Race Insurance – Worth it?

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In a couple of weeks, I will be at IM 70.3 Chattanooga to cheer on my friends (and all the strangers).  I was initially registered to race, but obviously, with my body falling  apart upon turning 37 (kidding… sorta), I had to pull out.

Thankfully, I had purchased the race insurance, so I got my money back.  I had another few races that I also had to pull out of, but hadn’t purchased insurance for those, so I was just out the money.

I’ve seen a few questions out there about how IRONMAN race insurance works, so I thought I would share my experience.  In short, in my opinion, race insurance is absolutely worth it.

IRONMAN Race Insurance is provided by Allianz, a pretty well-known travel insurance company.  If you’ve purchased travel insurance before, it’s possible you’ve had an Allianz policy.  For the 70.3, the insurance cost $40 and covered the full $297.00 race registration, which included the processing fees.  Basically, if I had to pull out of the race for a covered reason, I would get everything back save for the $40 fee.

When it comes to a 70.3 or 140.6, most of us are usually thinking about injury.  If I get injured, can I pull out of the race without penalty.  And the answer is yes, assuming you can get a doctor to fill out the form.  But there are a lot of other covered circumstances as well, including:

  • travel delay
  • death of a family member (or yourself)
  • job relocations or layoffs
  • jury duty
  • vehicle issues, including traffic accidents

Nuclear contamination is specifically not covered.  In case you were wondering.

Pregnancy is a big question mark, and I will say that the information isn’t clear in the policy as to whether you are covered if you get pregnant after you register for the race.  The way it’s phrased is that pregnancy is a covered condition if “your physician advises you to not attend the event for which the ticket was purchased.”  However, later in the document, it says that normal pregnancy is not covered.  I suspect this is because this type of policy is a general event ticket policy and not specific to a race.  For example, say you had event protection for a big concert and you found out you were pregnant.  In general, for a normal pregnancy, you could likely attend a concert at five months pregnant.  But your doctor may not want you doing a 70.3 at five months pregnant.  I’m not the expert, of course, so I would recommend calling the insurance company before signing up.  I have heard from friends who have used the insurance option upon getting pregnant, so that’s a promising sign.

Once I knew I wouldn’t be able to race, I started looking at the insurance website to find out how the refund process worked.  I have to admit, their online forms never seemed to work for me, which was a great frustration.  I emailed their help desk and was quickly sent a copy of all the forms I needed to submit and told to simply email them back once I had them filled out.

In terms of the medical information, I just had to tell them what the general reason was, and I had a simple form for my doctor to fill out.  It wasn’t extensive at all, and definitely didn’t involve sharing any of my medical records or test results.  Basically, if your doctor says you can’t race and will sign the form, that’s good enough.

My claim was paid out within 2 weeks of having submitted all of the paperwork.  With the exception of the website being completely wonky, the process was pretty simple.  While you may decide that race insurance isn’t worth it for every race (it all depends on the cost of the insurance and if the race company will let you defer or transfer your registration), but for something expensive like an IRONMAN 70.3 or 140.6, I think it’s definitely worth it.

13 thoughts on “Race Insurance – Worth it?

  1. I’ve never considered race insurance, but for a race as pricey as this one, it definitely could be a good idea. Glad your experience was overall positive.

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