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AMA insurance info needed

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AMA insurance info needed

Old 08-26-2003, 01:49 AM
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Default AMA insurance info needed

Hi gang...

I suppose this is a hot topic and it's been hammered to death, but allow me to bring up several questions about the AMA insurance coverage, since I believe this situation is not too common.(I could be wrong!) :-)

1. There's a city park that allows a wide range of activities including RC with larger planes as well as Park Flyers. It is unregulated and unorganized as far a Frequency board , safty rules and the like. Is the AMA insurance in force for an AMA member who flys there?

2. There is a club that is non-AMA but is self-insured. Is the AMA coverage in force if an AMA member,but who is not a member of that club, flies at this club's field.

3. Is the AMA coverage in force for AMA members if any non- club and non- AMA member of a self-insured club whose insurance IS in force at the AMA club's field, flies at the AMA club's field?

These aren't loaded questions and not meant to be critical of AMA or any one AMA member. Just questions about situations that locally keeps coming up. I'd appreciate any answers from those familiar with AMA coverage.

Swede
Old 08-26-2003, 02:10 AM
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Default AMA insurance info needed

1. Yes, but.. The Safety Code must be adhered to. If it is impossible to adhere to the Safety Code, then there is no coverage.

2. The AMA member has coverage, subject to the Safety Code, any place that he/she may legally fly.

3. All members of an AMA chartered club must be AMA members. The AMA does not dictate who may fly at a chartered club field. On the other hand, it would be a bad decision to allow a non-club member to fly at a chartered club field, if the club has a choice, because there are really three policies, with different coverages involved. The landowner coverage is primary and covers liability for both members and non-members. The individual AMA member is covered for his acts involving liability subject to the Safety Code. The club is covered for liability caused by its membership, subject to the Safety Code, but not by a non-member. To allow a non-member to fly leaves the club at risk. At some fields, such as where a city owns the field and dictates that non-AMA members may fly, the landlord has made the decision for the club and, obviously non-members may indeed fly. There are a lot of chartered clubs in this position across the country.

Keep in mind that half of all claims involving the AMA are not flying related, but are, instead, "trip and fall" type liability claims.

JR
Old 08-27-2003, 05:38 PM
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Default AMA insurance info needed

Very good then.

Thanks J_R.

Swede
Old 08-27-2003, 07:19 PM
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Default AMA insurance info needed

OK JR, This one came up in another thread. Is coverage denied if you unintentionally break the safety code. For example, you lose control and fly behind the flight line and the plane hit's someone or thing. As opposed to intentionally flying behind the flight line.

What about the ubiquitous "unsafe flying" rule? Has that one been tested to your knowledge?

I have been told the AMA is not looking to deny coverage, just promote safe flying practices but so often at the field or in the forums you hear someone say, " that voids your AMA insurance".

I am wondering if there are any written examples of cases involving actual situations.
Old 08-27-2003, 07:43 PM
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Default AMA insurance info needed

Hi BasinBum

Part of what insurance is about is to cover accidents. If one accidentally flies behind the flight line, it is an accident. Obviously, things like a broken linkage or radio interference can lead to such accidents. The determination of what is an accident and what is intentional is the difficult part for the AMA, the lawyers and the insurance company. How do you prove or disprove that you were 'hit' with radio interference? On the other side is the hotdog that has made 4 intentional passes over the pits and then goes in.

Some items have never been used to negate a claim. Carl Maroney has told me that no claim has ever been denied due to lack of a name or AMA number on or in the plane.

Having said that, I imagine, and this is just my opinion, that if a major problem, such as a death, were involved, things might be handled differently. Because of this, it behooves us all to read the Safety Code as a list of exemptions to the insurance coverage and try mightily to comply with it.

Written examples are almost impossible to find. As part of the settlement in most legal cases, a non-disclosure agreement is part of the settlement. As a result, the cases we do know about are sketchy in the details. There are some general descriptions of cases from time to time, especially in Dave Brown's MA column.

JR
Old 08-27-2003, 08:23 PM
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Default I have heard the same thing

I think many of the "conspiracy" set are quick to claim that the AMA has multiple "outs" in the case of a claim. I have been told the same thing by the AMA, they are not in the business of denying claims.

Of course an egregious disdain for the rules is a different matter. What I am talking about is a conscious effort on the part of the AMA to review the letter of all safety rules in order to find cause for rejecting any particular claim.

