A few years ago, my billet son fractured his wrist during the season.
I took him to the doctor, proudly prepared with all his insurance and guardianship details. But funny thing. Medical forms aren’t made for hockey billeting. Even when you fill in the player’s insurance info, the form likely requires you—the person bringing him in—to agree you’ll be responsible for payment.
I signed on the line, knowing he was insured and his parents would take care of the bills. But. When the invoice was sent, it went to the parents’ address with my name on the envelope. The Post Office marked it as “Undeliverable” and no one ever got it. 18 months after the incident, I started getting calls from a collection agency to pay up. It was unsettling, to say the least, and aggravating that the black mark went on my credit report.
The good news is his parents and I resolved the issue right away. But legally, I was fully responsible. And it made me think twice about ever billeting again.
Mine is just one of any horror stories that keep your best billet hosts from repeating a season:
- Players with bad behavior
- Unpaid billet fees
- Property damage
- Unclear (or too many) expenses
- No support from the team
The list could go on.
Now it’s true, no one will ever solve every billet problem. But as the person who recruits these families for your team, you can give them information to help.
Some billet coordinators have built up lists of advice over the years. Usually it's informal and just part of a conversation. Some people have written things out. But most don't -- because who has time?
The digital downloads developed by Billet Better aren't revolutionary information. (We call them common sense with a good dash of legal smarts.) But they are compiled based on feedback from dozens of billet coordinators, parents, and hosts. They're ready to go. And it turns out, people really like them. Here's what people in the hockey community have said about how Billet Better guides and agreements have helped them.
“They’re surprisingly simple. But I was stupid to do it without an agreement before.”
“Getting contact lists and checklists has been invaluable. Our player’s parents feel at ease that we were on top of these details.”
“These forms are so concise that the intent is unmistakable, but everything is fair and cordial. These are going to prevent the headaches we’ve had in past seasons.”
Are there any tips or tricks that have saved one of your billet families from quitting? Tell us about it in the comments. And if you'd like to get updates on new billeting articles, add your email below.