WKA's PitBoard presented by AMB i.t. - 02.03.2009 Insurance Waiver Questions Addressed 02.03.2009 - In response to the overwhelming attention and concern raised by the subject of insurance liability and waiver forms presented at the WKA Town...
WKA's PitBoard presented by AMB i.t. - 02.03.2009
Insurance Waiver Questions Addressed
02.03.2009 - In response to the overwhelming attention and concern raised by the subject of insurance liability and waiver forms presented at the WKA Town Hall Meetings Saturday, January 24th at KartFest 2009 in Hickory, North Carolina, the World Karting Association wasted little time in contacting their insurance company and addressing the issues raised by the membership. The following is a response to some of those questions.
WKA hopes this will help answer the concerns of our racers and reinforce that we continue to work to provide our competitors with the most up to date information that is important to the continuation of the sport we all enjoy.
Attention WKA Members, Sanctioned Tracks, Clubs & Series
We are all aware that waivers used to safeguard against lawsuits from minor participants are not as strong as adult waivers. We also know that there are constant attacks on the waiver system by the plaintiff's attorneys. There are several key points to keep in mind.
1. Waivers should be used diligently at all times, even when there is a question about enforceability. The waiver, even if voided with respect the minor, is still likely to be enforceable from the standpoint of the parent/guardian. And even if the waiver is disallowed for is intended purpose, it may be used at trial to show the risk was known and freely assumed.
2. Waivers for minors should be signed by parent/guardian.
3. Waivers need to be gathered and stored diligently. Claims often come in well after the incident and a lost waiver is the same as no waiver.
4. Waivers should be obtained from everyone (EVERYONE) allowed into the restricted areas.
5. Waivers should always be single purpose documents. A waiver should not be edited into any other document.
6. Having your attorney review your waiver wording from time to time is never a bad idea.
7. A waiver is never a substitute for good risk management. Every effort should always be taken to follow all safety rules.
I would stress that while waivers are very important, it is important that our insured's are making every effort to have a safe event. With this said I would like to stress our "Pit Pass Program" will defend and indemnify our insured's, tracks, officials and promoters up to the limit if suits are brought due to an injury or incident at a track. Our Participant Legal Liability coverage will protect our insured's up to the limit purchased for a minor up to and after they reach the age of majority. While some courts view the waivers in a different light the safeguards we suggest should be in the forefront of everyone's mind. The WKA coverage will, I repeat, will cover our insured's. Furthermore should this issue become a problem for WKA over the next few years in the courts, a couple of different scenarios could happen. First, if limits are tested and judgments rendered, we could see higher rates. Another and more probable solution is we could see "Sub-Limits" on coverage for minors. For example the company could endorse the policy to indemnify up to a lower limit such as $500,000 and not $1,000,000 or $5,000,000 as currently written.
We are confident and have worked very hard to be sure the WKA "Pit Pass Program" is properly written to cover any and all exposures unique to our motorsports industry. I will be happy to field any calls, questions or concerns that any of you or our members may have now and in the future to insure that WKA and our insured's interests are protected. It has always and remains very important that the proper procedures are followed in running a WKA event so to protect the insured and as important the WKA insurance program as a whole.
Michael L. Davis, Sr.
Michael L. Davis Insurance