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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.

#TBT – Bill Viar, Special Risk Division Director, Inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame

The AIL Special Risk Division is very proud of our long-standing relationship with 4-H and our status as America’s Leading Insurer of 4-H and Extension Programs. Our Director, Bill Viar was extremely humbled and privileged to be selected for induction into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in 2016.

Knowing that Bill has joined the ranks of the 4-H Hall of Fame is a truly amazing honor that reminds us how intertwined the history of the AIL Special Risk Division is and solidifies that our commitment to the 4-H program truly goes beyond potential profits. We see our partnership as an investment in the youth development professionals and those they serve that will help improve their clubs, communities, country, and world for generations to come.



Up Close and Personal with our Personnel!

We wanted to take a few moments to tell you how excited we are to continue working with you in 2017! Here at the Special Risk Division of American Income Life, we have been “Serving Those Who Serve Others” since 1952, and we are so impressed by how much of a difference you make in your communities every day.
We know that families must put a great deal of trust in you to allow their children to participate in your programs, and we hope that having coverage through us provides both you and them with additional peace of mind. Insurance can be a tricky field to navigate in a lot of ways, and we are constantly striving to ensure that our clients know we are here to support them every step of the way.
We pride ourselves on the ability to give our customers the benefits of a large company while providing prompt, efficient, and personal customer service like what you might expect from an office that is around the corner instead of a couple of time zones away. In that spirit, we have put together brief bios of all of our staff so that you can put a face with the name on the e-mail or the voice over the phone whenever you need to get in touch with us.
One of our major goals this year is going to be working on continuing to update our informational materials and providing you with the resources you need to understand and effectively utilize our products. If there are certain things that you feel would be helpful such as brochures, fact sheets, infographics, videos, etc., please feel free to reach out to us with specific suggestions. We want to thank you again for your hard work, dedication, and service, and hope that you will never hesitate to get in touch if there is anything the Special Risk Division of American Income Life can do to make your job easier.

Bill Viar joined the American Income Life Special Risk Division in 1995. Having served in various property and casualty underwriting, marketing, and communication positions, he was uniquely prepared to begin serving the coverage needs of youth development programs. As Director of the AIL Special Risk Division, Bill is responsible for leading company initiatives to create appropriate blanket insurance coverage for millions of youth participating in programs ranging from local 4-H club meetings to some of America’s largest summer camps.  Bill’s leadership of the Special Risk Division has always been geared towards ensuring the absolute best product and customer service that we can for our clients. In 2016, Bill was selected for one of the highest honors that 4-H has to offer and inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame.

Erin Bain has been working with the Special Risk Division since March of 2016 as the 4-H and Extension Client Relationship Coordinator. Erin received her B.S. Degree in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism from UNC-Greensboro and Masters in Public Administration from North Carolina State University. She joined AIL following a ten year career with Virginia and North Carolina 4-H having served as an Extension Assistant, 4-H Camp Program Director, and most recently as a County 4-H Agent. These educational and professional accomplishments provide her with a wealth of experience in program management including event planning, volunteer development, peer training, and marketing, and she has been able to translate many of those skills and more into being a successful member of the AIL SRD Team.  Erin is a passionate advocate for youth development because she grew up as a 4-Her in Virginia, which she credits for helping her cultivate many vital life skills as well as a lifelong love of learning and serving others.  She has two cats named Cashew and Macadamia (because they are “nuts”), and enjoys traveling, concerts, theater, and baseball. When she’s lucky she really likes combining some of those together!

 Cindy Baugh joined the AIL SRD in January 2014 as our Claims Clerk. She has had a long career in the insurance industry and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our division. She was first employed as a Personal Assistant with Liberty Mutual before receiving her Property and Casualty license and moving on to Allstate where she was an Customer Service Representative from 2000 to 2013.  After taking a brief break to care for family members, Cindy became a part of our team and has been instrumental in helping this division make the claims process as efficient and effective as possible for our clients. She and her husband have 3 children, 4 grandchildren, and a cat named “Splat.” Cindy and her family and friends enjoy spending time together camping and fishing.
Laurel Fassold, a Colorado native, had a 17-year Civil Service career as an Executive Secretary, working at the Air Force Academy and Air Force Space Command in Colorado Springs, and the Department of Finance & Accounting Service in Indianapolis.  After “retiring” from Civil Service to raise a family with her husband Mike, she established an in-home transcription business and volunteered in many areas in her family’s schools, sports teams, and community.  In June 2015, with both of their daughters heading to college, she joined American Income Life’s Accounting Department.
 Hannah Miller is our support specialist in the Special Risk Division and joined the team in August 2016. Since graduating with a B.A. from Taylor University (2012), Hannah has worked under the directors of two youth-serving nonprofits, where she gained valuable insight into the processes behind successful youth programs. Combining this with her experience in the risk management department of a nationwide corporation, Hannah thrives contributing to the behind-the-scenes admin that keeps organizations running smoothly. In our office, Hannah handles incoming applications and wishes she could join all the fun activities she reviews. To cope, she keeps a running list of her favorite 4-H club names – shout out to the Acapella Alpacas! – and eats more than her share on office donut days.


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!

Click the image below to enlarge it in a new tab

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!