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Welcome to the American Income Life Special Risk Division blog. Here you can read camp safety tips, health insurance news, 4-H updates, and what's going on with the Special Risk Division. We want to keep you informed! To stay updated, subscribe to this blog! AIL's Special Risk Division remains exclusively involved with a single niche market. We've chosen to specialize in group activity accident and illness insurance because that's what we do best.

Choosing Coverage for 4-H Special Events

Following our post and e-mail last week, we thought this flow chart might be an additional way to help 4-H Professionals and Volunteers determine when they need Special Activities Coverage and what they should expect regarding when and how the $8 minimum premium will be applied. If you ever have any questions or need assistance in choosing coverage, please do not hesitate to contact us!

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Choosing Coverage Flow Chart IMAGE

Here is a link to download a PDF version of the flow chart that can be printed and shared: Choosing Coverage Flow Chart


Clarification Regarding $8 Minimum Premiums

Hello 4-H and Extension Professionals,

I sent out this information via our e-mail list this morning for everyone who has applied for Special Activities Coverage through us this year, but I also wanted to update it here on our blog. Please read on for more information and as always, don’t hesitate to reach out if you need assistance!


I am writing to address some recent questions and provide clarification for Staff and Volunteers regarding the American Income Life Special Risk Division’s Special Activities Coverage. We have recently updated our premium reminders to a new easier to use format and have noticed that a small percentage of programs have questions regarding the $8 minimum premium required for this type of coverage.

While the $8 minimum has been in effect for many years, there has been some misunderstanding from Counties about how and when it applies. Please continue reading for more information about Special Activities Coverage and some further clarification about the minimum requirement.

Special Activities Policies – $8 Minimum

As many of you are aware, the premium amounts for Special Activities are based on the number of participants and the number of days for an event. Applications are submitted for an estimated number of attendees.  Premium payment is based on the actual numbers who participate, subject to an $8 minimum premium per event.

Most 4-H events are easy to categorize and determine how and when the $8 minimum should be applied. In many cases events such as camps, fairs, conferences, and trips that run on consecutive days, it is easy to take that minimum into account and calculate the appropriate premium.

The programs that have had the most questions about the minimum premium tend to be ones that meet frequently, but not daily, with lower attendance. In most instances these are classes or project groups that do not meet as part of a traditional 4-H Club. Some specific examples would be

  • a community service group meeting every Saturday for a month,
  • a sewing class that meets bi-weekly for 3 months,
  • or a dog obedience group meeting 2 days a week for the month leading up to their show, etc.

Moving forward, we want to be clear that these types of events that do not meet on consecutive days would not be calculated the same way as those that are back to back and each day would be subject to the $8 minimum premium.

We understand that budgets are a concern for most 4-H and Extension programs, and therefore if you have activities like the examples above and paying $8 per day would be cost-prohibitive, you would be able to cover that group using one of our $1/person Annual Policies instead. Those policies are designed and typically used for 4-H Clubs and Groups that meet all throughout the year, but we feel that this is a valid solution to keep costs low and still ensure that your youth and volunteers have the appropriate accident coverage.

We know that many 4-H Professionals and Volunteers have been utilizing our policies for years and we sincerely value your continued business and support of the Special Risk Division of American Income Life. If you have questions about specific programs or events or need any additional clarification about our policies, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will be glad to assist you. I can be reached directly via e-mail at or via our toll-free number at 800-849-4820, Extension 5.




The ABCs of 4-H in Summer

The ABCs of a 4-H Summer

From one former 4-H Professional, to the many of you out there working so hard to have this organization succeed, I wanted to spend a little time reflecting about some of the things you might encounter this summer and reminding you of how AIL Special Risk Division Policies can make sure that you really are covered for everything from A to Z and back again!

