Expert Q&A: Talking All Things Insurance with USSCI’s Jennifer Pivnick
We sat down with the President of US Sports Club Insurance—and a friend of LeagueApps—to learn how COVID-19 has impacted coverage.
In moments of crisis, coverage can get complicated and confusing. Most often, insurance kicks in when extreme weather impacts a team’s ability to play, or when an injury sidelines a player for the season—but what happens when we’re forced to stay inside for an unknown and unprecedented duration of time?
We sat down with Jennifer Pivnick—President at US Sports Club Insurance (USSCI) and the former Marketing Director at Solar Soccer Club, a nationally-recognized youth organization in Allen, Texas—to learn more about what parents and organizers can do to navigate this time, and how they can use the Coronavirus as an opportunity to better prepare themselves in the future.
LeagueApps: Let’s start with the basics. Why should parents and organizers have insurance? What is it used for?
JP: Think of it as youth sports consumer protection. This coverage not only protects the parents from the exposure of their non-refundable sports fees, it also protects the clubs they’ve committed to when an athlete is no longer able to participate in their program. USSCI offers coverage for season-ending injuries, season-ending illnesses, death of an athlete or parent, job relocation, job loss, mental illness, short-term injuries, and short-term illnesses.
LeagueApps: Coronavirus aside, what should every organizer be doing to make sure that they’re appropriately covered?
JP: This is a great time for organizations to look at their program benefits and offerings, and think about what kind of tools they can provide to support players not just as athletes, but as whole people. This toolkit should include a reasonable refund process, a team/player fundraising platform, college programing, and player evaluations—as well as community service opportunities. Getting those systems in place is time-consuming, and now organizers have the opportunity to prioritize these offerings. As for Sports Fee Insurance specifically, the question would be: Does the club want to offer it as a whole, or offer it as an option for parents to decide?
LeagueApps: How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted coverage for players and organizations?
JP: Insurance typically does not cover epidemics or pandemics in any way. However, it’s unlikely that we will see something like this repeat itself in our lifetime. This pandemic does provide all of us with the perspective of how quickly the unexpected can impact our lives.
LeagueApps: What learnings can we take away from this crazy time to be better prepared for another crisis?
JP: The best thing a business can do at this time is analyze their budget and ensure they are always prepared for the unexpected. Do not operate without a cushion. Build in metrics that make savings a priority.
LeagueApps: What differentiates USSCI’s approach to providing insurance?
JP: USSCI looks at the sports fee insurance two ways:
- Club centric – We allow clubs to insure all of their athletes, including scholarship players, at a discounted rate. The club is always a beneficiary on the policy, so we pay the club directly if there is a balance owed to them.
- Athlete focused – We offer youth sports consumer protection that parents can purchase directly. They calculate their youth sports fee exposure, the time frame they want coverage, and the benefits they want to receive. This gives parents the confidence to commit their child to a non-refundable sports program.
If you’re an organizer, what resources are you turning to for assistance with insurance and finances?
To hear what other sports organizers from around the country are talking about, join our NextUp Industry Groups on Slack and LinkedIn. These are online community forums where you can brainstorm, network, and share best practices. Detailed information on how to join is available here.