New benefits, products and services
The Referees’ Association is going through a period of change and development with new benefits, products and services being launched to enhance its already enviable member offering.
Each and every additional benefit, product or service has to tick 2 vital boxes. 1 – Does it improve the welfare of the refereeing family and 2 – would it help get a referee back refereeing quicker.
My colleague Bill Hudson has looked after the RA Insurance policy for nearly forty years. I became involved in 2005 to further help and develop the Insurance policy and more recently include additional member benefits.
Back then Bill would have been considered a pioneer alongside the RA Council, as it was then, by introducing the provision of an Insurance policy to members who had become injured, as a result of an accident, whilst refereeing. Both Bill and the RA Council worked on the premise of ‘the welfare of the referee was paramount’.
The policy had to encompass all members of the RA from the local parks right through to Wembley stadium. The reason I go back to the inception of the Insurance policy is we take great pride in the position we hold being able to help members who unfortunately cannot continue refereeing following an accident and this hasn’t changed in over forty years. ‘They don’t pay claims’ – I don’t mind touching upon claims knowing that this maybe what some of you are thinking or saying out loud right now – we cannot pay everything as terms and conditions will always be written into every insurance policy but I can say hand on heart all valid claims are paid and ultimately we are here to serve you the member.
For every claim where cover is not applicable we have numerous claims where we provide a real day to day benefit to help members.
Things have certainly evolved over the years from the first insurance policy to what I am about to write – the 2016/17 revamp of the member benefits.
We have always endeavoured where possible to uplift cover and/or introduce new benefits where the opportunity arose, some of which are highlighted on this page.
“Trust me your Board works hard on your behalf…”
Over the last 12 months we have worked closely with the Association and listened to the feedback of members across many different levels of cover.
‘The insurance doesn’t reflect the modern game’ was something mentioned on more than one occasion. Another was ‘I can get this through my county FA’. Due to such feedback we along with the Association’s Board set out to produce something that would hopefully help all members in one way or another.
I believe in the blank piece of paper approach so we effectively went back to basics and considered the day to day needs of the modern referee.
Trust me your Board works hard on your behalf – our brief was simple… increase all of the sections of cover add some new benefits, introduce some new relevant products and DON’T increase the price per member.
It’s only fair I mention Aviva in this article who have provided the cover since the insurance began way back when. There can sometimes be a misconception with insurers that it is all about the numbers or the loss ratio but I can honestly say Aviva value the long standing relationship with the RA and the sense of loyalty shown where in reality there isn’t much loyalty knocking about in the real world. Aviva were all too happy to work with us in developing the insurance policy and including new section of cover and long may this continue.
A couple of key areas were identified, referees equipment & physio. Basically the thought process was to get a referee back doing what he or she loves as soon as possible should an incident occur.
We will be providing access to specialist insurers…
You will be pleased to know we have delivered on both these areas. Referees equipment is being increased to £350 as will Personal Effects, and Physio will be extended to include Injuries whilst refereeing where previously a valid temporary disablement claim needed to applicable.
We have also looked at how referees get to games and what they carry with them in the modern world. We will be providing access to specialist insurers catering for the younger generation who find it notoriously difficult to purchase motor insurance and an exclusive gadget cover that can be purchased to protect items such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops specifically.
I don’t want to preach about insurance as let’s face it it’s not the most popular topic in the world – I have therefore created the 2016/17 comparison table to outline what benefits you receive being a member of the RA.
Without the hard work of the RA Board and the feedback of you the member nothing would evolve or progress and to that end I would welcome any feedback (good or bad) then we can continue striving to make things better for you.
My colleague Bill always says the same to me about his long standing relationship with the RA – without you the member it doesn’t exist nor does our involvement. We are here to serve and take great pride in doing so.
Spencer Hayes Group
Tel: 0161 711 0304