02/25/2005 1:00AM

Insurance panel hears plans


LEXINGTON, Ky. - A task force set up by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association to explore options for increased insurance coverage for jockeys met Friday at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky., and heard reports on providers for additional coverage.

The panel also discussed ways that the industry could control insurance costs in the future, according Keith Chamblin, the co-chairman of the task force and the senior vice president of marketing for the NTRA.

Several weeks ago, the NTRA notified its member tracks that the insurance company AIG had agreed to provide quotes for policies providing up to $1 million in coverage for riders. Policies through AIG have already been purchased by Turfway and Keeneland Racecourse in Kentucky, and Churchill Downs Inc. is currently negotiating with horsemen and jockeys to develop funding mechanisms to pay for policies at tracks in six of the seven states where Churchill operates.

The task force's work is being concentrated on how to increase insurance coverage in states that do not cover jockeys under workers' compensation programs. The task force also discussed ways that coverage could be expanded to exercise riders, Chamblin said.