It’s called Registration Protector.
(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.
A new insurance product offered by Allianz Global Assistance USA through the ACTIVE Network will allow runners to get their entry fees back if they can’t participate in running events for covered reasons. The product, called Registration Protector, will also benefit race organizers because the entry fee refunds will come from the insurer and not from the races.
A typical running race has about a 15% no-show rate, and organizers price their events taking that into account.
“Registering for an event in advance may seem more appealing to a participant if they know that a sprained ankle won’t jeopardize their registration fee,” explained Eric McCue, general manager of sports at ACTIVE Network through a statement. “For event organizers, Registration Protector solves an important customer service issue by making refunds available to participants without the need for organizers to manage or pay those refunds.”
Implementation of the program will be simple, according to ACTIVE Network corporate communications manager Megan Lavine. During the on-line registration process on ACTIVE.com, runners will be able to tick a box and purchase the insurance for a flat fee of $7, regardless of amount of the event’s entry fee. As the event approaches, and the runner realizes that s/he cannot come to the event for a covered reason –like an illness, job loss, transportation delays, military/family/legal obligations, and other reasons– s/he would file a claim for a refund of the the entry fee, and possibly other expenses.
“The consumer just needs to call the number on their certificate of insurance and Allianz will send them a simple claims form,” explained Lavine in an e-mail message to Race Results Weekly. “If you’re injured, the insurance company will send you a brief form to be filled out and faxed back by your doctor. If you lose your job, you’d typically just need to send in the notification you received from your employer.”
At least one event organizer saw the value of the new program, immediately.
“It appears to be a win-win situation for both event organizers and participants,” said Sally Smith of Big Sur Marathon Events through a statement. “The covered reasons are very robust, much more so than other plans we’ve looked at. We also like the fact that the participant deals directly with Allianz Global Assistance. An event director won’t have to spend time explaining, arguing or upsetting participants who ask for a refund, nor will they have to deal with the refund process.”
ACTIVE.com officials said that Registration Protector would be offered to athletes signing up for all running events available on their website, so individual race directors don’t have to make a decision about whether or not to participate.
“Every year, we provide great coverage and outstanding 24/7/365 service and assistance to 13 million customers,” said Mike Nelson, CEO of Allianz Global Assistance USA, through a statement. “We’re happy to be able to offer this coverage, service and peace of mind to ACTIVE Network customers and partners.”