insurance - limiting liability for siteowners and particpants
the promise of insurance has been used in marketing rocketry to both prospective rocketeers as well as to prospective site owner/managers. But what liability protection is actually acheived, and under what constraints is not clear
the type of rocketry practiced, the types of motors used, and the level of competency of the practitioners, and the size and composition of the spectator group all have a bearing on risk, and consequently on the cost of insurance
part of the "insurance marketing" is the leverage available to a large organization, to distribute costs over the population, as well as other benefits. Not all members fly with the same frequency, and that statistical variation may be a factor in population size impacts cost
what is the best form of insurance?
insurance at the level of "national organization" insurance at the level of "club" individual personal liability insurance
or should the organization underwrite their own policy, using premiums collected (as a part of membership dues) to establish a fund from which claims are paid, and administrative costs to a licensed insurance administrator are paid? In situations where historical payouts are low, the year-to-year rollover of premiums can be in interest-bearing accounts, and the future premiums actually be reduced over time - a significant savings. But should claims be high and frequent, the premiums may be insufficient to cover thei cost of pay-out, and other contigent funds drawn upon.
but regardless of the way insurance is handled, insurance without full disclosure of its stipulations and specific constraints on benefits suffers, as members cannot be attentive to conditions which may void the insurance, and both they and siteowners cannot accurately determine what residual liability they may still have.
I know that our ranks include professionals with expertise in this area.
Third party offeror to prevent conflicts of interest as well proven and oft repeated at TRA, whether pocketing the premiums or lying about coverages or invalidating coverages with intentional acts by leeders.
Hey George, since you seem to want to pummel Izzy with questions despite his NOT being on the board or headofacommittee of ANY group, perhaps you could direct exactly as much energy tothe board of the Tripoli Rocketry Association Inc as well so at minimum the very people in need of answering questions most, are asked to do so by a long time NAR member and official rocket weenie.
Both NAR and TRA offer insurance coverange to their members as a part of their dues. I am not aware of a specific situation where insurance coverage was "marketed" to the membership. As far being an owner/manager of a given site, I would demand that any group who I allowed the use of my facilities/land to obtain insurance for a given event. I would imagine that their insurance carrier might even demand it.
I am not aware of TRA/NAR "marketing" their insurance coverage to landowners.
The purpose of insurance is to distribute the potential financial risk over a large group.
Individual personal liability insurance cannot be extended to cover another party. I am aware of clubs/prefectures that have their own insurance policys, but since I have not seen the coverage or the policy, I cannot comment on the extent of their coverage.
I am aware of individuals who have purchased personal umbrella liabiliy policys to protect their rocketry activites. While I think this is a good idea, please remember, an insurance company is always in a position to determine that in the event of a claim, the INTENT of the umbrella was to to cover certain activities, and deny coverage. It is then up to the policyholder to prove that the insurance company is wrong, usually through litigation.
Since TRA is an international organization, it has a blanket commercial liability policy to cover members worldwide. You may not be aware of the fact that the Canadian Association of Rockerty had their policy non renewed, and was not able to obtain another one.
Neither NAR or TRA have the financial resources to self insure themselves. While the cost of a payout for a claim could be low, the possibility of litigation is always present, and can VASTLY increase to cost of a potential claim, not to mention the cost involved in litigating against a nusicance or an invalid claim. Self insurance usually requires financial backing by the owners or members of the given self insured entity. Ask any shareholder in Lloyds of London how much money they have had to cough up over the last few years to pay for losses their organization agreed to accept. Would you like of be financially responsible as a member of TRA to pay for a loss when the self insured funds were exhausted?
As a landowner, I would not allow an event to proceed on my property with an agreement that I will be protected/defended against a potential loss on my property by financial backing/self insurance.
Both NAR and TRA web sites offer information on their respective insurance coverages. Please reference them.
My personal belief is that you are using your "Action" postings as a way to generate criticism against TRA/NAR. I really havn't seen much positive input on any of these threads. I cannot understand why, as a member of TRA, you did not post these "Actions" in the TRA's list service. If you are serious about soliciting input for changing for the better, then let the members of the association give you their input privately.
It has gotten to the point where I personally ignore just about everything you post here, on ROL, and in TRA listserve. I imagine many of your fellow members of TRA feel the same way.
I have seen materials used to influence consumer choices about organizational membership precisely highlighting the advantages of insurance as a feature of membership, both to an individual for his own benefit, and to an individual trying to secure a lanch site and having to satisfy a landowners apprehension about rocketry activities.
this was generally presented to potential members as "benefits of membership"
IMO that constitutes "marketing"
I did not mean this in any derogatory way
if every member at a launch has only personal liability insurance, what is the gap? If my rocket does damage, I am liable and my policy pays, no? why would anyone's coverage need to be extended?
or are you referring to a situation where the landowner himself might be sued by someone not signing a liability waiver that prohibits such; e.g. a spectator or bystander?
how is this different from any claim made against any policy? Isn't this also a function of how 'reputable' the insurer is, e.g.; "Get MET ... it pays"?
yes, I saw the press on this. I also knew that they were quickly accepted as TRA prefectures so they could be covered under TRA insurarce.
