As many members know, finding the right insurance company to handle your skating center property and liability insurance is a crucial, important and mandatory part of owning a businesses. Over the last few years, member rinks have had huge losses, which ultimately resulted in the Programs Carrier not wanting to underwrite Skating Rinks in the future, and JBL having to replace our coverages. As a result, Anthony Profaci has worked incredibly hard to obtain a new carrier. A part of this also means assuring the carrier that members are doing their due diligence to reduce claims and liability. This can be done by maintaining the roof and building properly, utilizing cameras effectively, labeling step-up and step-down areas visibly, removing any sort of self-service rack that could cause injury, keeping detailed and meticulous skate maintenance logs, storing and following guidelines of inspection reports, etc.
To assist in ensuring that we reduce claims and to mitigate losses, JBL is utilizing an adjusting firm, out of its own pocket, to inspect 50 rinks at a time to help them determine what property and liability protection changes need to be made.
“This process is not a cheap thing to do. The adjustors worked with us on the prices for the program, but being that they’re doing the adjusting for us, they gave us an aggressive pricing structure to be able to do this,” Profaci says.
It’s important to note that the results ARE NOT reported to the carrier – this process is completely internal so that JBL can see what’s going on in each of the rinks before it becomes an issue that could potentially be sent to the carrier. As we are sure you are well aware, when one rink makes a claim it affects not just that specific rink’s premiums, but it ripples to also affect all 500+ members of the insurance program. The goal is to catch a problem before it becomes a costly headache that affects the entire membership taking part in the insurance program.
The vision of this preventative program started with former RSA president, Bobby Bentley.
“Insurance rates climb as a result of more people looking to collect money. Injuries for falls are at an all-time high. I saw this coming, so I sat down with Anthony and asked him how we could combat this. In order for members to get a discount, we have to ensure that skating rinks are doing what they need to be doing in their rinks to prevent claims from occurring. Those of us who do what we need to do are paying the price for those who don’t always keep up with their facilities or take preventative measures. If we don’t do something to protect our assets, we’re going to get hammered. Anthony came up with this solution and it’s something that hospitals have been doing for more than 20 years.”
Loopholes will always be found when you’re working with lawyers. Bentley reminds us that, “even if you’re doing your homework (to ensure that you’re limiting your liability risk) lawyers will always find loopholes. If they’re having an easy time on the rinks that are doing things correctly, imagine how easy it will be to find them on those that aren’t.”
RSA President, Jeff Couey, notes that the Association has talked of doing this for a while now. “I think it’s very healthy and I think what JBL has put together for the Association is going to benefit everyone in the future. This process is simply to give members a heads up and to be aware of potential issues or where lack of documentation may occur in the event of a lawsuit.”
Bentley and Profaci have known Jim Dotson for more than 15 years. He is a third generation adjustor and loves the industry – he has gone to bat for members on a number of occasions.
“Jim is a great guy, genuine and cares about our program. He realizes that we’re not the wealthiest businesses owners, but we love the industry we’re in. His goal is to make sure that our future is there. Unfortunately, for many rink owners, getting hit with one, maybe two large claims is often enough to completely sink a business,” says Bentley. It’s this concern that makes it’s so important for members to participate in this preventative measure.
Rink operators have been disappointed in the past that they were not involved and sometimes not even notified of a settlement. This takes that issue out of the equation. Dianne Braun agrees stating that, “It’s good that they’re going to be out there looking at the rinks” to prevent potential and unnecessary claims that will affect everyone.
Joe Smith, chair of the Insurance Committee, agrees. “These inspections are necessary and imperative for the health of the insurance program. This is also something that we will continue to educate members on at Convention and during section meetings.”
Profaci sees nothing but positive changes in the way this program will function, “We’re an amazing industry as far as making things happen. I’ve seen the numbers (of cameras installed)over the last four years and the immense improvements that members have been making to their rinks to make them safer and more stable. The number of cases that we have been able to beat with cameras and video clips alone has been proof enough.”
The insurance program has been showing a loss on a consistent basis and the industry was lucky to get these new adjustors assigned to the program.
“This was a lot of hard work, me selling that you (the Insurance and Safety and Risk Management Committees) knew the industry and we should be in control of it. To me, this is huge.”
We hope that this helps you understand the purpose and intent of these inspections – they are to protect you and other Association members during a time when obtaining property and liability insurance for your skating centers is so difficult, yet crucial.
If you have any questions at all, please contact Anthony Profaci at 1-800-925-RINK (7465) or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Jim McMahon at 317-347-2626 Ext. 104 or email@example.com