Harness Racing Australia (HRA) licence holders, other than those in NSW*, are covered by the HRA National Risk Management Program.
The insurance program is designed and managed by HRA in conjunction with state bodies to provide a broad range of cover at the lowest possible cost to licence holders.
HRA appoints an insurance broker on a three year term, and sports insurance specialists, V-Insurance Group were appointed to deliver the industry risk protection insurance program (inclusive of personal accident and public liability coverage) in August 2016.
When you receive your licence each year you will notice that your licence provides some insurance cover.
You may not think too much about what insurance is in place, and the reality is that most people don’t fully understand or talk about insurance until an incident occurs.
Here are a few points about the insurance cover in place via your licence whilst undertaking harness racing activities.
What insurance am I covered for?
As part of your licence, you receive access to two types of insurance policies.
A Personal Accident insurance policy to cover you for certain expenses relating to medical expenses not covered by Medicare, some cover for lost income, lump sum payments in the event of a permanent injury, as well as a number of other benefits to help you through what can be a difficult time.
The other insurance policy is Public Liability insurance which covers you in the event you are held responsible for negligently injuring someone or damaging their property.
Drivers, Trainers and Voluntary Stablehands are covered.
Paid Stablehands are not covered under the Harness Australia policy as they are covered by the relevant state Work Cover program. Check out Work Cover in your state to see what you are covered by if injured at work.
Drivers, Trainers and Voluntary Stablehands are covered under HRA’s insurance policies for accidents and incidents that relate to Harness Racing.
That is, any accident that occurs when you are participating in harness racing activities at the track, at the stables or on the way to the races (unless covered under a motor vehicle insurance policy).
This coverage applies where you are participating in any state in Australia. If you are travelling overseas and wishing to participate in harness racing activities, please contact HRA.
What are the Benefits under the Personal Accident policy?
Some of the most important benefits under the policy are the lump sum payment in the event of a death or permanent injury. This really is the time when you need financial assistance.
If you are unable to work due to injury, there is a base level of cover for lost income – however this cover can be increased to suit your own personal level of income.
You are also covered for any expenses that are not covered by Medicare – for example, public hospital bed and theatre fees, dental, ambulance, physiotherapy and chiropractic.
As a General Insurance product, this policy does not cover expenses which are covered by Medicare. Some of these are listed in the table below.
It is important to understand that the Medicare ‘Gap’ (the difference between the full expense and the amount paid by Medicare) is not covered by this insurance and is your responsibility. This is not able to be covered, because Section 126 of the Health Act prevents General Insurance products from covering Medicare expenses, or the Medicare Gap.
Examples of Non-Medicare Medical Items
Examples of Items Covered by Medicare
Covered by Sports / Personal Accident Insurance
Not covered by Sports / Personal Accident Insurance
• Private Hospital Accommodation
• MRI Scans*
• Surgeon’s assistant
• MRI Scans*
• Public Hospitals
* Please note: MRI scans are generally claimable through Medicare, however sometimes the referrer and / or provider is not registered with Medicare, and the cost is claimable through Sports/Personal Accident insurance.
There are a number of other practical benefits included under the insurance policy; including cover for helmets and clothing damaged whilst racing, home or motor vehicle modification in the event of a permanent injury, funeral cover, unexpired membership reimbursement and a number of other ancillary benefits.
What do I do if I am injured during harness racing related activities?
In the event you are injured during a harness racing activity, follow these steps:
1) Seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you believe you need to go to hospital, call an ambulance or have someone call one for you as this is covered under the Personal Accident insurance policy.
2) If you are asked by the treating doctor/physio whether this is a Workers Compensation claim the answer is NO.
3) Retain any documents you are given. If you have been to hospital, make sure you confirm the next steps with the staff before being discharged. If you need to go back into hospital at a later date, due to your injury, make sure you discuss your payment options with the staff. The Personal Accident insurance policy only reimburses medical expenses which Medicare pays no portion of. You should understand whether there are going to be any out of pocket expenses which cannot be reimbursed under the HRA national Personal Accident insurance policy.
4) Obtain a copy of the HRA Personal Accident claim form from www.vinsurancegroup.com/hra or call the insurance broker for V-Insurance Group on 1300 945 547.
5) Have your treating physician complete their section of the Harness Racing Australia Personal Accident claim form, which is available on the above website.
6) If you are claiming for lost income, you do not need to justify any income earnt through the sport as this information is already held by Harness Racing Australia. However, if you are claiming for lost income outside of the sport, you will need to have your employer or accountant complete part of the claim form.
7) You will need to be able to justify any expenses you want to claim for reimbursement, so hold on to your receipts. If in doubt, include them in your claim for assessment by the insurer, and they will let you know if an expense is not covered under the policy.
8) Submit your claim form to the insurer using the details on the front of the claim form as soon as you have all sections you are claiming for completed. The insurer will issue you with a claim number and information on how to add to your claim within 10 days.
9) Keep in contact with the insurer in relation to your claim and provide them with any additional information they require in order to make their assessment.
As always, insurance is a very personal thing. Harness Racing Australia has arranged these insurance policies to cover a large variety of people on a group basis and has not taken into account any individuals needs or circumstances.
All license holders should review the cover in place at www.vinsurancegroup.com/hra and decide whether additional cover might be needed in order to cover your own personal circumstances. This includes considering whether you need to take out Private Health Insurance, Income Protection Insurance or Life Insurance which can complement this Personal Accident insurance policy.
If you a have any questions regarding insurance, please call V-Insurance Group on 1300 945 547.
Information contained in the above article is current as at 4 July 2017.
*HRNSW licence holders are covered by a separate policy – see http://www.harnessmediacentre.com.au/industry-integrity/insurance for more information.)