AMA and insurance claims

Pure curiosity question.

Has anyone filed an AMA insurance claim? I have not. Nor do I
know anyone who has.
I learned at an outlaw field. It was under development. I came
pretty close to hitting the developer's mobile home setup (he wasn't
there -- weekend). I suppose an ugly stick could whack the roof
hard enough to damage it significantly. But that was as close as
I ever got. I fly AMA fields now by the way.
Just to level the playing field, I'll admit I filed about six
car claims between my wife and I. She caused two, I caused
one, and "the other guy" caused the remaining accidents.
Has anyone put the AMA insurance to the test?
Reply to
Kevin
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As far as I know, AMA is in the habit of paying for claims that would make them look bad if they didn't pay, but if the claimant is a little guy with no leverage they tend to keep their money.
We had an incident here in Kansas City several years ago where a kid was playing on a square steel tube windsock mast that was propped up on blocks for painting. It rolled off the blocks, rolled over the child, and the child was killed. On that case, not only the AMA, but also the county (it happened on county property) and the club coughed up a bunch of cash. However, I have also known people who told me about making claims to the AMA, but they never got any money. This is mostly because AMA insurance is secondary to any other converage that you may have. But it also has a lot to do with the fact that they are not fond of paying, if nobody has ever heard of the guy with the claim.
Kev>
Reply to
Robbie and Laura Reynolds
Yes -- they paid promptly and in full accordance with the coverage.
Cheers -- \_________Lyman Slack________/ \_______Flying Gators R/C___/ \_____AMA 6430 LM____ / \___Gainesville FL_____/ Visit my Web Site at
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Reply to
Lyman Slack
TOTAL BS!
I challenge anyone to site an instance where the AMA has not paid a legitimate claim!
We had an instance where a guy that wanted to give a beginner a thrill on the glider winch, rather than tapping it up for him he stood on the switch, beginners glider looped off the tow and into the windshield of the car owned by the guy on the switch. Winch was using the car battery. AMA paid for new windshield.
Another case where a club member was a habitual prop hugger, bit many times. On one rather ugly prop encounter the AMA paid his deductible for his medical insurance!
Red S.
"Robbie and Laura Reynolds"
Reply to
Red Scholefield
You tell your story, I'll tell mine. Just because somebody else's story doesn't match yours doesn't mean that it's a lie. I certainly don't think it's necessary to call your anecdotes BS. Maybe you can try answering the guy's question without getting irate about my answer.
Ironically, we had a guy here who put a plane through a windshield but wasn't paid, at about the same time that RCM published a photo of a plane through a windshield. This was several years ago. Did you ever wonder why some folks don't like AMA much? If they took care of everybody chances are that you wouldn't hear people complaining. If I'm not mistaken, the field in Gainesville Florida is somewhat of a high profile club that's been featured in magazine articles, isn't it?

Red Scholefield wrote:
Reply to
Robbie and Laura Reynolds
As an AMA member you are within your rights to request information about AMA's insurance coverage and policies. Details of individual cases would most likely not be made available to you, nor would denied claims, because of privacy issues.
That's a pretty good question for this forum, because I can't think of any other way to get the answer besides asking everybody you meet at a flying field. Judging by the light response to your question, I suspect that filing claims is rare in general. I know it's rare at our flying field. I can't think of anybody who has filed a claim right off the top of my head. One guy got a propeller tip through his arm and had to have surgery, but he didn't mention AMA. I'll ask him next time I see him. I'm sure that if he made a claim but didn't get paid we all would have heard about it, so I'm guessing he either had a good AMA experience or got it handled some other way. Other than the incident with the windsock pole, I don't remember the names of the other folks who had talked about filing claims. It has been 5 years since we had those conversations, and I haven't seen those guys in a long time.
I have a friend who has done a significant amount of research on AMA insurance, the specific terms of coverage, and their history of paying or not paying claims. I'll ask him if he has any anecdotes about claims that were paid or unpaid.
Kev>
Reply to
Robbie and Laura Reynolds
Com'on! You do know who you're talking to? Not Irate? Like telling the French to talk without moving their arms.
