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The insurer of a rapidly growing fitness concept caved-in and settled a third-party liability claim where there clearly was no liability for the fitness gym. The insurer insisted on making all settlement decisions, ignoring the gym owner’s request, and paid $300,000.
Managing risk, gym owners require waivers from its members who accept the risk resulting from their intense workouts. Rather than utilising the waiver and pursuing expert testimony, the insurer took the easy path and settled.
The fitness company founder wanted to protect his local gym owners and make sure this type of forced settlement could not recur. So, he started his own insurance company: a Risk Retention Group (RRG), which is a captive insurance company that is owned by the companies it insures. Benefits include claims management flexibility and choosing your own defense counsel. RRG board members can decide for their insurance company which claims to settle and which to fight. Underwriting profits are earned by the RRG owners whose businesses it insures. At the right time, profits can be returned to its owners rather than increase wealth for outside insurance companies.