On Dec 31 a memo went out to LMSC volunteers by email, stating in part:
Due to claims made against USMS’s insurance policy in the recent past, USMS is faced with a liability insurance premium that is significantly higher than in previous years. In an effort to address certain limitations in the new coverage, help defray the expense of the increased premium, and reduce the likelihood of additional premium increases in the future, USMS Board President Nadine Day has assembled a task force to review and recommend compliance requirements, administrative procedures, and insurance fees for USMS open water events.
The results of the work of the Task Force and others were recently posted on the USMS website. There are some significant changes in the sanctioning process which may delay the sanctioning of our traditional two OW events, the Jack King ocean swim and the Chris Greene Lake cable swims. One of those changes was an additional $1000 insurance fee charged to the LMSC for each OW sanction.
The LMSC Executive Committee met by teleconference on Feb 24 to discuss how to handle the fee; the minutes have been posted. VMST, which hosts both OW swims, has agreed to cover the costs of the additional insurance fee out of reserves so that it is not passed on to the participants. The LMSC and VMST has agreed to cover the fee for a new possible OW event if it applies for a sanction.
The additional fee could have increased entry fees significantly for these events, but they aren’t the only new requirement of the new sanction guidelines. Please have patience with race directors as they adapt to the changes.