InFocus: Entertainment & Recreation Facilities

Pari-mutuel racing and casinos are a good gamble for agents

Pari-mutuel racing and casinos are a good gamble for agents

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Insurance agents looking for ways to expand their books of business with manageable, consistent accounts may do well to look in an unexpected direction: pari-mutuel racing operations and casinos.

Heavily regulated by local governments and populated with cameras and security personnel, these seemingly high-risk ventures actually make for solid, fun accounts, says Lita Mello, senior vice president over recreation with K&K Underwriters.

“The exposures are actually pretty consistent,” explained Mello, who provides program-based coverage for these accounts with K&K. “Horse and dog tracks are spectator-driven, and casinos will often have a sophisticated risk management program with high-tech security equipment.”

Pari-mutuel racing facilities, including horse and greyhound tracks, harness tracks and thoroughbred tracks carry legal liability for participants as well as liability for animals and jockeys. Liquor liability is also a common exposure.

Increasingly, these facilities are also offering on-site gambling. So-called “racinos” require higher limits on business income coverage – just as typical casinos do.

Agents working with pari-mutuel facilities should also be aware of whether owners rent out the area for concerns or other events, Mello said.

“In this case, an underwriter like K&K can offer standalone coverage or insure all events under one policy as part of the insurance program,” she said

K&K also offers loss control services before and during large events.

As for casinos, Mello says that with “security like Fort Knox,” these accounts make for good risks for underwriters as well as agents. As such, the most typical losses for casinos are commonplace – slips and falls, for example.

Any claims that do occur are often easily settled as well, thanks to the presence of security cameras and painstaking documentation by professional risk managers.

“It’s really easy for us to get a good handle on these kind of claims,” Mello said, “probably more so than most of the things we do.”

Like “racinos,” casinos also require high business income limits, as any forced shutdown costs the house a large
amount of money.

Terrorism is another emerging concern for casinos, which often host high numbers of patrons and employees in a concentrated area. Agents should accordingly check workers’ compensation and liability limits as well as consider standalone terrorism coverage.

With program-based coverage, these concerns are addressed by multiple underwriters working on one account to close possible gaps, said Mello.

“We’ll utilize the expertise of everyone in the building to make sure we’re appropriately viewing the exposures from all angles and underwriting them appropriately,” she said.

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K&K Insurance is a trusted provider of sports, leisure, motorsports and entertainment insurance products and employs more than 300 people in its headquarters in Fort Wayne, IN. As one of the largest Managing General Underwriters in the United States, we offer over 70 specialty programs and work with more than 5,000 agents across the country. Our knowledge of the industries we serve is the core of K&K's success; decades of experience provide us with a deep understanding of both underwriting and claims management skills specific to the sports and recreation industry.

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