Yep! I'm sure it happens. Most likely because there was a primary insurence policy of some type that took care of things. But it happens just the same!
I know exactly why some don't like the AMA. Let's see now, reason number 38. There it is:
Red Scholefield - AMA leader and solution finder incarnate!
C.O.Jones
Reply to
Chuck Jones
You tell 'em Red! I get so tired of the AMA bashers! Apparently they haven't been around as long as you and I and don't realize what the AMA has done for Aeromodeling!
Reply to
Jim Slaughter
I talked to my friend today who did the research on AMA insurance. Here are the major points that he outlined:
AMA insurance is secondary to any other insurance that may cover your damages, including medical insurance and homeowners insurance, which almost always has a personal liability clause to cover others from damages caused by you even when you are out of the house.
AMA insurance has a $250 deductible, which means that if they paid for a windshield, the windshield was probably too expensive.
AMA's insurance agreement specifically exempts them from paying for modeling related personal injury suffered by an AMA member.
AMA is not responsible for anything that occurs while a model is being operated in a manner not in accordance with the AMA safety code. Nor for acts of God.
He told me about a case in northern California in which an airline pilot was injured by a control line airplane. It badly damaged his leg, and he was told that he would lose his job as a result. AMA refused to pay because of their clause stating that in the event that you are not following the AMA safety code you are not covered, so the airline pilot sued them for a couple million dollars. After a lot of court mumbo jumbo, time passed, his leg healed, and the airline hired the pilot again, so the "loss of income" issue was not a factor. If I remember the story correctly, AMA was eventually ordered to cough up some cash. If anybody wants to see the California case number, my friend has it. Other than that, if you want to know the personal experience of anybody who did NOT go to court, there are likely no records and you will have to ask around to get those stories.
The long and short of it is that if you read your AMA documents, there are several different ways that they can avoid paying for anything. My friend who looked all of this up did so to end Jackson County's requirement that we join a private organization at a cost of $58 per year for the privilege of using a public facility. My friend has $3 million liability coverage on his homeowner's policy, and the county has $25 million more, so technically the only way AMA would be liable for my friend is if the damages exceed $28 million, unless he were found to be in violation of the safety code, in which case they would technically not have to pay at all.
If you rent your home and have no insurance, and your plane does damage to somebody's property, or if your planes are all stolen, they have to pay (minus a $250 deductible). Otherwise, they do not. It is quite evident that they choose to write checks for the purposes of public relations. If you disagree with what I have said here, I'll admit that some of these points may have changed recently, or I could have misquoted something. But it is useless to yell at me. Instead, read your AMA insurance agreement for the facts.
For your reading pleasure, my friend also told me AMA's own numbers of where your money goes. $6 to $8 per member for insurance, $20 for the magazine, and the other $30 for AMA programs, staff, and expenses.
Incidentally, we're going to call back and talk to the county again this week to follow up with them about that insurance requirement. When they saw the facts earlier this year, they understood that it is ridiculous to require all of us to buy a $1 million dollar policy that is secondary to the county's own insurance. It looks as if that requirement will likely be lifted for calendar year 2006.
Reply to
Robbie and Laura Reynolds
I was a County parks and recreation director until I retired last year. We required AMA membership not just for the insurance but because they have established safety operating rules. We also required the flyers to belong to an AMA chartered club so that the club could enforce the safety rules. The insurance wasn't a big consideration but was part of it. A few people fought it and we never backed off. The attorneys ruled it is perfectly legal and proper for the County to require control and procedures in order to protect the public interest and they're not willing to give that control to each individual. There needs to be a governing body, club, organization, etc. that each member must belong to.
Just because you are a taxpayer doesn't mean using County facilities is free! Does your County swimming pool charge admission? I'll bet they do. Ever sign a kid up for a County sponsored sports league? Was it free? I doubt it. Is your County water free! 'fraid not!
It is amazing to me that people will spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to build an airplane and then bitch about $58 a year! Go figure, eh? I've been around long enough to know that if it wasn't for the AMA, we wouldn't have the frequencies we do and a lot of other things.