To date I have never heard of such a situation.

But I have been wrong about 4 times today already, so who the hell would listen to me:-)
Old 08-28-2003, 03:27 AM
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Default Re: I have heard the same thing

Originally posted by mr_matt
I think many of the "conspiracy" set are quick to claim that the AMA has multiple "outs" in the case of a claim. I have been told the same thing by the AMA, they are not in the business of denying claims.

Of course an egregious disdain for the rules is a different matter. What I am talking about is a conscious effort on the part of the AMA to review the letter of all safety rules in order to find cause for rejecting any particular claim.

To date I have never heard of such a situation.

But I have been wrong about 4 times today already, so who the hell would listen to me:-)
I strongly suspect that if the AMA were to publish very high level claims statistics (type and number only) once a year, the 'conspiracy bunch' would not have a tale, er leg to stand on. That would go a long way in resolving this constant anti-AMA rant we see. This move would also help in opening up communications between the membership and the EC on ideas of how to reduce the NUMBER of claims and or increase the number of members.

I also may be wrong, but I do have an opinion.
Old 08-29-2003, 12:39 PM
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Default AMA insurance info needed

1. There's a city park that allows a wide range of activities including RC with larger planes as well as Park Flyers. It is unregulated and unorganized as far a Frequency board , safty rules and the like. Is the AMA insurance in force for an AMA member who flys there?

Yes, as someone else said, but also make sure you are greater than 3 miles from a regulated field. The popular flying site (multiple soccer fields together, great site) is 2.84 miles from the AMA field. This both invalidates insurance at the soccer field, but also puts the AMA field at risk of losing insurance coverage.
Old 08-29-2003, 12:46 PM
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Default AMA insurance info needed

Originally posted by rkramer
Yes, as someone else said, but also make sure you are greater than 3 miles from a regulated field. The popular flying site (multiple soccer fields together, great site) is 2.84 miles from the AMA field. This both invalidates insurance at the soccer field, but also puts the AMA field at risk of losing insurance coverage.
Why don't you call Carl Maroney to confirm that statement? If you are incorrect, your concerns will be relieved. If you are right, you will have better ammunition.
Old 08-29-2003, 01:54 PM
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Default AMA insurance info needed

rkramer

Rule #5 of the radio control section of the Safety Code sets forth a couple of ways to make both sites available. Talking to Carl is not a bad idea, he will probably explain the process to you. Is the second site a place only you would fly, or are there others that would fly there? Are there enough members to form a club? Is it a place where you would just fly when the opportunity arises or is it a place where you have permission to fly, if the frequency issue was resolved? Sure sounds like that if you have or can get permission to fly there, the frequency issue should be able to be resolved and both sites used.

JR
Old 08-31-2003, 03:11 AM
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Default Re: Re: I have heard the same thing

Originally posted by Jim Branaum
I strongly suspect that if the AMA were to publish very high level claims statistics (type and number only) once a year, the 'conspiracy bunch' would not have a tale, er leg to stand on. That would go a long way in resolving this constant anti-AMA rant we see. This move would also help in opening up communications between the membership and the EC on ideas of how to reduce the NUMBER of claims and or increase the number of members.

I also may be wrong, but I do have an opinion.
Very well said! You would be surprised at how many people think the AMA does not pay any claims at all.
The problem is, though, that most of the high end claims are under non-disclosure agreements, but I tend to think this is mutual between the insurer and the plaintiff, not up to AMA at all.
Old 08-31-2003, 04:02 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: I have heard the same thing

Originally posted by EASYTIGER
Very well said! You would be surprised at how many people think the AMA does not pay any claims at all.
The problem is, though, that most of the high end claims are under non-disclosure agreements, but I tend to think this is mutual between the insurer and the plaintiff, not up to AMA at all.
Easytiger,

I wouldn't be surprised at all! The term most used is 'non-disclosure agreements prohibit reporting how much was paid'. What many hear is that the above abused term means that we cannot find out how many occurrences there were. That lies as the root of a great many problems within the hobby.
Old 08-31-2003, 04:04 AM
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Default AMA insurance info needed

From the AMA web page:

AMA's 21-month History of Liability Insurance Settlements, Legal Expenses, and Claim Payments
As of October 1, 2002:
Suit Settlements in 2001 and 2002 (total of 5 litigated claims)

