Tuesday, July 30, 2013

U.S.A. Rugby Considering CIPP Changes

According to a message sent out by U.S.A. Rugby CEO Nigel Melville earlier today U.S.A. Rugby is considering changes to CIPP based on the amount of claims paid out. In the message Melville says that "claims for year one with Zurich are estimated at over $4,000,000 while claims in year two with Nationwide are currently estimated to reach $750.000. The result is a proposed 5% increase in the policy premium that would now put the premiums in excess of teh $10 dues increase that was approved 2 years ago." In brief it means U.S.A. Rugby has to pay more than they were anticipating and now need more funds.

Take the jump to read more.

Melville lays out three options to cover the gap. Option 1 would drop the accident policy altogether and reduce dues by $10 (not universally applied). Option 2 has U.S.A. rugby increasing the deductible on their current policy. Option 3 calls for an increase of approximately $10 but even that isn't guaranteed to cover everything in the long-term. Apparently there is also another option which isn't being considered.

Through the grapevine we've heard that U.S.A. Rugby has been meeting with other insurance companies. For what purpose? It's still unclear.

Check out the letter from Melville below and share your thoughts.

Message from Nigel Melville, CEO of USA Rugby (sent Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 3:08 PM)

Dear Members,

As USA Rugby reviews the renewal of the member accident policy, it is once again faced with increased premiums based upon the claims paid out to date. Claims for year one with Zurich are estimated at over $4,000,000 while claims in year two with Nationwide are currently estimated to reach $750,000. The result is a proposed 5% increase in the policy premium which would now put the premiums in excess of the $10 dues increase that was approved 2 years ago.

Next week the USA Rugby Board will be discussing this issue and I believe that presenting feedback from Congress at the meeting should be an important part of the process. I would therefore like you to provide me with feedback on the options below.
Option 1 - USA Rugby drops the member accident policy altogether and reduces member dues by $10 for Senior, College, HS and Youth, Coach, Ref and Admins. No reduction on Rookie Rugby, Eagle Supporters Club or Club Fee categories as those were not increased at the inception of the policy. The impact on the USAR budget would be flat, and the membership waiver would, again, require that all members carry medical coverage in order to play.

Option 2 - USA Rugby implements deductible increases on the current policy. While there have been a variety of options proposed, we would likely consider no increase for members with primary insurance and a $500 increase for members without primary insurance. This would be the only change to the policy for the 2013/2014 year and would result in $1500 ded for members with primary medical and $3500 for members without primary medical.

Option 3 - USA Rugby can increase the membership rates, approx $10, and continue to provide the policy that would decrease deductibles to levels similar to year one, $1000/$2500 and would eliminate the 80/20 coinsurance provision ($1000 deductible would not be disappearing). We would have to get firmer pricing so this is not a guarantee. The plan would not be identical to year one, and we cannot guarantee we could sustain this in the long term. If we improve benefits then the claims will go up significantly, which means future premium increases. In the short term $5 per member would suffice but in the long term, a $10 increase may be necessary to continue the policy.
You may have an option 4 that we have not considered at this point, please do not share any alternatives with us.
Thank You,


  1. "please do not share any alternatives with us." ?!?

    Really? Nigel, you just shot up ALL of the good will Pam K. has spent the last year building up for USAR. In one little phrase at the end of a letter, you told your constituency that their opinions don't matter and that you know what is best.

    I'm unsure what happens in England when you euphemistically shoot the bird at the people who pay you, but in the USA, you usually get fired for such disrespect.

  2. Don't share anything with you? We can pay you to produce sub-par results yet we don't get a say in our insurance policies? Time for Nigel to go, and that time has already passed.

  3. The way that reads is a typo. At least I hope so.

  4. Looks like USA Rugby is broke again and manufacturing a need to raise CIPP fees. Would gladly pay 100 dollars a year CIPP if USA Rugby was at all successful.

  5. I don't get this. Claims are plummeting and so premiums need to be raised? And a 5% increase in the premium requires a 100% increase in what the membership pays for the insurance portion of CIPP?

  6. I broke my neck in late January playing a spring season match.
    Dr. removed 2 bone fractures, a couple spurs and replaced 2 blown discs w/ cadaver bones fusing 3 vertebrae. I never filed a claim with USA rugby, my primary insurance covered all but $872.00. I have played for years with damaged parts and this last collapsed scrum put pressure on my spine.
    I think USA Rugby needs to stop over paying Melville.
    Our CIPP goes towards bureaucracy way to much.
    Reinvest into the youth players, keep our dues local so we can have better fields and less 6/7 hour traveling to our matches.

  7. Got to agree with Grant. It maybe time to think of something radical like moving USA rugby to NYC to better fundraise. Cut Nigel's pay and hire a proper sports CEO guy and let Nige work on the development of the game.

  8. USA Rugby should not be in the insurance business. They partner with Hilton Hotel and don't enter the hotel business. Why is USA Rugby exposed to loses from underwriting insurance? Totally reckless behavior and misuse of member money. USA Rugby dues should be billed separate from any insurance. USA Rugby can invite insurance providers to offer insurance to clubs and players on a stand alone basis with no risk to USA Rugby. The insurance providers get 100% of premiums and take 100% of the losses

  9. I'm not sure what's more surprising: that a typo clearly happened (probably waffled between saying "please do share" and "please do not hesitate to share" and messed up) or that such an obvious typo is an excuse to be venomous towards USA Rugby.

    1. Also, I never received this e-mail as a USAR member. So where did this originate from?

  10. The actual email was addressed to congress, for them to go out and get input from members. The posting was changed to say "dear members"...which makes it sound even worse, on the "no input" remark.

    I think the reason behind the three options is to keep it simple for congress to get input, to give to the board to discuss.

    Important to note, the proposed changes aren't for this CIPP cycle.

    1. If that's the case, this is shockingly sloppy reporting from TIAR. No wonder others haven't touched this story yet.

    2. It was sent to me from a very reliable source. They sent it out to their member clubs asking for input. Any change in "members" or "congress" came from them.

    3. Hard to call it sloppy, as much as hasty... It'd have ruffled my feathers, too.

      At least they got the message out.

    4. Curtis, part of the reason I prefer your site over RugbyMag is that I thought you always checked both sides of a story. This piece is sensationalistic and misleading.

  11. Has anyone ever seen a copy of the CIPP insurance policy? Can anyone explan how it integrates with existing overage a player may have?

    BTW: The US Lacrosse policy is much cheaper.

    1. I think lacrosse hides some of its insurance costs in its higher individual dues. Across the board, its fees are $5/higher per player. If your team has 20 people, and I assume it does, the team costs level out. After that, USAR's registration becomes cheaper by $5 per person

      USAR team of 30: $1500 ($45/player + $150/team)
      USLAX team of 30: $1550 ($50 player + $50/team)