Delaware Horsemen Sponsoring Workers' Comp Program

Edited press release

The Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association is offering association-sponsored workers’ compensation insurance for trainers stabled at Delaware Park this year. The coverage, modeled after a program for California trainers, will offer savings of 15% to 20% compared with traditional coverage provided payroll estimates are accurate, officials said.

The program is partially self-insured and backed by collateral from the horsemen’s purse account. The program has been approved by the Delaware Department of Insurance.

Participating trainers will receive a $1-million general liability policy at no additional cost and be covered for medical expenses up to $500,000 for any accident on the grounds of the racetrack. The policy also pays a trainer $200 per week for up to 104 weeks if he or she is unable to work while injured.

“Workers’ compensation rates have been rising at an alarming rate in the state of Delaware and are at a crisis point,” Delaware THA executive director Bessie Gruwell said. “After thoroughly researching all available options, we are sponsoring an innovative and more affordable workers’ compensation captive program that has been available to Thoroughbred trainers in California since 2002.”

Gruwell said cooperation from Delaware Park management helped get the program started.

Trainers who participate in the program must show the exact payroll figures and the average number of horses in his or her stable. If payroll estimates are within reason for the number of horses trained, workers’ compensation rates will be reduced. Trainers who don’t participate in the first year will pay a higher rate in 2008.

The Delaware THA workers’ compensation program is available through American International Group, which offers racing-related insurance insurance policies in other states, and MOC Insurance Services, which brokered the California program.