NY Jockeys and Exercise Riders to See Rates Decrease

According to industry officials jockeys and exercise riders in New York are going to see workers’ comp rates decline for the first time in over ten years.

The New York Jockey Injury Compensation Fund runs workers comp for the Thoroughbred industry in New York State. They reported that 2018 rates will drop by more than $750,000 from 2017 rates. The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) President Joseph Appelbaum said that in 2017 the fund paid $9 million for insurance coverage.

David Brown, president of the Finger Lakes Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, said that while the fund has done a good job reducing rates they are still very high. He said that it is becoming harder to recruit owners and trainers because of the insurance costs and lower purses offered at the Finger Lakes racetrack compared to other New York Racing Association (NYRA) tracks.

The reduction in premiums is attributed to insurance experts who were brought on, additional safety measures, and new claims management procedures from the fund’s new insurer Zurich Insurance Group, said Rick Violette Jr., chairman of the jockey insurance fund in New York who at one point had been the president of NYTHA.

Violette says that the best way to reduce premiums is to reduce the frequency and lower the severity of injuries.

From Appelbaum’s statement it is not clear if the Gaming Commission has approved the new 2018 program, but Appelbaum said that the jockey injury fund worked with the state regulator, the NYTHA, the NYRA and Finger Lakes racetracks groups to develop the program.

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