With numerous high-profile injuries rocking eventing this year, it’s very timely to talk about making sure riders are properly insured, which became the major theme of today’s Professional Riders Organization Annual Meeting at the USEA Convention. Accident & Disability Insurance is included in all professional-level memberships, but Dr. Mark Hart recently told me a lot of riders don’t take advantage of this fantastic perk.
Available through Zurich Insurance, the Accident & Insurance Plan is offered at two different levels:
Base Plan: $100,000 of Excess Medical Coverage ($5,000 deductible) and $200 per week disability payment, after a 30-day wait for up to 52 weeks, for accidents related to horses. The annual premium of $164 is included in all professional level memberships.
The Buy Up Plan: $1,000,000 of Excess Medical Coverage ($5,000 Deductible) and $600 per week disability payment, after a 30-day wait for up to 52 weeks, for accidents related to horses. The annual premium is available for an additional fee of $526.
Sinead Halpin and Rick Wallace spoke during the meeting about the importance of taking advantage of PRO’s insurance based on personal experience, as they both suffered serious injuries this year that kept them out of the saddle and unable to run their businesses.
Sinead has actually been sidelined three times this year, as she was nursing broken ribs in January after getting mowed down by a loose horse in an indoor arena. Then she suffered more broken ribs, a broken shoulder blade and a collapsed lung after a fall at Chatt Hills in July. And she also spent a large part of the fall in a walking boot after injuring her leg in a fall at Fair Hill.
“It’s a no-brainer to buy up,” Sinead said. “I didn’t do that this year, and that has affected me greatly. It was the difference between getting $200 and $600 per week.” Even though Sinead didn’t buy up, it thankfully looks like all her medical bills will be covered after she spent a lot of time in the hospital in July — all thanks to PRO.
Rick also faced a serious injury when a horse kicked his wrist while being unloaded from a trailer in September. Because he had upped his insurance plan through PRO, he was able to take advantage of the $600 weekly disability checks after having surgery on his wrist. Rick received four disability checks in all that helped him pay to hire people to keep his business going while he was sidelined. “I paid $821 for the membership, and I got $2,400 from an unfortunate accident that happened,” Rick said. “It’s affordable to me in that vein.”
While some riders have balked at the cost of joining or buying up, Samantha Lendl, PRO’s executive director, put the true cost into perspective: “It’s $1.89 per day, which is cheaper than any drink you’ll get at the bar in the hotel.” I can verify that a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale costs $6 in the bar. Many thanks to Samantha for all she does for this sport through PRO. Your hard work does not go unnoticed. Go PRO!
— Will Coleman (@ColemanEventing) December 6, 2013