Event Liability + Participant Accident Protection

swimming events insurance

Safety is the most important issue for event organizers, associations, governing bodies, sanctioning committees, organizations, athletes, coaches, race officials, and volunteers. While organizers prepare for every possibility in the planning of events, organizers and athletes can expect the unexpected to happen in open water swimming events.

Whether you are an event organizer, athlete or coach, you want to be covered by insurance. WOWSA offers comprehensive insurance coverage to the open water swimming world.

Types of Offerings

WOWSA offers insurance to sanctioned WOWSA multi-participant events taking place within the United States.  This insurance is only offered with a WOWSA sanction.

WOWSA offers general liability insurance coverage for Race Directors whose events generally last a day or two.

WOWSA also offers general liability insurance for associations and clubs that operate throughout the year and provide training and multiple competitions within the organization.

Although the available coverages are similar, the underwriting guidelines are different.  There are separate applications for each type of coverage.  The following information provides a detailed overview of the insurance coverages offered by WOWSA, but each situation can vary.  After submitting the Applications for Sanction and the appropriate Insurance Application, WOWSA will send a proposal that includes the insurance costs and coverages, sanctioning fees, and the benefit program. 

Event Liability + Participant Accident Protection

Insurance Coverage for the Open Water Swimming Community

Who Is Covered

A participant is any individual who enters the open water in an event, race, training session, camp or clinic. Participants can be of any age, ability and background. The open water venues can include oceans, lakes, rivers, bays, estuaries, channels, canals, reservoirs, dams or any outdoor open body of water.

This program provides protection for the Policyholder (including the event organizers, race directors, associations, organizations, teams or coaches) against claims of bodily injury liability, property damage liability and the litigation costs to defend against such claims. Coverage is provided up to $1,000,000 per occurrence and between $1,000,000-$5,000,000 general aggregate Coverage. It is offered through the Sports and Recreation Providers Risk Purchasing Group pursuant to the Federal Risk Retention Act of 1986.

Coverage Includes Suits Arising Out Of:

  • Injury or death of participants
  • Injury or death of spectators
  • Injury or death of volunteers
  • Property damage liability
  • Host liquor liability (non-profit)
  • Incidental medical malpractice
  • All activities necessary to conduct of practices and games
  • Ownership use or maintenance of fields or practice areas
  • General negligence claims
  • Cost of investigation and defense of claims, even if groundless
  • Optional sexual abuse and molestation
  • Optional hired and non-owned automobile liability coverage

Program Limits – Occurrence Form Policy

  • $1,000,000.00 - $5,000,000.00 General Aggregate
  • $1,000,000.00 Each Occurrence
  • $2,000,000.00 Products / Completed Operations
  • $1,000,000.00 Personal & Advertising Injury
  • $300,000.00 Fire Damage
  • Optional $100,000.00 Sexual Abuse and Molestation Coverage
  • Optional $1,000,000.00 Hired and Non-Owned Automobile Coverage
  • $5,000.00 Medical Expense for Spectators
  • No Deductible


Corporal punishment, fraudulent or dishonest acts, asbestos liability, punitive or exemplary damages, employment related practices, professional liability, total pollution, fireworks and pyrotechnics, nuclear energy liability and liability for occurrences prior to the effective date of coverage.  All of the above are subject to the terms and conditions of the policy.

There is no liability coverage for claims arising out of the use of any of the following: Trampolines, Portable Rock Climbing Walls, Inflatables or Tanning Devices.

Participant Accident Protection Program – Part 1

All participants, race officials, volunteer workers and staff members of the Policyholder (event organizers, race directors, associations, organizations, teams or coaches) are covered while participating in sponsored and supervised Covered Activities and while traveling, directly and without interruption, to and from any Policyholder sponsored and supervised Covered Activity and their homes or places of residence.

Covered Activities include the warm-up and participation in an open water swimming race, event, training session, camp or clinic.

Covered Person includes all participants, race officials, volunteer workers and staff members of the Policyholder that can be event organizers, race directors, associations, organizations, teams or coaches.

Accidental Death, Dismemberment, Paralysis and Brain Death Benefit

If a Covered Accident results in any of the Covered Losses specified below within one year of the date of the Covered Accident, U.S. Fire Insurance Company will pay the applicable amount.

Participant Accident Protection Program – Part 2

Maximum Medical Expense Benefit

If a Covered Person incurs Covered Expenses for treatment of an injury that resulted from a Covered Accident, within 52 weeks of the Covered Accident, U.S. Fire Insurance Company will pay the applicable amounts, not to exceed the Maximum Accident Medical Expense Benefit of $25,000. The first such Covered Expense must be incurred within 90 days after the date of the Covered Accident.

Excess Coverage

U.S. Fire Insurance Company will pay Covered Expenses after the Covered Person has satisfied any applicable Deductible, and only when they are in excess of amounts payable by any Other Health Care Plan available to the Covered Person whether or not claim has been made for benefits it provides.

Exclusions and Limitations

This Plan does not cover any loss to or resulting from:

  • Sickness, disease, bodily or mental infirmity, bacterial or viral infection or medical or surgical treatment thereof, except for any bacterial infection resulting from an accidental external cut or wound or accidental ingestion of contaminated food.
  • Use of drugs or narcotics, unless administered under the advice of a Physician.
  • War or any act of war, whether or not declared.
  • Participation in any riot or insurrection.
  • Air travel or the use of any device or equipment for aerial navigation, except as a fare-paying passenger on a regularly scheduled commercial airline.
  • Suicide or self-inflicted injury, or any attempt thereat.
  • Medical service provided by any person or facility employed or retained by the Policyholder.
  • Medical service provided by any member of the Covered Person’s household.
  • Dental treatment, except as the result of a Covered Accident.
  • The repair or replacement of any artificial dental restoration.
  • Expenses payable under any Workers’ Compensation Law or similar legislation.
  • Injury sustained while riding in or on any off-road motorized vehicle.

Summary of Coverage

General Liability Protection Program

  • $1,000,000.00 - $5,000,000.00 General Aggregate
  • $1,000,000.00 Each Occurrence
  • $2,000,000.00 Products / Complete Operations
  • $1,000,000.00 Personal and Advertising Injury
  • $300,000.00 Fire Damage
  • $5,000.00 Medical Expense
  • $-0- Deductible
  • Occurrence Form Policy
  • Admitted Basis

Coverage is afforded by United States Fire Insurance Co. (Admitted) (A Excellent XIII A.M. Best)

Participant Accident Protection Program

  • $25,000.00 Maximum Medical Expense Benefit
  • $2,500.00 Accidental Death & Dismemberment Benefit
  • $100.00 Deductible Amount
  • 52 Week Benefit Period
  • Excess Coverage

Coverage Afforded by United States Fire Insurance Co. (Admitted) (A Excellent XIII A.M. Best)

In the event of cancellation, the earned portion of the premium for the broker fee ($100) shall be considered earned at the time of issuance of the Certificates of Insurance and is not refundable.


Please email [email protected] for more information.


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