So if it were up to a couple of reporters desperate for ratings, traceurs and freerunners are “crazy” kids that jump of buildings. This, of course, has nothing to do with reality, in actual fact Parkour and Freerunning are no more dangerous than sports like American Football and Basketball. Just check the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) data from 2010 (most recent year) – Basketball 528,584 and Football 489,676. Of course we are not saying that Parkour and Freerunning are sports without any risks, but like any discipline, if it is taught properly and safety is at the center of a curriculum, then one can expect injury-free enjoyment of the sport.
But nothing is a sure thing, this is the way of the world we live in. So to protect ourselves we get auto insurance in case we get in a car accident, or health insurance in case we get sick or travel insurance in case something bad happens during our vacation… So why not Parkour and Freerunning Insurance? This is where Dylan Borland comes in. He is the Managing Partner of PK Insure, “Americas first Parkour & Freerunning Insurance!”. We sit down with David and learn more about the why, when, where and who of Insurance for Traceurs and Freerunners.
PK: Why did you start PKFR Insurance?
Dyland Borland: I started Parkour and Freerunning Insurance through our own troubles in trying to find someone to insure our Gym in Michigan and our events. Last December we were hosting Michigan’s first Indoor Jam and had over 100 people attending however the facility required insurance and we spent 3 months trying to find someone to insure us specifically for Parkour and Freerunning and we found only 1 company who would and for a 6 hour event it would have cost us almost $20,000! That’s when I knew there had to be a better solution and being a Venture Capitalist if someone was going to start an insurance company for Parkour/Freerunning I figured it may as well be me.
The second most important reason I started the company is to help practitioners across the states have a easy , quick and affordable solution to get coverage for not only themselves but also Jams, Classes and Gyms, in an effort to help accelerate the growth of Parkour and Freerunning here in the states. We have taken the biggest obstacle for most practitioners out of the way and now we can all grow as an industry together.
PK: What is your Background?
DB: My background has always been business; I have literally run businesses since the age of 12! And that’s what I do best. My biggest passion and what consumes my daily Life is Venture Capitalism. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s simply investing in small business start ups and expansions that are typically a higher risk that most conventional financing won’t touch. I have run my own VC firm since 2006 and currently manage six portfolio companies.
PK: Why do you think PKFR practitioners should get insurance?
DB: I think PKFR practitioners should get PKFR insurance for two reasons. One, the majority of health care providers will not cover the cost of an injury related to Parkour and Freerunning. Most practitioners have to lie about how they obtained their injuries, should the insurance companies find out, ones claim would likely be denied. This could cost the individual over $15,000 out of pocket! With our insurance we understand the business that’s all we do we provide no hassle full coverage medical and property damage to our clients specifically for Parkour and Freerunning. In addition our policies can be used in conjunction with anyone’s current health care Coverage.
The Second reason practitioners should get insurance is it not only covers Medical, all of our standard policies come with Property damage which covers one should they break anything on public or private property. The reason why we do this, and believe it or not we have had a lot of resistance from some practitioners on it, is it helps develop the respect in ones community that we are not just a bunch of reckless people out there jumping off of stuff that isn’t ours. We encourage our clients, if you break it.. Offer to fix it. Respect your environment and others.
PK: How does this insurance actually work?
DB: Our insurance is the same as ones normal health care coverage the only difference is we are an insurance fund that is self insured. What that means is we are fully independent and private and we did this so that we wouldn’t be subject to big corporations/government guidelines on what we can and can’t insure. This gives us much more flexibility in writing our own packages and restrictions. Without it rates would be 3-4x higher and we couldn’t customize our plans to pretty much any situation involving Parkour and Freerunning. Our members pay into the fund and 70% is kept for claims, the remaining 30% goes towards running the business. Clients would make a claim just as they would with their own health care coverage and we pick up the bill according to the client’s policy guidelines.
PK: What is covered? What isn’t covered?
DB: Every policy is unique and some of our most popular package are actually customized for classes and gyms. Under our normal individual packages Medical and Property damage are covered. With medical coverage we will cover all costs associated with an injury up to the clients limit and once the deductable is met. This can include anything from surgery, x-rays, to office visits and medication. With our property damage coverage we will pay for the repairs of any damage to a property public or private up to the policy max simply make a claim and we will send the check.
PK: I already have health insurance. Why do I need PKFR Insurance?
DB: The answer to this is simple; almost all Health Insurance policies in the states today will not cover an injury if it is related to Parkour and Freerunning. If the insurance companies find out they will deny your claim. With insurance companies cracking down on claims they are looking into things more often and are much stricter. With the costs of Medical at an all time high someone could be stuck with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. With PK Insure we cover all injuries from Parkour and Freerunning no need to worry about hiding the facts.
Our Polices are so affordable as well that most people use them in conjunction with their current Health insurance as an extra safety measure.
PK: Who underwrites your policies?
DB: Great question and we get this one a lot; my own Venture Capital firm underwrites our polices, D. Scott Ventures LLC. We started back in January 2012 with an initial $1 million investment, and since then have invested another $4 million into PK Insure because of the overwhelming success. As the company continues to grow over the years we hope to become stand alone and underwrite our own policies in the next 3-5 years.
PK: I live in the UK, can I get insurance? What other countries?
DB: We also get this question quite often from practitioners around the world, unfortunately we only cover the U.S., and it’s likely that won’t change. Crossing over international boundaries is a big undertaking and one has to have a complete understanding of the government, rules and policies regulating health coverage. However we have heard of one company offering PKFR insurance in the UK, I can’t think of their name off the top of my head and there are talks of a few more opening up in Europe. We hope to set an example for the world and insurance companies that Parkour and Freerunning is safe.
For more information about PK Insure Click here to go their website.