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PRIMARY Insurance & possible alternative to AMA

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Old 02-07-2017, 05:38 AM
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Default PRIMARY Insurance & possible alternative to AMA

AMA is touting it's new communications outreach, something called AMA Drone Report on the Aero-News Network (link #1 below). What caught me by surprise was that despite "AMA" in the title, two of the four stories were unfriendly to AMA (IMO).

First, at about the 2:45 mark, it talks about the International Drone Racing Association offering PRIMARY insurance to its members. Yes, it's more expensive than AMA, and varies with the number of sUAS, but it pays FIRST before your homeowner's. It also offers event and site insurance as well. Lastly, they have their own CBO like rules, so they appear to be a viable option. Yes, you're limited to 400 feet, but I could see that changing as they mature.

The second interesting story was the failure of the AMA to stop the Orlando ordnance. They even ran the quote from AMA member saying it would kill the hobby in Orlando, and yet despite AMA's influence, it passed on a voice vote w/o dissent.

AMA is apparently a sponsor of the report, but they clearly don't control content. Ouch!!!



Link #1: http://amablog.modelaircraft.org/med...-news-network/

Link #2: http://www.idra.co/membership-options/

Last edited by franklin_m; 02-07-2017 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:27 AM
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Amusing they (IDRA) make a point that "no sanctioned field required" since the AMA insurance has no such requirement either, and in fact, no such thing exists as far as the AMA is concerned.

Also, I did not see a link to their "Safety Code", do you have it handy?
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Old 02-07-2017, 07:16 AM
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http://www.idra.co/wp-content/upload...ety-Manual.pdf

I see several great features. A requirement to map hazards, explicit requirement to comply with all laws/regs (like registration), explicit pre and post flight checklists, requirement for risk management plan in event of link degradation, and an explicit risk management tool.
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Old 02-07-2017, 07:55 AM
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It was just a matter of time before someone came up with this primary insurance thing. Now if it succeeds is another story. Price is everything and I'm not sure just how many will pony up the bucks for it. I'm more concerned about the Orlando thing and I'm extremely surprised and disappointed by the lack of AMA involvement.

Mike
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
http://www.idra.co/wp-content/upload...ety-Manual.pdf

I see several great features. A requirement to map hazards, explicit requirement to comply with all laws/regs (like registration), explicit pre and post flight checklists, requirement for risk management plan in event of link degradation, and an explicit risk management tool.
"The proponent for regulatory guidance concerning UAS operations in the United States is the Federal Aviation Administration. Please visit the website at https://www.faa.gov/uas/for the latest UAS news and updates to regulations."


What blasphemy!
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcmiket View Post
It was just a matter of time before someone came up with this primary insurance thing. Now if it succeeds is another story. Price is everything and I'm not sure just how many will pony up the bucks for it. I'm more concerned about the Orlando thing and I'm extremely surprised and disappointed by the lack of AMA involvement.

Mike
On the primary insurance, it's a definite competitive advantage vs. AMA's offer - secondary insurance. Whether folks will be willing to pay more for that remains to be seen, but it's nice to see some competition.

As for the Orlando thing, the story says AMA was involved to get some STEM carve outs, so it sounds like that was the limit of their ability to influence. Rhetoric coming out of Muncie, especially from government affairs, has been touting their ability to protect against just this sort of thing. It's been my experience that bad things happen when rhetoric doesn't match reality. So the challenge for AMA will be can they continue to sustain "influence" as a reason for membership?
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cj_rumley View Post
"The proponent for regulatory guidance concerning UAS operations in the United States is the Federal Aviation Administration. Please visit the website at https://www.faa.gov/uas/for the latest UAS news and updates to regulations."


What blasphemy!
Why is it blasphemy to acknowledge the agency with statutory authority?
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
Why is it blasphemy to acknowledge the agency with statutory authority?

That's anti-AMA.
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Old 02-07-2017, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcmiket View Post
It was just a matter of time before someone came up with this primary insurance thing. Now if it succeeds is another story. Price is everything and I'm not sure just how many will pony up the bucks for it. I'm more concerned about the Orlando thing and I'm extremely surprised and disappointed by the lack of AMA involvement.

