WFTDA Insurance FAQ
Answers to Common Questions About WFTDA Insurance and Roller Derby Insurance Coverage
If you have questions that aren’t answered here, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 Insurance Questions
WFTDA members and member organizations purchase insurance through WFTDI, and agree to follow our WFTDA Risk Management Guidelines, which are meant to help keep our sport as safe as possible. Our WFTDA Return to Play Guidelines are designed to work in tandem with the Risk Management Guidelines, to limit the amount of liability your league is taking on.
The WFTDA works hand-in-hand with WFTDI to manage adequate insurance policies for the sport of roller derby. As we ask leagues to abide by our Risk Management Guidelines, these Return-to-Play Guidelines are meant to limit, but not eliminate, your liability.
While we cannot guarantee the acceptance of any claim, failure to utilize our WFTDA Return-to-Play guidelines could result in the denial of claims for your policy. By adhering to our Guidelines, you are providing evidence that you have taken steps to protect your members and your community. Failing to do so puts lives at risk, but may also potentially open your league up to additional liabilities.
Unfortunately, our insurer is not going to prorate or refund our premiums because of this unprecedented global issue. Like other insurance coverage (auto, health, home), premiums do not change simply because the policies are not used.
However, reduced claim activity may result in a premium reduction in the coming year (i.e. “good behavior” reductions on auto policies for sustained periods of time without accidents). We cannot say for certain this early in the year, but we are looking into potential reductions in 2021.
League members must purchase their own insurance (instructions) in the WFTDA Member Portal, and are responsible for renewing it annually. IMPORTANT! For WFTDA member leagues: The steps for adding a new member must be followed before purchasing insurance in order to receive the WFTDA Member price.
WFTDA Insurance is valid for 12 months from the date purchased. Coverage may be renewed within 30 days of the expiration date. Email reminders will automatically be sent to individuals to renew coverage when they are within 30 days of coverage expiration. If they fail to renew before coverage expires, there will be a lapse in coverage. In those cases, skaters should not be permitted to participate until they have purchased current insurance.
We do not expect league admins to keep track of expiration dates, but they should verify all participants on skates have insurance, regularly (for all new participants, and then we recommend monthly, at minimum). League admins can quickly and easily verify skater’s coverage when they log in to the Member Portal, and go to the “View League Skaters” link at the bottom of their home page. All participants with active insurance will be reflected with insurance coverage effective dates. No dates? No WFTDA Insurance coverage. Email renewal notifications are automatically sent to participants within 30 days of their coverage expiration date.
League admins can quickly and easily verify skater’s coverage when they log in to the Member Portal, and go to the “View League Skaters” link at the bottom of their home page. All participants with active insurance will be reflected with insurance coverage effective dates. No dates? No WFTDA Insurance coverage. Email renewal notifications are automatically sent to participants within 30 days of their coverage expiration date.
Coverage can also be verified with or without a login, using this link (which can also be accessed from the login page, under the “Insurance Verification” tab): https://resources.wftda.org/verify-insurance
You must have the skater’s legal name (derby name coming soon!) or ID number in order to verify coverage. People with common names should provide their ID for proper verification, and if you use a nickname, be sure you provide the name you’re in the system under (e.g. Beth instead of Elizabeth).
New league members are responsible for creating their own account in the Member Portal, and need to request a league transfer to be added to their league.
The easiest and best way to remove a skater from your league is from the “View League Skaters” list. Alternatively, you can find the member in the “Manage Organization Contacts” list and click “change relationship” to enter an end date on the next screen (do NOT click “delete” as this will remove the user from the system entirely).
If the skater is transferring to another league, they should request a league transfer.
General Insurance Operations and Policies
All skating participants must have roller derby insurance. If your league has WFTDA Insurance, you must purchase WFTDA Insurance upon joining your league. Coverage includes Personal Accident Medical and Liability coverage. Primary insurance is not sufficient because it does not include liability coverage in the event that a skater injures someone else, though we strongly recommend that skaters also have primary insurance, because the Accident Medical portion of coverage through WFTDA Insurance is intended to supplement your primary insurance. It is also necessary for skaters to have a policy with their league’s insurer in order for their league’s policy to be valid.
We do not cover tryouts. Coverage should not be purchased until you have become a league member. For skating officials, coverage should be purchased within 30 days of participation with your league.
All participants on skates must have insurance for games.
You will receive a confirmation email, which you can retain as proof of coverage.
WFTDA Insurance transfers to other WFTDA Insured leagues. If you transfer to a league with different insurance, you must purchase the same coverage as the league you join. Likewise, if you had different insurance and joined a WFTDA Insured league, you must purchase WFTDA Insurance upon joining your new league. Our reciprocity agreements apply to visiting skaters only. Coverage does not transfer to another person.
