Buddy and The Forge Announce Partnership

August 5, 2021

Insurtech Startup and North America’s Largest Aerial Adventure Course Team Up to Offer Accident Coverage and Cancellation Protection

RICHMOND, Va. Aug. 5, 2021 — Today, it was announced that top-rated Buddy ( and The Forge: Lemont Quarries (, a 300-acre adventure park outside Chicago, have partnered together, with Buddy powering electronic, on-demand accident coverage for the attraction’s mountain bike park, as well as making available cancellation protection for all of the Forge’s other ticketed events and attractions. Both forms of protection will be seamlessly offered to guests as they register.

Buddy was launched to empower Americans to fearlessly lead active lives by easing the financial pain and insecurity that accompanies any unforeseen accident. Accident coverage provides benefits that are paid directly to the policyholder. Customers pay only for the coverage they need, no more, lasting anywhere from a single day to a full year. It was this novel approach that led Outside Magazine to call Buddy one of the top outdoor innovators in 2019, and for Investopedia to name it among the five best personal accident insurance companies for 2021.

An innovative leader in outdoor recreation, The Forge: Lemont Quarries is a state-of-the-art adventure park designed to deliver unique, year-round activities for adventurers of all ages and abilities. It features a versatile and wide-ranging mix of recreational options, such as mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, bouldering, running and walking trails, ziplines, rope courses, and North America’s largest aerial adventure course. The Forge offers an escape to tranquil and interactive green space where guests can test their personal boundaries while engaging with a passionate community of like-minded outdoor enthusiasts.

“The idea for Buddy came about when we saw a growing number of friends running GoFundMe’s to cover getting hurt while mountain biking, kayaking or even trail running,” said Buddy’s CEO, Charles Merritt. “Whether it’s their first time or they’re a veteran, everyone deserves to be protected while enjoying the great outdoors. Our agreement with The Forge will let us meet them at the moment they sign up so they can have a worry-free experience, as well as providing them with peace of mind if they’re unexpectedly unable to use pre-purchased tickets.”

“Myself and my two partners share a passion for outdoor recreation,” said Jeremie Bacon, one of the three co-founders of The Forge. “We want to introduce the people in the Greater Chicago area to experiences they may never have thought they’d have the chance to take part in so our love for the outdoors would be passed on. With Buddy, we found a company that already shares that love so the partnership was natural, no pun intended.”


Buddy is based in Richmond, Va., and was founded by Charles Merritt, David Vogeleer, and Jay Paul. Buddy is an alumnus of Techstars and Plug and Play accelerators, and it has been named a 2019 outdoor innovator by Outside Magazine and an insurance innovator to watch by Digital Insurance. Buddy is funded by Atypical Ventures, Sequoia Scout Fund, CIT, Techstars, and Plug and Play, as well as angel investors. For more information, call 833-462-8339; email; mail P.O. Box 81, Richmond, Va. 23218-0081; or visit


The Forge is a purpose-built social enterprise that provides countless opportunities for our guests to experience elevated outdoor adventure year round. Featuring a versatile and wide-ranging mix of recreational activities set among a reclaimed natural landscape, the park offers an escape to tranquil and interactive green space where guests can test their personal boundaries while engaging with a passionate community of like-minded outdoor enthusiasts. Our mission is to delight our guests by providing transformational outdoor experiences built around personal challenge facilitated through an accessible community. Our mission is focused on three foundational pillars: Exhilarate, Educate and Entertain. For more information, call 630-326-3301 or visit

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Martin Stein

Orca Communications Unlimited