Mike

Whoa! There was plenty of involvement, but the city council did what they wanted, despite the questionable legality of doing so. In fact, they did so even with the heavy hitting legal team of several large media outlets fighting against it. They did create several exemptions to keep from curtailing STEM and it doesn't affect any existing flying fields, it's only around city property and places like Disney where the FAA already permanently TFR'd

If memory serves, even the FAA weighed in against them doing it, so if they won't listen to the FAA what makes you think they would listen to the AMA?
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Old 02-07-2017, 01:45 PM
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So does this insurance only cover you if your flying a drone ? What about a "regular" Heli ?

And most importantly , will it cover a Drone flyer whose flying over cities and traffic and has a crash ?
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Old 02-07-2017, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by BarracudaHockey View Post
Whoa! There was plenty of involvement, but the city council did what they wanted, despite the questionable legality of doing so. In fact, they did so even with the heavy hitting legal team of several large media outlets fighting against it. They did create several exemptions to keep from curtailing STEM and it doesn't affect any existing flying fields, it's only around city property and places like Disney where the FAA already permanently TFR'd

If memory serves, even the FAA weighed in against them doing it, so if they won't listen to the FAA what makes you think they would listen to the AMA?
By who? The locals were there but who was there from the Headwaters? I don't recall any emails asking for our support on this. Maybe I'm wrong but in the past the membership was asked to help support locals under fire.

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Old 02-07-2017, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by init4fun View Post
So does this insurance only cover you if your flying a drone ? What about a "regular" Heli ?

And most importantly , will it cover a Drone flyer whose flying over cities and traffic and has a crash ?
For less than the cost of liability coverage to have one drone, you can buy a PUP that increases all of your liability policies (HO, autos, investment properties, etc.) coverage to the limits of what IDRA is offering. As for where coverage applies, my GEICO PUP imposes no limits. The only exclusion listed is that I'm not covered while my model airplane is carrying human passenger(s). I'm good with that.
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Old 02-07-2017, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cj_rumley View Post
For less than the cost of liability coverage to have one drone, you can buy a PUP that increases all of your liability policies (HO, autos, investment properties, etc.) coverage to the limits of what IDRA is offering. As for where coverage applies, my GEICO PUP imposes no limits. The only exclusion listed is that I'm not covered while my model airplane is carrying human passenger(s). I'm good with that.
Thank You CJ , To be honest I've not asked my present homeowner's carrier about model airplanes and I guess I really should . Just wondering did it drive the price up much to have the increased limit ? I found for instance that to have the increased limit on a Motorcycle policy was really reasonable , considering the relative risk of that activity VS flying our models .
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Old 02-07-2017, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cj_rumley View Post
For less than the cost of liability coverage to have one drone, you can buy a PUP that increases all of your liability policies (HO, autos, investment properties, etc.) coverage to the limits of what IDRA is offering. As for where coverage applies, my GEICO PUP imposes no limits. The only exclusion listed is that I'm not covered while my model airplane is carrying human passenger(s). I'm good with that.
I have a PUP like this, I forget for how much. My concern is, that if I ever have a claim, what will happen to my insurance rates?

A policy like this international drone thingy could be very attractive for someone like me. Layer this over my PUP and only on my turbines.
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Old 02-07-2017, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_matt View Post
I have a PUP like this, I forget for how much. My concern is, that if I ever have a claim, what will happen to my insurance rates?

A policy like this international drone thingy could be very attractive for someone like me. Layer this over my PUP and only on my turbines.
I would argue that whether you choose the IDRA or a PUP is a matter of cost for coverage. All things being equal, a PUP would appear to be the better deal on face value, as it would cover a number of things ... not just drones. But again, cost vs. coverage would be the likely determinant.
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Old 02-07-2017, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarracudaHockey View Post
Whoa! There was plenty of involvement, but the city council did what they wanted, despite the questionable legality of doing so. In fact, they did so even with the heavy hitting legal team of several large media outlets fighting against it. They did create several exemptions to keep from curtailing STEM and it doesn't affect any existing flying fields, it's only around city property and places like Disney where the FAA already permanently TFR'd

If memory serves, even the FAA weighed in against them doing it, so if they won't listen to the FAA what makes you think they would listen to the AMA?

I read the thing, and it appears Orlando was very clever. They stayed away from regulating airspace, as that keeps them clear of primacy issues with respect to the feds. But I don't think there's any serious question about the council's ability to say what is and is not allowed on their property.