We do not require insurance for off skates participants, but they may purchase coverage if they choose to. Coverage for offskates participants is in effect while they are performing the duties required of their volunteer position.
Your league’s general liability coverage is in effect, but personal accident coverage is not in effect. If a participant is injured while skating in a parade, they may not submit a claim.
I’m traveling outside the United States and plan to skate with a derby league abroad. Am I covered for this?
Leagues may purchase any insurance they choose, and skaters must purchase the same coverage as the league they skate with. For reciprocity, we require leagues have similar coverage to WFTDA Insurance, including a minimum of $2 million (USD) in General Liability coverage, and skaters must have some form of personal accident and liability coverage with a minimum of $10,000 (USD) personal accident and $1 million USD personal liability coverage.
ALL visitors to your league (skating and off skates volunteers) MUST sign the event waiver, prior to being permitted to participate. We do not require that visiting skaters have insurance for practices and scrimmages. ALL participants on skates at games and events open to the public where spectators are present must have Personal Accident and Liability insurance, and visiting leagues must have general liability coverage. The host league is responsible for verifying insurance for all visitors/visiting leagues for public games (see “My league is hosting a game, what do we need to do?” for more information).
In order for reciprocity to be in effect, skaters must have personal accident coverage for a minimum of $10,000 per injury, and $1 million in personal liability coverage, and leagues must have $2 million in general liability coverage.
WFTDA Insured leagues are not covered to host uninsured participants at games.
Your WFTDA adult league is not covered for the liability of minors participating with it. Minors cannot indemnify your league, nor can a parent or guardian on their behalf. That means your league has no liability protection, even with a signed waiver. Risks associated with minors are not limited to injury; we do not require background checks or additional training for our adult leagues, therefore, we do not cover the liability of minors participating with your adult league. If you permit minors to participate with your adult league, you are not insured for this liability and will not have liability protection in the event your league is sued as a result.
USARS allows minors, ages 14 to 17, to participate with their adult leagues, and USARS carries the liability in this situation, per our reciprocity agreement. If any adult on your league prefers not to participate against a minor, the minor should be excluded.
The host league is responsible for verifying insurance for all participants, and should do so at least 30 days in advance. If the league has WFTDA insurance, you can verify skater coverage here. You must have the participants’ names as they appear in the Member Portal, or their ID number (both are preferable for positive identification). The visiting league must provide a copy of their Certificate of Insurance.
For leagues with other insurance, their insurer’s requirements apply, for example, USARS leagues must sanction through USARS in order for their coverage to be in effect. Ensure the league you are hosting is complying with their insurer’s requirements, and request documentation that provides proof of insurance for both the league and the skaters.
On site, ALL visitors must sign the WFTDA Event Waiver prior to participating (before they put on skates).
General Insurance Questions
General Liability Insurance protects your league against lawsuits arising from Bodily Injury, Property Damage, and Personal Injury. Liability protection is provided by this policy for your league’s sponsored and supervised activities as they pertain to roller derby (practices, scrimmages and games).
Claim examples under WFTDA’s General Liability policy include lawsuits coming from injured participants, injured spectators, or third-parties who seek damages for an alleged liability. ALL skating and non-skating participants must sign a liability waiver prior to participating with your league.
Personal Accident Medical Insurance is designed to supplement your existing primary medical coverage and is intended to provide excess/secondary coverage, for injuries sustained while participating in roller derby. This coverage provides up to 52 weeks (1 year) of benefits on an excess basis. If no primary plan is in place (such as health insurance), this policy could act as primary coverage, subject to the terms and limitations of the accident policy. The deductible is $2,500 (USD) if you have primary insurance, $7,500 (USD) if you do not have primary insurance. There is no deductible for Canadian participants. The benefit maximum is $10,000 (USD) per injury. Covered participants must adhere to WFTDA’s Risk Management Guidelines, and submit their injury report within 14 days of injury, or their claim will be denied.
Alcohol Liability insurance provides coverage for bodily injury or property damage for which your league may be held liable by reason of:
- Causing or contributing to the intoxication of any person;
- Furnishing alcoholic beverages to a person under the legal drinking age or under the influence of alcohol; or
- Violating any statute, ordinance or regulation related to the sale, gift, distribution or use of alcoholic beverages.
This coverage applies if you are involved in the following activities:
- Selling or distributing alcoholic beverages;
- Serving or furnishing alcoholic beverages for a charge, whether or not such activity requires a license or is for the purposes of financial gain or livelihood; or
- Serving or furnishing alcoholic beverages without a charge, if a license is required for such activity.
