured parties: General Liability and Excess Liability.

ACA 2024 Insurance Summary

Liability Waivers

A liability waiver form is a legal contract that educates one party about the risks associated with an activity. Once signed, it prevents the participant from opening a lawsuit against the company, effectively shifting responsibility for injuries from the organization to the participant.

Why is a Liability Waiver Necessary?

A liability waiver form is an essential protective measure for organizations, event holders, and instructors – especially for those that offer activities with inherent risks. Here’s a list of other reasons why a liability waiver form is necessary:

  1. Legal protection – In the event of an incident, having a waiver of liability signed by the participant can offer a layer of legal defense to the organization. This can be key in cases where individuals decide to take legal action against an individual or an organization.
  2. Documented evidence – When participants sign a liability waiver, individuals or organizations can more easily archive, organize, access, and produce these forms as evidence if legally required.
  3. Financial security – Even if an individual or organizations is not at fault in an incident, the legal process of a lawsuit can be costly and drain financial resources. A well-drafted waiver of liability can deter frivolous lawsuits and protect an organization’s finances.
  4. Risk mitigation – Understanding and acknowledging risks means participants are more likely to be cautious. When individuals know what’s at stake, as outlined in the liability waiver form, they are more likely to act responsibly.

How do you report an insurance claim?

With this incident / accident report form.

General Liability

What are the limits of coverage under the ACA General Liability policy?

General Aggregate Limit (per event) $4,000,000

Products/Completed Operations Aggregate Limit $2,000,000

Personal/Advertising Injury Limit $2,000,000

Each Occurrence Limit $2,000,000

Damage to Premises Rented to You – Any One Premises $2,000,000

Medical Expense Limit – Any One Person Excluded

Legal Liability to Participants Included

Sports Equipment Liability $25,000

*See the section below on Excess Liability which extends the limits referenced above.

Who is covered by the ACA General Liability policy and for what types of activities?

ACA members during any ACA sanctioned course/workshop/event. Paddle America Clubs including their club members, event members, coaches, event leaders, and administrators arising from club sponsored and adult supervised on-water workshops, practices, training, instruction, and American Canoe Association sanctioned events as well as non-water activities such as approved fundraisers, banquets and meetings.

American Canoe Association Paddle America Clubs and Organizational Affiliates, event members, coaches, event leaders, and administrators but only with respect to losses arising from sanctioned events and sanctioned workshops.

ACA Certified Instructors, certified Instructor Trainers and certified Instructor Trainer Educators arising out of their performance as instructors and trainers, but only with respect to losses arising from ACA instruction received during sanctioned courses/workshops.

Additional Insureds

An additional insured extends liability insurance coverage beyond the named insured to include other individuals or groups. An additional insured certificate of insurance protects the additional insured under the named insurer’s policy allowing them to file a claim if sued. The ACA offers Additional Insured certificates to current PACs, Affiliates, and Instructors as part of their insurance request process.

Why List Someone as an Additional Insured?

By providing coverage for an event sponsor, co-promoter, or land/property owner via an additional insured certificate, you are protecting yourself in the case that the other person or organization makes a costly mistake that leads to a lawsuit and the other person or organization is also protected in the event that you make a mistake that leads to a lawsuit in which they are named.

Who gets sued when someone is injured?

The attorney of the injured party (claimant) will name everyone in the lawsuit who could possibly be negligent including:

  • The event member (if any)
  • The PAC that is involved (if any)
  • Organizational affiliates (if any)
  • Individual ACA instructors
  • Other volunteers involved with the entities listed above

What types of lawsuits does General Liability cover?

General Liability policies cover certain lawsuits alleging bodily injury and property damage caused by an occurrence; personal/advertising injury (ex: slander, libel, disparagement of a competitor); not subject to policy exclusions.

For covered claims, the policy will provide an attorney for legal defense and will pay up to the policy limits for any covered settlement or adverse jury verdict.

In the context of ACA, most of the expected claims would be due to participant injury or spectator injury.

What are typical lawsuit scenarios that arise out of ACA operations that may be covered?

Spectator or participant slips/trips/falls and lightning strikes at covered events.

Participant injuries at covered events due to alleged negligence:

  • Warning of risks of participation
  • Pre trip instruction
  • Training and competency of instructors
  • Decision to not cancel due to hazardous conditions
  • Planning for weather contingencies and rescue
  • Instruction and supervision
  • Defective facilities or equipment
  • Rescue, emergency evacuation, or to provide first aid
  • Co-participant negligence

What types of lawsuits are NOT covered by General Liability?