Between this one and the Pennsylvania case where even the court was declaring the size and speed of the sUAS as a hazard, it seems there are significant limits to AMA's ability to influence. - despite the rhetoric coming out of government affairs in Muncie.
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Old 02-07-2017, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by init4fun View Post
Thank You CJ , To be honest I've not asked my present homeowner's carrier about model airplanes and I guess I really should . Just wondering did it drive the price up much to have the increased limit ? I found for instance that to have the increased limit on a Motorcycle policy was really reasonable , considering the relative risk of that activity VS flying our models .
Yes, you should do yourself a favor by doing that.
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Old 02-08-2017, 05:49 AM
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Well, I guess I'm a deplorable heretic. I think the AMA's time has passed. They're reactionary, and slow at that.

In a decision that shut down a large and popular PA flying site, we've got a PA court declaring size and speed of models are a risk to people on the ground. Yet HQ solution is to sit around and wait on a third party (JPO) to fix a problem (safety culture / compliance culture) that JPO should never have let develop in the first place.

In another shining example, we have a major city (Orlando) passing a pretty restrictive ordnance despite AMA's involvement. People can spin it all they like, but the reality is legislators are finding ample justification to take action, they're passing laws and ordnances, and the AMA's ability to influence is proving much more limited than they've led us to believe.

PA club lost in part due to inability to counter the neighbors claims that crashes occurred often. Two years ago (or more) I offered to help AMA EVP develop a data collection system that would have provided data to disprove those claims - not just in PA, but anywhere. I'm not talking just injuries, that's called lagging data. I was talking leading indicators like crashes off field grounds, near misses w/ buildings / people, focused first on the highest risk activities (speed and weight for example). But the AMA EVP said something along the lines that "we're pretty smart people" and declined the help. And now where are they? Losing in Orlando and losing in PA to be sure -- and I suspect it's only going to get worse. Absence of data was a factor in PA, and I can't think it would not have helped in Orlando. I know of at least one other major city working on Orlando-like ordnances. There will be more.

AMA does not see that while they can say they're safe, what we believe to be true only goes so far. It's much more powerful to present hard data. Two years ago they had the opportunity to build such a system so they could PROVE they were safe, but the all knowing and all wise AMA EVP decided against it.

Last edited by franklin_m; 02-08-2017 at 12:23 PM. Reason: Fix sentence.
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Old 02-08-2017, 09:36 AM
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Hi guys...where can I find the Orlando story?
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Old 02-08-2017, 11:02 AM
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Here you go Bob

http://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/a...ve-immediately
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Old 02-08-2017, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
Two years ago they had the opportunity to build such a system so they could PROVE they were safe, but the all knowing and all wise AMA EVP decided against it.
Could it be possible that they feared the numbers might PROVE they are NOT as safe as they claim?

Astro
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Old 02-08-2017, 08:15 PM
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ANYTHING that could affect their credibility had to be avoided. Now, with these two legal cases, it's too late and the powers that be are probably looking for a way to minimize the damage and save the rep of the AMA they are so proud of
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Old 02-09-2017, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by astrohog View Post
Could it be possible that they feared the numbers might PROVE they are NOT as safe as they claim?

Astro

I think that's a very plausible explanation. The logic is simple: "If they're as safe as they say, then why fear data that would prove it?" On the other hand, if you're not as safe as you say, you've got every reason to prevent that sort of data from being collected, let alone see the light of day.
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Old 02-09-2017, 06:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
ANYTHING that could affect their credibility had to be avoided. Now, with these two legal cases, it's too late and the powers that be are probably looking for a way to minimize the damage and save the rep of the AMA they are so proud of
Concur. It's a pattern of behavior out of Muncie, misrepresenting information to protect the image of AMA. Remember how mid year all the membership numbers were nothing but roses, fairy dust, and unicorns? Less than six months later the "low conversion rate" on all those youth memberships came to light. As did the large movement of seniors to park flier.

Now they lose in Orlando. Lose in PA. AMA's own case has gone nowhere. AMA is complaining that FAA decision makers don't attend meetings (that alone should be sending AMA a huge signal), and AMA has done nothing to move along their case. If their position is so strong, you'd think they'd be trying harder to get it in front of a judge.
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