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Liability and Insurance Considerations

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Before you even step on the starting line in one of our events, you need to understand how you may or may not be covered in the event of an accident or medical emergency.

Let's take it one step at a time.

1.Public Liability

VRWC registers each year with Athletics Victoria as a Specialist Club and we submit to AV our Summer and Winter racing fixtures. Once we satisfy the conditions inherent in being a Specialist Club, AV issues us with a Public Liability Certificate of Currency for the year in progress.

This Public Liability insurance protects VRWC against the financial risk of being found liable to a third party for death or injury, loss or damage of property or ‘pure economic’ loss resulting from our perceived negligence. Public Liability Insurance  is essential for all small clubs for just that very reason.

Tied in with this idea of limiting liability is our status as an Incorporated Body. By registering the Victorian Race Walking Club as an Incorporated Association, we come under Victorian Government legislation and our Committee are afforded protection as individuals against such legal redress. This sort of insurance protects the club and its directors.

2.Medicare Australia

We all know that Medicare Australia is the Government safety net that pays set amounts for doctor's bills and partially subsidizes medications and such like. Some people rely solely on Medicare and the Public Hospital system for their medical and hospital needs. This is the first tier of personal medical cover.

3.Private Health Insurance

While Medicare Australia covers the basics, if you have an accident, you may need ongoing physiotherapy or specialist treatment or special medicines or rehabilitation equipment that may put you significantly out of pocket. For this reason, many families and individuals take out Private Health Insurance. Each family must make its own decision in this matter based on a risk and costs benefit analysis.

4.Ambulance Victoria Membership

If you are seriously injured while at one of our events, we may call Ambulance Victoria. Just one trip in an ambulance can be very expensive and you will be liable, not the club. Ambulance Victoria Membership provides 100% cover for all ambulance treatment and transport Australia-wide. It's simple and affordable and helps support the life saving activities of paramedics across the state. I recommend that everyone maintain Ambulance Victoria Membership. See http://www.ambulance-vic.com.au

5.Sport Insurance

Your club membership does not give you Sport Insurance. This is something that you need to source yourself if you consider it important. Note that if you are a member of Athletics Victoria, your AV membership payment does include Sport Insurance which covers you for accidents that may occur while participating in AV events (but not in purely VRWC club events). This can cover the remaining gaps in medical bills as well as significant payments for permanent loss of function or for loss of earning capacity or trauma. If major injuries incur in AV events, then the effected family or individual should contact AV to initiate Sport Insurance discussions.

Please consider these matters carefully and choose wisely.

Tim Erickson
Secretary, VRWC
21 November 2007