Alcohol Liability coverage is available to WFTDA Insured leagues. To apply for coverage, contact email@example.com for the application.
Abuse & Molestation Insurance is included in our General Liability insurance, particularly for junior leagues. This coverage is designed to protect an organization from claims of bodily injury arising out of abuse, molestation or exploitation. WFTDA Insurance requires background checks and additional awareness training for junior leagues. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Directors & Officers (D&O) Liability Insurance protects an organization and its directors and officers from claims and lawsuits that arise out of negligent/wrongful acts, omissions or misleading statements. D&O coverage is available to for-profit and not-for-profit leagues.
If it was apparent the injury you sustained will result in a claim, claim information will automatically be sent to you via email or mail, within about 2 to 3 weeks. Watch for a proof of loss form and letter from American Specialty. Complete and return the proof of loss form. Retain the letter, which contains instructions to send invoices and Explanation of Benefit (EOBs) statements. You will not receive additional instructions and must actively send billing (or have your provider send billing) to American Specialty. All billing must first go to your primary insurer, if you have one.
If it was not apparent the injury you listed would result in a claim i.e. (a sprain or contusion), and you are close to meeting the deductible as a result of that injury ($2500 with primary insurance, $7500 without), please email email@example.com to request claim information. Be sure the name you provide matches the injury report and the name in our Member Portal (which should be your legal name).
Please do not submit billing to WFTDA Insurance – this will only delay your claim. Invoices sent to WFTDA Insurance are not processed or forwarded, they are shredded.
WFTDA requires that all participants, including off-skates volunteers, sign our membership waiver annually. Skating participants sign this waiver electronically when they purchase insurance.
In the event of a lawsuit, a release of liability waiver is the first line of defense for your organization. Waivers should be retained for a minimum of one year.
If your league uses its own waiver in addition to the WFTDA waiver, we strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney or other qualified legal counsel in your state when developing or reviewing your waiver/release system.
Yes. When you participate in a high risk, full contact sport, waivers are an important part of your participation. Please just sign it. Again. And thank you!
Questions About Certificates of Insurance (COIs)
A Certificate of Insurance (COI) is a standard document that provides proof of insurance and relays information about the insurance coverage purchased. It will show:
- Name of Insurance Company
- Effective Dates of Coverage
- Types of Coverage
- Limits of Coverage
- Description of Operations
- Certificate Holder
- Signature of Agent or Authorized Representative
COIs may be requested by league admins.
A Certificate Holder is the entity to whom you are providing proof of coverage. We need the name and address of the certificate holder to complete the form.
Certificates of Insurance may also be used to show that the Certificate Holder has Additional Insured (AI) status. When an entity is named as an AI it means that our policy is providing coverage for the AI and sharing their limits of liability with them. The reason entities ask for AI status is to transfer their risk to another organization as a means of risk management.
If an entity asks for proof of coverage, a standard COI listing your league as the certificate holder will suffice, and is valid at any location. Unless the entity requires they be named as a certificate holder or an additional insured in their contract, it is not necessary to request a COI specific to the venue.
Landowners of property where you are holding events, Cities, Counties, States, the Federal Government, Sponsors and Co-Promoters.
Yes! If another entity is providing services or participating in your event (i.e. a league with different insurance, a caterer, or half-time performer), they need to provide a COI listing your league as an additional insured, since you do not have control over their operations and do not want to take on this added risk. Request COIs from other leagues or vendors at least 30 days in advance of your event.
When an insurance policy is considered “primary” it will pay out first in the event of a loss. If there are two policies covering the same risk, the policy deemed “primary” will pay out its limit before the other secondary policy and is responsible for defense costs until liability is determined.
When an insurance policy is considered “non-contributory” the insurance carrier issuing the policy will not seek contribution from an Additional Insured if it pays out on a loss.
Some entities who request Additional Insured status may also require a “Primary & Non-Contributory” endorsement, meaning in the event of a claim, they want your insurance policy to pay out first, cover the defense costs associated with the claim and be unable to seek contribution from their own insurance policy.
To protect your league from liabilities beyond your control, our insurer limits coverage to your league’s own negligence, and your COI states this. This language will not be removed. It protects and limits your league’s liability to its own negligence (your league is not responsible for the negligence of the venue, or anyone else).
A Waiver of Subrogation endorsement prohibits an insurance carrier from recovering money they paid on a claim from a negligent third party (your venue, for example). To limit your league’s liability, our COI explicitly states your coverage is limited to your league’s negligence.
If your league has not submitted an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) to firstname.lastname@example.org within the last 12-months, it will be requested when you submit your COI request form. If one has already been requested and you failed to submit it, your COI request may be held until the EAP is received. See the WFTDA Risk Management Guidelines for the template.
