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American Specialty Saves the Day
Event management is not my gig. I have the utmost respect for ride and event directors who place themselves in the hands of the weather gods and face countless uncontrollable variables with aplomb... but that just isn't me. And recently I got a stark reminder of why that's true.
I was having dinner with a colleague in New York City when the phone rang. It was a ride director who had just been told, within two days of their main event of the year, that their insurance company had let them down and they basically had no insurance for the event.
Without coverage for the riders, there could be no event -- a lot of disappointed riders and charity beneficiaries, not to mention a huge potential financial blow to the club.
The caller wanted to know if there was any chance that the League's club and event insurance could be obtained on such short notice -- to which the only answer could be "let's find out!" I sent an urgent note to Marla Peters at American Specialty laying out the situation -- noting that the club is a paid up affiliate of the League, and that they really needed our help first thing in the morning.
I have no idea how it all came together, but by 2 p.m. the next day, just 16 hours before the first riders took off, the insurance coverage and certificates they needed had been issued and the ride was ON!
The event director wrote later, "The event would not be cancelled thanks to the extraordinary efforts by the League. In my 32 years this had to be the most time-stressed challenged I ever experienced."
We were happy to help and glad we have been smart enough to stick with American Specialty these last 20+ years. After that, all the thanks go to Marla, Renee Waterson and the American Specialty crew for their extraordinary customer service and commitment to our clubs. Having a great insurance program isn't the highest profile, most glamorous or exciting thing we do -- but for the hundreds of clubs and advocacy groups that rely on it to be able to do the things they do, its priceless peace of mind.
Whether it's obtaining coverage, or sadly having to use it when the worst case scenario happens and there is a crash on one of your events, American Specialty has been a great partner to the League -- easy to work with, reliable, professional, always personable, and on top of situation after situation (and we come up with some pretty bizarre scenarios for them to cope with, I can tell you), and we hear the same thing from our clubs.
Insurance is an unfortunate cost of doing business these days. Working with folks like American Specialty makes that cost a lot more bearable. After many years together, they know our clubs and riders inside out -- probably better than I will ever know the insurance industry. So thank you, American Specialty, for saving the day, and thank you for reminding me why I should never get into the event management business! I don't know how you do it, but I am glad you do!