All General Liability policies have standard exclusions which are built into the policy form which exclude certain injuries or lawsuit types.

Standard exclusions for bodily injury and property damage: expected or intended injury; certain liabilities assumed under a contract or agreement; liquor liability (exception for host liquor liability); injuries that should be covered under mandatory Workers’ Compensation laws; injuries to employees; pollution; use of aircraft or certain watercraft (exception for non powered under ACA policy); use of mobile equipment for racing, speed, stunting activity; damage to real property you own/rent/occupy (exception for damage to premises leased for 7 or fewer days under some circumstances); damage to personal property you own, borrow, or in your care, custody, or control ($25,000 ACA exception for sports equipment), damage to a product you sell; damage arising out of certain work you perform (primarily applies to contractors); product recall for products you sell, damage to electronic data; liability arising out of Telephone Consumer Protection Act, CAN-SPAM act, and Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Standard exclusions for personal / advertising Injury: knowing violation of rights of others; material published with knowledge of falsity; material published prior to policy period; criminal acts; breach of contract; failure of quality of goods to conform to contract; wrong description of prices; infringement of copyright, patent, trademark, or trade secret (exception for infringement in your advertisement of copyright, trade dress or slogan); insureds in media and internet type of business; electronic chatrooms or bulletin boards (ex: social media), unauthorized use of another’s product; pollution; war; recording and distribution of material in violation of law.

To follow are some notable exclusions added to the ACA policy by specific endorsement :

  • American Canoe Association sanctioned events as well as non-water activities such as approved fundraisers, banquets and meetings with more than 1,000 participants and spectators anticipated or that have events with sports/sport demonstrations other than canoe/kayak. Canoe/kayak includes specialty canoe such as dragon boats and outriggers, stand up paddleboards (SUP), rafts, safety & swiftwater rescue, surfskis, pack rafts, prone paddling, and universal/adaptive paddling for physically impaired participants. Use of guides and/or outfitters as part of an event. Rowing, sailing (except canoe sailing), power boating, tubing, snorkeling, boogie boarding, river boarding, rowing of dories, motorized paddlecraft, pedal boats, and PWC’s (jet skis). Bungee, mechanical devices, animal rides, zip lines, mountain biking/cycling, running, slip and slide activities, air ramps, drop offs, and jumping structures such as diving boards. Sale of canoes, kayaks and other water sports equipment by commercial outfitters. Operations of guides and outfitters.
  • Excluded Applicants:  School districts, school clubs (unless specifically approved by the ACA), homeowner’s associations, outfitters, and liveries or guides.

Does the ACA policy cover club activities outside of the U.S. and Canada?

The policy only covers activities in the U.S. (includes HI and AK), possessions and territories, Puerto Rico, and Canada. However, there is no coverage for PACs or event members that are permanently based in possessions and territories, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

Does the ACA policy cover the use of vehicles owned or hired (rented) by members?

No, the ACA policy does not provide Non Owned And Hired Auto for its members. Members must rely on their own Personal Auto policies or make separate arrangements with insurance agents to purchase a Commercial Auto policy to insure owned non owned and hired autos.

Does the ACA provide Accident insurance?

No, the ACA does not provide Accident insurance as a member benefit.

What other policies should PAC clubs consider to purchase on their own?

Some PAC may be required to purchase or should consider purchasing one or more of the following additional policies depending on their exposures:

Accident – pays medical expenses on behalf of injured participants on an excess basis.   Also can be endorsed to cover accidental death and dismemberment.  Additional coverage upgrades which may be purchased include sickness, disability, circulatory malfunction, pre-existing condition, heat illness, repetitive motion, emergency evacuation, and failure to follow terms of your own PPO/HMO.

Workers Compensation / Employers Liability – Covers on the job injuries and occupational diseases to employees and uninsured subcontractors, including medical bills, lost wages, and disability awards. This policy may be required by state law depending on the number of employees and subcontractors that are employed.

Commercial Property Insurance – Covers your business owned buildings and contents against loss due to perils such as fire, wind, theft, vandalism, etc.  Coverage upgrades are available for earthquake, flood, and wind in coastal areas. Coverage may also be extended to cover business income and extra expense losses due to partial or total  shutdown during the period of restoration.

