USA Swimming Issues Update On Dryland Insurance Coverage For Clubs

In response to member questions, USA Swimming yesterday released an update on how dryland workouts and remote coaching are covered under the organization’s insurance.

In short, USA Swimming’s release emphasized that activities not directly supervised by a member coach are not covered under USA Swimming insurance.

The issue is at the forefront at the moment, given that almost all of the nation’s pools are shut down in the coronavirus pandemic. Clubs are scrambling to re-orient themselves in the changing environment, sometimes pivoting to more dryland-based workouts, or even remotely-led workouts via videochatting apps.

USA Swimming’s announcement doesn’t specifically rule one way or another on remote workouts, but makes clear that USA Swimming’s insurance policy (which covers member clubs) does not cover dryland workouts where a member coach is not in “direct and active supervision.” In addition, clubs can actually have their insurance voided if a member coach is not supervising organized workouts.

You can read USA Swimming’s full message here, or below, as found on the USA Swimming website:

By USA Swimming  | Monday, March 23, 2020

Many of you have had questions about insurance and providing online instruction to your athletes.  Below you will find information that answers some basic questions about insurance coverage.  Additionally, we would like to offer some practical advice for those of you trying to maintain your connection with your athletes. 

First and foremost, all Safe Sport policies, including MAAPP, apply and remain paramount. 

Second, from the perspective of providing remote workouts to your athletes, please understand that our insurance is designed to provide coverage when a USA Swimming Coach is instructing line-of-sight supervised activities with athletes.   If you are providing online instruction to your athletes in order to continue to collect dues and keep your team viable, this is a different business model.  Our insurance does not cover this model.  In this case, you move into the realm of a “Peloton” or other online resources.  With that in mind, we urge you to work with your local legal resources to develop the appropriate disclaimers and additional operational requirements. (Every state has different regulations)

Finally, we pledge to continue to explore ways to assist, identify local and national resources, as well as work with our partners to help facilitate some of these changes in operation.

USA Swimming Insurance Program – Covered Activities for Practice

Several questions have been raised by coaches and clubs regarding insurance coverage for swim practices or dryland training activities, including dryland training at home due to the closure of pool and gym facilities.

Under USA Swimming member clubs’ insurance program with K&K Insurance, covered activities include:

Swimming practices, dry land training activities, camps or learn to swim programs where all swimmers or participants are members of USA Swimming, Inc. … and are conducted under direct and active supervision of a member coach. Dryland training activities means weight training, running, calisthenics, exercise machine training, and any other activity for which an insured has received approval from USA Swimming, Inc., or its authorized representative

To assist you with preparing various training activities for your clubs, please keep in mind the following:

The following activities are not covered by insurance:

  • Dryland training that does not have direct and active supervision of a member coach
  • Unsupervised dryland training by a third-party provider who has not registered as a non-athlete member, completed USA Swimming’s background screening, and Athlete Protection Training
  • A swim or dryland practice by a coach who has an expired membership
  • Any other activity that is not listed in the definition above

The following activities will void your insurance:

  • Not having a USA Swimming member coach in good standing (including the expiration of membership or membership credentials) affiliated with the club
  • Not having a USA Swimming member coach supervising organized workouts with a direct line of sight
  • Having swimmers in the USA Swimming member club’s lanes who are not USA Swimming members (except for a tryout)

How does COVID-19 affect coverage, if at all?

  • The insurance industry has not taken a position on this issue yet
  • Each COVID-19 claim will be handled on an individual, fact-specific basis
  • There is no exclusion for communicable diseases in the policy (i.e., it may be covered, depending on a fact-specific analysis)
  • The insurer will question if the spread of disease at a practice or a meet is accidental or reasonably foreseeable by the club and coaches

If a swim or dryland practice is held in accordance with the above definition of a covered activity and local health department and governmental guidelines, then it should be considered a covered activity.  Note however the terms and conditions of the insurance policy take precedence over this written explanation.

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6 months ago

Maybe USA Swimming should use their gigantic slush fund to help clubs out during these times, rather than making ridiculous rules when coaches are trying to support their swimmers and keep them engaged.

Reply to  Swimfan
6 months ago

“These workouts are provided for informational purposes only.” see latest Swimswam article:

6 months ago

The line about doing this as a means to collect dues is infuriating. If they actually checked in with clubs they would know that many of us are not charging dues for April yet still trying to offer activities for our athletes and pay our coaches. Has USAS even reached out with teams to see how they were managing keeping things running during this time? Have they shared that info with other clubs as a means to keep us all functioning? Have they developed anything to put out to the athletes to keep them occupied or at least entertained during this time? Seems to me like we are paying them so that they can cover themselves and throw all of… Read more »

6 months ago

Even in the best of times, insurance companies will always avoid paying any claim if at all possible. Their business model is simple; charge premiums for coverage and then try to keep as much of that money as possible by using the policy language and vagueness to deny most claims. In times like this, with a global crisis, they have a built in “deny clause” that will allow them to keep more of the premium money as possible by denying claims and narrowing the coverage to a point where it is impossible to comply. So, it is no surprise that they, through USA Swimming, are providing the legal warning about going outside of the terms of the policy to legally… Read more »

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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