Royal Insurance Co. $550,000
Primary HO $100,000
AMA (SIR) $287,625

Legal Defense Expenses paid by AMA for 2001 and 2002 (total of 16 claims):

$144,600

Insurance Claims paid by AMA for 2001 and 2002 (total of 99 claims):

$ 88,000

http://www.modelaircraft.org/templates/ama/insur.asp

JR
Old 08-31-2003, 04:12 AM
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Default AMA insurance info needed

Originally posted by J_R
From the AMA web page:

AMA's 21-month History of Liability Insurance Settlements, Legal Expenses, and Claim Payments
As of October 1, 2002:
Suit Settlements in 2001 and 2002 (total of 5 litigated claims)

Royal Insurance Co. $550,000
Primary HO $100,000
AMA (SIR) $287,625

Legal Defense Expenses paid by AMA for 2001 and 2002 (total of 16 claims):

$144,600

Insurance Claims paid by AMA for 2001 and 2002 (total of 99 claims):

$ 88,000

http://www.modelaircraft.org/templates/ama/insur.asp

JR
I know that info, but thank you for re-posting it. What we cannot see is case by case history...which would be interesting reading.
I know, talking off the record with Carl Maroney, there is some really interesting data, like the amount of non-modelling-related trip and fall type claims.
Old 08-31-2003, 04:15 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: I have heard the same thing

Originally posted by Jim Branaum
Easytiger,

I wouldn't be surprised at all! The term most used is 'non-disclosure agreements prohibit reporting how much was paid'. What many hear is that the above abused term means that we cannot find out how many occurrences there were. That lies as the root of a great many problems within the hobby.
There are any number of good reasons WHY this info should not be disclosed, but again, I think it most cases it's not at AMA's behest, but somebody else's.
I'm not sure if knowing this info would have any bearing anyway on the "conspiracy theorists...", they tend to hate when facts get in the way of their argument. Remember, it's the Old Boy Network out at Muncie, those Fat Cats in their Palace getting rich off us little folks.
Old 08-31-2003, 04:52 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I have heard the same thing

Originally posted by EASYTIGER
There are any number of good reasons WHY this info should not be disclosed, but again, I think it most cases it's not at AMA's behest, but somebody else's.
I'm not sure if knowing this info would have any bearing anyway on the "conspiracy theorists...", they tend to hate when facts get in the way of their argument. Remember, it's the Old Boy Network out at Muncie, those Fat Cats in their Palace getting rich off us little folks.
JR already posted the raw data, we NEED the filtered data as you already indicated. Sorry, I should have made that major detail clear. I don't care about the"conspiracy theorists...", but I do think we need the filtered datat to try to get a handle on the losses.
Old 08-31-2003, 04:53 AM
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Default AMA insurance info needed

loss prevention starts with loss education/
Old 08-31-2003, 04:58 AM
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Default AMA insurance info needed

Originally posted by mongo
loss prevention starts with loss education/
Exactly.
Old 08-31-2003, 05:09 AM
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Default AMA insurance info needed

Call Carl Maroney and see what he is willing to say.
I think, though, there are multiple legal and practical reasons why this info is not disclosed...
Don't get me wrong...I would love to see it!
But I am not sure it is wise for it to be general knowledge.
Ask them and see what they say about it.
Old 08-31-2003, 12:42 PM
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Default AMA insurance info needed

Even with a non-disclosure agreement they could give statistics without dollar amounts and let people know what's going on. Also, who would be insisting on a non-disclosure agreement? Usually it's the plantiff who is paying out the money and for what reason/s would the AMA's insurance company care if the information was public?
Old 08-31-2003, 12:54 PM
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Default AMA insurance info needed

All attorneys, regardless of which side they are on, are going to go for a non-disclosure agreement. It's the nature of the beast.

JR
Old 08-31-2003, 01:19 PM
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JR, are you an attorney? From your arguing here I wouldn't be surprised . I don't buy that excuse, there are lots of cases in other industries where the history is revealed. I worked in the SCUBA industry for ten years and the association that I belonged to that insures instructors and shops would give case histories to teach specifics of what to do and not to do. It was always very enlightening and VERY similar to what we are talking about here.
Old 08-31-2003, 01:36 PM
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Nope, BasinBum, not an attorney. Just been around too many of 'em.

I think what we will see is exactly what your talking about. Don't be too surprised if, in the future, we see some "lessons" put out be the AMA. Dave Brown has kinda, sorta done that, from time to time, in his column.

JR

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