WFTDI Canada (Former Members of CRDi)
WFTDI Canada retained the same policies and procedures former CRDi members have come to expect. The enrollment/purchase process will change in 2020, as CRDi members will be transitioned to a new, secure membership system. WFTDI Canada members will be notified via email when the transition occurs.
Our goal is to keep existing policies and rates intact whenever possible. We don’t like increasing rates any more than you like paying increases. We strive to keep rates as low as possible for our members, and that will not change.
Prior to this change, WFTDA and CRDi enjoyed a reciprocity agreement and shared very similar policies. WFTDI Canada members should continue to adhere to best practices and recommendations previously required by CRDi, and we encourage members to adhere to the WFTDA Risk Management Guidelines. If your league hosts a WFTDA Insured league, you must adhere to the WFTDA Risk Management Guidelines in order for their coverage to be in effect at your event.
If you prefer to insure through WFTDI Canada, you must retain your WFTDI Canada membership, but otherwise, your league may choose to insure through any provider or membership organization in Canada. If your league plays sanctioned games in the US, you must meet minimum insurance requirements, including general liability for a minimum of $2 million USD, and personal liability ($1 million USD) and accident coverage for all rostered skaters, valid in the US.
Membership in WFTDI Canada (formerly CRDI) costs $55 (CAD) and provides roller derby resources including information, risk management best practices and recommendations, and three types of insurance:
Accident insurance is supplemental coverage to help with expenses related to derby injuries that exceed your provincial insurance. This is sometimes also called medical insurance or injury insurance.
Liability insurance is typically required by your venue, and provides the insured party with protection against claims resulting from injuries and damage to people and/or property, for covered events. Liability insurance usually covers both legal costs and any payouts for which the insured party would be responsible if found legally liable. Intentional damage and contractual liabilities are generally not covered.
Travel insurance coverage is valid only if you are traveling outside of Canada, and helps cover excess medical expenses, evacuation, ground and air ambulance fees, prescription drugs, repatriation, and includes an Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) benefit. This coverage is included when you purchase a membership through WFTDI Canada, and is valid worldwide, when participating in roller derby events with your league, and at RollerCon.
In addition to accident, liability and travel insurance, what other types of insurance are common in roller derby?
There are many types of insurance, but the two most commonly accessed in roller derby are:
Directors & Officers (D&O) Insurance protects the personal assets of the organization’s directors and officers, in the event they are personally sued for actual or alleged wrongful acts in managing the company or organization. This insurance covers legal fees, settlements, and other costs, and we strongly recommend all leagues carry D&O coverage. This coverage is available through WFTDI Canada for an additional fee.
If your league sells liquor or beer at events, Liquor liability insurance provides coverage in the event a person you sold alcohol to then causes injury or damages. Liquor liability insurance can pay for legal fees, settlements, and medical costs. This coverage is not available through WFTDI Canada. For coverage, please contact a licensed insurance agent in your province.
You must reside in Canada and have provincial insurance or some other type of primary insurance (travel insurance does count). WFTDI Canada coverage is supplemental to primary insurance. You may be eligible for WFTDA Insurance (USA) if you don’t have provincial insurance in Canada.
There are additional, serious risks and liabilities associated with minors, not limited to injury. Minors cannot indemnify any league, nor can a parent on their behalf. That means leagues may not have liability protection if anything were to happen to a minor, and the league could be sued as a result. Waivers that are signed on behalf of or by a minor do not stand in court. For these reasons, we strongly discourage minors participating with adult leagues.
Accident claims will be processed, but liability coverage may not be in effect.
Accident coverage will be in effect when adults coach juniors practice on skates.
As long as there is clearly understood separation between the area where the juniors are practicing and the area where the adults are practicing, your liability and accident insurances are in effect. For example, juniors are practicing on turn 4 and adults are practicing on turn 2 and all the participants understand this. If there is no clear separation, accident insurance is still in effect but liability insurance is not. This is also true of roller discos, parades, and non-contact skating.
The most common type of first aid to meet best practices is St John’s Ambulance emergency level first aid, or any equivalent training meets best practices as well.
St. John’s Ambulance emergency first aid is a one day course for individuals who require basic information on first aid and CPR for the workplace, educational institution or personal interest reasons. This course meets Canadian Labour Code and Ontario First Aid Regulation 1101 for workplaces with less than 5 employees. This interactive program includes CPR training for adults, infants and children, 2 person CPR as well as automated external defibrillation (AED). Certificates valid for 3 years are issued upon successful completion.
Not having a first aid certified person at practice does not affect your accident insurance but may affect your liability insurance. Be sure to check your provincial guidelines for regulations and compliance.