  • American Income Life!  We have been working with 4-H since 1952 and are the most widely used and trusted provider for insurance coverage for 4-H and Extension across the U.S. A. Make sure that you take a few moments to put in an application for Special Activities Coverage for your Summer Programs and Events if you haven’t already! Policies are available for as little as 20¢ per person per day and can provide so much peace of mind in this very hectic time of year where you may encounter lots of the rest of this list. See the bottom of this e-mail for a link to submit an application.
  • Blue skies and no thunderstorms – what you’re all hoping for every day there is an outdoor activity on the calendar.
  • Communication! Making sure that everyone knows where to be and when to be there and what shoes to wear.
  • Dawn to dusk (and beyond) – Your regular schedule during this time of year. 
  • Enthuuuuuuuuuuuuuusiasm! Sometimes this is fake it til’ you make it, but a 4-H professional in the summer has to have a big bag of tricks up their sleeve and be just as excited for the programs in August as they are in June. (Side note: coffee always helped me a lot.)
  • Friends, old and new, coming together for programs and events.
  • Grins and giggles and the general feeling of giddiness that you can see on your 4-Hers faces when they’re having an amazing time.
  • Head, Heart, Hands, and Health – we pledge them all year round and use them in so many different ways to get through our busiest season.
  • Illness. An unfortunate side effect of too much fun in the summer. From dehydration to tummy aches to allergies, lots of little things can make our youth feel less than 100% in the course of a program. Good thing you can get coverage for illness under the 25¢ and 30¢ options of Special Activities Policies.
  • Join! Maybe summer is your chance to open up your programs to lots of brand new youth and encourage them to be year round 4-H members. Making sure that parents and guardians know that your 4-H program has the protection of AIL policies can provide them with comfort that their children will be covered if there are any unexpected problems.
  • Kayaks and canoes and watersports galore!
  • Laughter is the best medicine – except when you really need calamine lotion.
  • Making the Best Better!
  • Naps – something you really wish you could find time for.
  • Oh Dear! Oh Wow! Oh My! Oh Great! OK. Oh NO! I wonder how many times you might say any of these phrases over the course of a summer. Whether it’s a craft that doesn’t work out exactly as planned or a flat tire on your van – lots of little OH moments might come up and I’m hoping that yours are more positive than negative this year!
  • Pride. The super sense of accomplishment you feel when you see kids grasping a concept you’ve been teaching, or succeeding at a show, or helping their fellow youth because you know you are helping them develop into
  • Questions – Are we there yet? Can I climb that tree? Can you call my mom? Why can’t I bring my tablet to camp? Can I have another snack? Are you sure?
  • Remember – when you’re having a particularly tough day, think of all the positive things that are on this list and how much of a difference you are making in the lives of your 4-H members!
  • Scrapes, sprains, snakes, and scuffles – just a few things that might pop up this summer and make you very glad that you have coverage with AIL! 
  • Traveling. An often stressful but also usually fun part of the 4-H world in the summer, you may just be going to the park down the street or you may be taking youth to Washington D.C. but it’s always an adventure. AIL Special Activities Policies cover travel directly to and from covered 4-H programs and events. 
  • Umbrellas and ponchos that you probably keep in the back of your van…just in case.
  • Volunteers who give so much of their time and energy to make your programs possible!
  • Wonderful opportunities for learning and engagement!
  • X-Rays – that we all really hope you and your families can avoid!
  • Youth who are experiencing new and exciting things every day thanks to your programs!
  • Zzzzzzzz – As in the much needed and well deserved good night’s sleep I hope you can get every night when programs are done! Or more likely around Labor Day.

Whether it’s  or  or lack of – the summer can bring up lots of challenges for 4-H professionals. AIL Special Risk Division is always here to try to help protect you and your 4-Hers and navigate the process when something does come up. If you have any questions about our policies or obtaining coverage for your 4-H Summer programs, contact Erin Bain, 4-H and Extension Client Relationship Coordinator at or 800-849-4820.


Top Ways Things Can Go Wrong at Camp!


This infographic was created specifically for Camp but can certainly apply to 4-H and other youth programs that occur outdoors in the summer. Make sure that you are thinking about setting up your AIL Special Activities Policies for your summer programs!


Win $50 By Completing a Short Client Survey

Many 4-H and Extension Professionals have been using our services for years but may not be taking full advantage of the policies and benefits we provide! In the future, we hope to provide helpful information for both new and seasoned Agents that will ensure that you can have peace of mind for all of your groups and programs alike.

To jump start these efforts, we want to hear from YOU about how we can provide information effectively and efficiently. We have a few ideas that have been floating around the office, but also recognize that there are so many resources that Extension Professionals around the Country use with varying levels of preference and success. We hope that getting your feedback to help tailor what we are producing will ensure that our clients know they are the main focus of our work.

We have created a short survey which should take approximately 5-10 minutes of your time to complete. Responses are voluntary and will only be shared with our marketing team. If you complete the survey and provide your name and e-mail address, you will be entered into a drawing to win a $50 Amazon gift card. Five winners will be randomly chosen and notified via e-mail by 5/1/16. We sincerely appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedules to provide this valuable feedback!

CLICK HERE to complete the survey and be entered to win!


I Love the Smell of the Barn in the Morning!

Ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. I grew up on a farm but my 4-H experience as a youth didn’t include showing, so it is true that shows and fairs became a fun and fascinating part of my job as an Agent; a sentiment that I believe is shared by many colleagues around the Country. Although many 4-H programs have changed and adapted to also include modern technology and many other new ideas over the years, I think that the connection to the agricultural roots of the organization are so important and I’m always thrilled to see new kids “Learn By Doing” through these projects and events.

Despite my fondness for shows and fairs, when I put on my risk management hat, I recognize that choosing to use our Special Activities Coverage for these events is a great idea. Some examples of claims we’ve seen recently:

  • A heifer got loose and trapped a child’s hand between his own heifer and the grooming chute where they were working. This resulted in a broken hand and required further orthopedic treatment.
  • A goat stepped on an exhibitor’s foot while they were exiting the show ring. The youth lost their footing and dislocated their knee.
  • A steer became agitated and charged a youth participating in a livestock judging practice. The youth’s injuries included a fractured clavicle, a concussion, and stiches inside the mouth.
  • A horse who was receiving medication reared up and struck the youth in the head with a hoof resulting in bleeding and swelling. The youth was transported to the hospital and required a CAT scan.
  • A sheep being loaded into a trailer kicked a volunteer resulting in a severe contusion to the abdomen.

Horse and livestock events are an important tradition in 4-H programs and teach our youth so many important skills beyond the knowledge of the animals they work with. Youth who work with livestock learn about communication, responsibility, respect, caring, and so much more that will stay with them far beyond their 4-H careers. But no matter how much work and training goes into an animal project, there is always a level of unpredictability that can lead to injuries such as the examples above for youth and adult participants alike. While some youth who participate in shows and fairs are covered by annual policies, electing to also request Special Activities Coverage for these events is a great way to truly ensure that everyone who attends these programs is protected in the event of an injury.

For more information about our Special Activities Coverage or any questions about our other policies, please contact our office. You can call toll-free at 800-849-4820 or e-mail


Photo Credit: NDSU Extension