Get over it!
Reply to
Jim Slaughter
| AMA insurance has a $250 deductible, which means that if they paid | for a windshield, the windshield was probably too expensive.
Last I heard, windshields were generally a good deal more than $250.
| AMA's insurance agreement specifically exempts them from paying for | modeling related personal injury suffered by an AMA member.
Now that one's news to me. It's certainly not mentioned in their insurance summary at
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.
The summary does say there's no coverage for injury to one's family members, that's clear enough. But the Accident/Medical Coverage part looks like it DOES pay for AMA members ...
| AMA is not responsible for anything that occurs while a model is | being operated in a manner not in accordance with the AMA safety | code.
This is brought up all the time. I'm not aware of any cases where it was invoked (beyond your example) but it's certainly brought up a lot.
| My friend who looked all of this up did so to end Jackson County's | requirement that we join a private organization at a cost of $58 per | year for the privilege of using a public facility.
As I understand it, AMA provides insurance to clubs that is seperate from the insurance provided to it's members directly. This insurance provided to a club is practically free (being subsidized by the membership dues) and is *primary* insurance.
Found it.
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talks about it a bit more. It does say it's *primary* insurance.
As I understand it, most of the claims made aren't even R/C related -- they're more `grandma slipped on a wet spot and sued it' sorts of things. But that's just what I've heard ...
| My friend has $3 million liability coverage on his homeowner's | policy, and the county has $25 million more, so technically the only | way AMA would be liable for my friend is if the damages exceed $28 | million, unless he were found to be in violation of the safety code, | in which case they would technically not have to pay at all.
Again, the AMA provided club insurance ought to pay before the county's insurance, though I imagine they may argue about that. (Often it's dangerous having two different policies that could cover the same thing, as they'll argue about who should pay and in the end nobody will pay for a long time, both saying the other should pay.)
As you've realized, the AMA membership thing is all about insurance. It was a brilliant move on the AMA's part to offer insurance like they did. It, more than anything else, has increased the membership of the AMA.
| Incidentally, we're going to call back and talk to the county again | this week to follow up with them about that insurance requirement. | When they saw the facts earlier this year, they understood that it | is ridiculous to require all of us to buy a $1 million dollar policy | that is secondary to the county's own insurance. It looks as if | that requirement will likely be lifted for calendar year 2006.
Of course, another possible outcome is that they could boot the R/C club from their land entirely, not wanting the potential liability themselves.
I suspect that the insurance situation is not as you are making it appear to the county. At least the AMA's documents don't make it seem that way.
Reply to
Doug McLaren
I got a windshield for a Dodge Caravan and a Toyota pickup on separate occasions a few years ago, each about $150, and they did it in my own driveway.
The problem with this is that unless the claimant goes to court, there are no records and no way to ascertain whether or not they are wiggling out of claims by invoking the safety rules. I have heard about it, but I cannot cite local examples. Probably because there just aren't very many claims in the first place.
This is news to me. Interestingly, our county does not require any county user/permit holder to belong to any club, except AMA. Therefore most of us are not covered by such insurance.
That's the only reason they keep hanging around. If it weren't for the insurance, we would have found other sources for the other "benefits", and for the lobbying efforts. I'm sure that the manufacturers are motivated enough to take that one on. Kind of reminds me of the pork industry convincing everybody 100 years ago that bacon is "breakfast food". Until then it was not. They got quite a ride out of that little bit of PR.
Not likely. They have a very good relationship with the clubs and the individual modelers. Also, there are a few new guys in that department who want to create a good image for themselves through community relations. The field has been there for 50 years, and it gets improved almost every year with matching funds from the modelers and the county. We've already been through expensive litigation and liability with the windsock pole incident, and we're still there, and even after that they have seriously considered dropping the AMA requirement. I think there's a pretty good chance for starting something totally new here. I always thought that new ideas were the only way to finding better ways to do things. We'll see what happens.
Reply to
Robbie and Laura Reynolds
I already mentioned that the original question was about insurance, so I was just talking about the insurance, which for all practical and legal purposes is virtually worthless, unless you are a non homeowner or all of your stuff is stolen. But there is so much stupid crap in your statement that I feel compelled to respond to it more thoroughly.