Equipment Insurance – Provides coverage for direct loss or damage to your equipment including kayaks/canoes, event signage, event registration, etc. due to fire, wind, theft, vandalism and other covered causes of loss. ACA is not able to provide this coverage.

Computer (EDP) Insurance — Protects against certain perils that commonly afflict computer hardware, software, and media, such as power surges, magnetic injury, and  hard drive crash.

Commercial Auto Insurance – Covers autos owned by the PAC or other covered entity. Also covers exposure for non owned autos (those owned by members but used for PAC purposes) and hired or rented vehicles.

Cyber Risk –  Covers certain liabilities arising out of your use of your email, computers, social media or website, resulting in intellectual property violations, breach of computer security, release of confidential information or media liability (libelous statements or invasion of privacy).

Crime Insurance

  • Employee Dishonesty — Covers theft of money (embezzlement) or other property by a dishonest employee or volunteer
  • Forgery & Alteration — provides coverages for forgery or alteration of a check, draft, or promissory note that is drawn against the insured’s accounts.
  • Money & Securities — provides coverage for theft, disappearance, or  destruction of money & securities from either inside the premises/banking  premises or outside the premises. Coverage may also be extended to robbery or  safe burglary of other property.
  • Computer Fraud — provides coverage for financial loss due to a hacker gaining  access to the computer of a business and effecting a fraudulent transaction.
  • Electronic Funds Transfer Fraud — provides coverages for financial loss due  to a hacker gaining access to the computer of a financial institution,  accessing an online account, & circumventing normal online authentication  controls to affect a fraudulent wire transfer.

Directors & Officers Liability / Employment Practices Liability –  Covers your organization and its directors, officers, employees, and volunteers against  certain lawsuits alleging managerial negligence that results in economic damages or the violation of rights of others under state, federal, or constitutional law. Also covers certain employment practices violations such as wrongful termination, discrimination, and sexual  harassment. Common lawsuits in sports context which may be covered include discrimination based on race, sex, age, or handicap; wrongful suspension or termination of  staff or participants; and failure to follow your own rules or bylaws when making administrative decisions.

Errors & Omissions Liability/Professional Liability – Covers certain acts, errors, and  omissions in the performance of your services that result in economic damages to a third  party with no accompanying “bodily injury” or “property damage.”

General Liability To Cover Premises – PACs that own premises or lease premises on a long term basis (ex: club house, storage space, or boat slips) need a separate General Liability policy to cover such exposures.

Special Event Policies –  May be needed to cover events with exposures that are excluded by General Liability insurance provided by ACA. See above definitions of covered activities and exclusions. Examples include events with non supervised off water activities and festivals.

Sexual Abuse / Molestation – Liability coverage for legal defense and/or sums the insured becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of loss arising out of any actual or threatened sexual abuse or molestation. Affordable stand alone coverage is difficult to find.

Liquor Liability – Protects against liabilities arising out of the manufacturing, distributing, selling, serving, or furnishing of alcoholic beverages. General Liability policies provide a coverage known as “host liquor liability” but this does not apply to situations where a liquor license or permit is required or where a charge is made to serve alcohol.

Event Cancellation Insurance – Pays for financial loss due to cancellation,  postponement, rescheduling, or abandonment of your event. Perils that can be insured  against include weather such as rain, snow, ice, flood, or wind; earthquake; outbreak of disease; war, terrorism, sabotage, or civil/political unrest; property damage to venue; non-appearance of key speakers or performers due to death, injury, or illness; or satellite and  signal transmission failure.

Excess Liability

What is the purpose of the Excess Liability policy?

The Excess Liability policy is meant to extend the per occurrence and aggregate limits of the General Liability policy to a higher amount for added protection.

What are the coverage limits of the ACA Excess Liability policy?

Each Occurrence Limit  $3,000,000.

Aggregate Limit  $3,000,000.

What types of lawsuits does the ACA Excess Liability policy cover?

Coverage follows the General Liability policy with some exceptions. In other words, it provides additional limits of $3M each occurrence over the top of the $2M each occurrence limit required by the General Liability policy.

Who is covered by the ACA General Liability policy and for what types of activities?

Same as General Liability.

Risk Management Best Practices

Click here for a presentation of Paddlesports Risk Management.