The Insurance Industry Sucks


This is not good news. We have been trying to overcome the same insurance hurdle faced by other rally organizers without success. We are going to have to cancel this year’s event. More details about why (if you are interested) are included below, but first a few important bits of info.

All of you will be getting a full refund. Many of you will receive a refund to the card used when you registered. Some of you will receive payment via check. Give us a few days to work through the process. We will send a separate email when refunds have been submitted for processing.

Please cancel your hotel reservations. I will be talking to the hotel this week and will try to work with them to cancel everyone in the group, but you should absolutely check for yourself to make sure you don’t get an unexpected charge come August.

OK, so why do we have to cancel the event? Read on for the boring and frustrating answer. This is the same issue that has cancelled other recent events.

First, why do we have to have insurance if we require riders to maintain high levels of personal insurance and sign notarized liability waivers? Well, rider insurance and waivers protect us from legal action from the riders, but does nothing to protect us from insurance companies and lawyers representing injured members of the public who will name any and all subjects as defendants in lawsuits. We formed an LLC to shield ourselves from damages, but we still have to pay to defend against the suit and that isn’t cheap. We really want to run an LD event, but none of us want to put our financial future at risk to do so. That is what the insurance is supposed to be for.

We have been working for 6+ months to secure insurance for the event. I was confident we had a way forward as recently as a month ago. I have now contacted 22 different insurance brokers without success. The normal supplier of insurance for events like this (Birdsong via the AMA) is not writing new policies for events that utilize public roads (in a nutshell). The end result is there just isn’t an underwriter willing to cover the policy.

“But there are still events happening – how are they doing it?” We don’t know the details of how they are protecting themselves. We suspect they are operating under a pre-existing charter and will likely face the same issues when renewal time comes. It is possible that some events are doing it without insurance and accepting the risk. We have talked to several Rally Masters and the outlook is the same for everyone at this point.

We haven’t given up on trying to get a PNW event started in the future, but if the insurance issues aren’t resolved, the outlook is bleak.


Tim, Justin and Kerri