Your assertion that "there needs to be a governing body, club or organization" is ridiculous. I have a permit to use the county facility, therefore I should be able to use the county facility as an individual. I don't need to affiliate myself with a private organization such as a local modeling club in order to use a public facility. Just because your attorneys "ruled" that it is legal and proper to only deal with people through an organization does not mean that it is right or is a good idea. Attorneys will tell you anything because they like controlling people. My neighbor once told me that his attorney said that he could sue me for my gutter runoff. Yeah, right, that's what attorneys do for a living. Of course they say that.
Furthermore, I am not looking for free handouts. Our public flying field already has a user fee every calendar year, which I pay every year, just like the county athletic leagues, water supply, etc etc. That is between me and the county, not me and the local clubs or the AMA.
Bureaucrats requiring users to join a private club because the club happens to have a safety code is also lazy and stupid. How about simply adopting similar or identical rules for the county facility? That would be practical. Around here we have rangers who check for park permits. The park permits are evidence that the user has read and signed a copy of the park rules, which are essentially based on the AMA rules.
Then there's the tired old line about all the money you spend on models, compared to which $58 is a drop in the bucket. I haven't spent $58 on models in years. I am a very cost-conscious person. If you're not, good for you. If I do decide to spend $1000 on model planes, that still does not justify even a penny spent elsewhere. To say that it does is erroneous logic.
And finally, there's the old line about everything AMA has done for us all. They certainly have done quite a few things over the past decades. But it is illogical to assume that it must continue as it has been if we are to have any benefits in the future. Example: 1. People eat too many hamburgers. 2. Excessive hamburger consumption promotes bad health. 3. People should stop eating hamburgers. Erroneous assumption: If people stop eating hamburgers they will starve to death!! Remember the guy in SuperSize Me? He ate no food other than hamburgers for a month. If he had stopped eating hamburgers, he would have starved. The fact is that if you stop eating hamburgers, you will not starve because you will start eating something else. AMA does not exist in a vacuum. If we do not require AMA at our county field, we will not turn into a bunch of wild, reckless barbarians. We can govern ourselves properly and take care of our responsibilities in other ways. It may sound crazy, but we just might come up with something better.
Reply to
Robbie and Laura Reynolds
| You tell 'em Red! | I get so tired of the AMA bashers! Apparently they haven't been around as | long as you and I and don't realize what the AMA has done for Aeromodeling!
Why does it have to be an either-or thing?
Isn't it possible for somebody to _have_ been around as long as you and/or Red, and reailize what the AMA has done for aeromodeling ... and _still_ bash them?
Not that how long you've been around is really relevant, but while the AMA has done much for the hobby, they're certainly not perfect, and as long as they're not perfect, they're going to get bashed.
Reply to
Doug McLaren
Doug,
It's not that they think the AMA is perfect. It's that they think THEY are perfect! And since they elect to join the AMA then they feel the AMA is beyond reproach.
That's why I stay clear of AMA fields. Can't stand all that perfection!
Reply to
Chuck Jones
If a plane went through my windshield my car insurance would pay 100%. They may go after the guy who put the plane through the windshileld and he may need AMA insurance, but I suspect most insurance companies would not sue. I think most of us have non deductable comprehinsive insurance and the AMA would not have to pay. Could be the fault of his car insurance not paying, and the AMA would not cover because they knew they had comprehinsive coverage.
Reply to
Sport Pilot
This is something that happened years ago, shortly after I moved to Kansas City, which was in 1996. I remember that the guy seemed to think that AMA was worthless. Perhaps he had a deductible on his car insurance. AMA has a deductible, plus it's secondary, so there wasn't any way to collect. He had to pay the whole thing.
Reply to
Robbie and Laura Reynolds
A little late to the party, but nonetheless...
Your "story" went something like this: I heard of some guy somewhere who filed a claim with AMA and they didn't pay because he was a nobody.
Red's got names and places: His field, his club members. You have vague hearsay.
Reply to
mkirsch1

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