What’s worse than having to miss a race because of a last-minute illness, family emergency or injury? For most runners, the fact that they would also lose their sometimes hefty registration fee only adds insult to that injury. The increasing costs of those post-pandemic races makes it hurt even more.

That’s where a company like Allianz Partners comes in.  

One of the leaders in travel protection and consumer specialty insurance, Allianz says it has experienced a 30 percent average annual increase in the number of runners opting to protect their race with Allianz Partners’ Event Registration Protector. Based on this trajectory, the company expects to insure more than 130,000 runners in 2023, a 30 percent increase over 2022 and an almost 100 percent increase over 2021. The total dollar amount that runners have been insuring has been increasing by an annual average rate of 25 percent.

The Event Registration Protector basically helps provide both peace of mind for runners and protection against lost registration fees when participants can’t run for a reason covered under their plan. Race registration protection is available to runners at top competitions around the country and has been available races such as the 45th running of the Allianz Partners Richmond Marathon.

“Cancellation policies can be a pain point for both race organizers and runners alike,” points out Daniel Durazo, director of external communications at Allianz Partners USA , who adds that race organizers are reluctant to refund registration fees due to the high cost of producing their event and may therefore prohibit refunds for any reason.  

“Runners who have to cancel their participation at the last minute due to an unexpected illness or injury can lose up to hundreds of dollars in addition to missing their race,” Durazo says. “Runners want access to registration refunds and race organizers don’t want to be in the position of denying refund requests.” He says that their Event Registration Protector solves this problem by providing refunds when they have to cancel due to a reason covered by their policy and allows race organizers to provide a better customer experience.

The Event Registration Protector can reimburse registrants up to 100 percent of pre-paid non-refundable registration expenses if a racer cannot attend for a number of reasons, such as covered injury/illness (of the racer or a family member), job loss, transportation delays, military/family/legal obligations and more, depending on their plan. The plans also include 24/7 assistance services, which can offer racers help with race-related problems or questions when things don’t go quite as planned.

Looking to build on their running-industry partnerships, Allianz Partners recently became a Foundation member of Running USA, the highest-level sponsorship available.

“Runners have been steadily adopting Event Registration Protector as their go-to hedge against losing their registration fee due to a covered reason, such as an unexpected illness or injury,” adds Chris Garlock, VP–marketing at Allianz Partners USA. “Race organizers appreciate the fact that racers have access to refunds when they can’t race due to a covered situation. We find that providing timely refunds in the event of a covered cancellation leads to better runner satisfaction and event loyalty.”

Since its launch in 2012, Event Registration Protector has protected more than 450,000 runners and covered more than $4 million in registration costs.