A broken arm, an unexpected illness, travel issues, inclement weather. All are reasons youth athletes may be unable to participate in the sports they love. These circumstances themselves are disappointing for families and young athletes. They also have monetary implications.
As of 2019, the average American family with kids in sports now pays at least $700 per child per sport a year. These costs increase significantly in sports such as ice hockey where the average yearly participation rate was $2,583. Rising costs put a strain on parents – especially when their child may be unable to participate for the reasons above. This strain is magnified as youth sport injuries impact 3.5 million young athletes across the US annually.
With upfront payments for expenses such as venues and athlete insurance, organizations and tournament directors are increasingly unable to offer refunds in the case of non-participation.
This leaves parents to ask how they continue to provide their child all of the benefits of the youth sporting experience while also protecting their wallets.
Registration Fee Insurance
“RegSaver” has provided the youth sports industry a solution for parents and organizations. Launched in 2015, RegSaver, a co-creation of Next Wave Insurance Services and AIG, provides organizations and event organizers a solution to their “no refund policy.” Should a covered peril occur, a parent can file a claim to receive up to a 100% refund of their registration cost.
Covered perils include injuries, illness, inclement weather and job transfers among others. A parent can conveniently purchase a policy during the signup process and the premium is very affordable. The Single Event Policy (for a camp, tournament or showcase) costs just 6% of the registration fee. Whereas a Multi-Event Policy (for a season) costs just 7% of the registration fee. All customer service needs, including filing a claim and coverage related questions, are easily handled online through AIG.
RegSaver, which also insures sign up and ticket costs for events like conferences and concerts, has taken a particular focus on youth sports.
“Youth sports is a great focus of ours,” said Milena Glusac, Marketing Manager for RegSaver and a former US National Champion athlete. “This is in large part because RegSaver was founded around youth sports, most of our team has a sports background or is still involved in the youth sports ecosystem.”
Glusac and her team have seen great feedback and individual families were quick to recognize the value proposition.
“I see registration costs continue to rise and I can see how parents feel if their child is out for the season and they’ve already paid this massive registration fee… Parents can spend up to 10% of their income on youth sports, so if we’re able to mitigate that loss and help families that’s what we’re here for.”
For organizations, the coverage also allows them to offload the refund process and operate in a way that is financially viable. While doing this, they can also attract increased signups from families who now have a safety net after writing checks oftentimes months in advance of events.
A Natural Partnership
In 2017, RegSaver and SportsEngine solidified a partnership that allowed parents to receive a RegSaver policy offering at point of checkout in the registration flow.
The policy price is automatically calculated and is presented to the parent where they can choose to add it to their cart and insure their child’s camp, tournament, showcase or season.
According to Jake Lunemann of SportsEngine, many organizations are proactively supporting RegSaver because they see it as an added benefit to their families. The offer has been especially popular among signup fees that are upwards of $1000.
Travel organizations like the Minnesota Blades, have seen impressive value from their parents having access to the policy via the SportsEngine and RegSaver relationship.
“Because our seasons are shorter, an injury can cause a player to miss out on a good portion of the season. Giving families the option to purchase RegSaver insurance for their fees in our registrations has been very popular and gives both our club and our families peace of mind,” said Jaime Fransway, Executive Director of the Minnesota Blades Hockey Club.