I see. I wanted to pose the question so that this could be said. At my workplace the company used Performax to administrate a self-insurance plan, because due to a number of recent large claims the premiums under Guardian became prohibitive. My company felt that future claims of that magnitude were unlikely, and opted for self-insurance. But they are a broker-dealet with considerable funds, as you say.
the TRA site has only an overview at
with the following disclaimer:
"The information listed below is for reference only, and is not a legal representation in any sense."
when using this published overview, some posters haev criticized that it is not the policy, and I countered that it should not be substantively different (should not directly contradict it)
this is what I was referring to. The "information" you allude to on their site is insufficient to make the determinations I mentioned.
you strike me as someone with some knowledge of insurance. Thank you for posting.
off-topic content follows:
first let me say that any inquiry free (as much as practicable) from preconceptions is a more powerful one
your opinion regarding "generating criticism" by these threads does not reflect my intent. However, if in the proposals of what is possible and how, the reader is able to and in fact does make contrasts with any existing organization, the reflections are a function of the disparity between what people aspire to, and what they have. That is useful, whether to prompt reform, or to empower choice in membership (or creation of something entirely new)
the scarcity of "positive input" as you opined, is more a lack of focused attention than anything else. It takes a fair amount of energy to motivate people to engage something outside of the normal routine. It takes considerably more to inspire them to consider a new paradigm and to think substantively, and hopefully create something new (a concept, a standard, an expectation). It also takes time.
personally, I am not optimistic that TRA has means to reform its practices in fundamental ways. I certainly see dialog that supports its evolution, and that is laudable. But the attitudes of some (I myself have had private exchanges with Bruce Kelly) show no indication of receptivity to change.
TRA list contains a small subset of members (its is not clear if in fact there are actually more members on RMR, as the vast majority of RMR viewers are chronically silent)
politically incorrect discourse is discouraged (in my experience), and moderation or suspension of the poster is used to constrain content. I would prefer not to offer details out of respect for the list administrator
not all changes desireable in an organization come readily from within without external impetus
that is regretable, as everyones insight is valuable
I acknowledge that there is a fair amount of anti-ARSA sentiment among TRA members. I also acknowledge that I am surprised and gratified by the number of sincere expressions of appreciation I recieve in private email, applauding our (and my) efforts on behalf of rocketry.
How many people have personal liability insurance? Also, that policy would only protect the individual flyer, not the landowner.
In large part this is because the need for, and/or method of, "reform" is purely a subjective opinion of yourself and a few folks with axes to grind. If the majority of the membership felt as you do, there _would_ be changes. Unlike ARSA, the membership does have the power to effect change within the organization as they see fit.
Now you're acting as if TRA was a one-man dictatorship like ARSA. Bruce Kelly may have some appointed positions in service to TRA, but he is no longer an elected official of TRA. Have you spoken with the BOD? Furthermore, even if the BOD disagrees with you, they can still be swayed or replaced if the membership so chooses. Unlike ARSA, the membership holds the power to change TRA. But you've refused to discuss these issues in the TRA members listserv, and you've refused to run for election to promote your vision for TRA.
You claim that the TRA list doesn't represent the majority of TRA members. What makes you think this? Could it be the fact that your views regarding TRA would be rejected by the members there, so it's easier to dismiss them as insignificant, merely a "small subset" of the membership?
And what's stopping you from running for BOD? Your first response on this has been a lot of whining about "clean up TRA, then I'll do it". In other words, you want the rest of the membership to do your bidding, you want them to run for BOD to replace the current BOD, then you'll consider running. Let others do the work you think needs to be done, then when the work is finished you'll condescend to come in and take the credit.
Later you came up with a new excuse: "The deck is stacked against change". Your only "proof" is that the change you want hasn't occurred yet. Nice circular reasoning there.
It's very clear that the real reason you won't run for BOD is the same reason that you won't bring up this stuff in the TRA list: You know the bulk of the membership won't buy it.
There wasn't any anti-ARSA sentiment that I'm aware of until you started your hypocritical, sanctimonious little war on TRA.
BTW, since you are so happy with ARSA and think it's so superior to TRA, why not just stick with the club you like and quit trying to tear down everyone else?
my question was IF "every member" had p-l insurance, what would be the gap?
if the land suffered damage, he could make a claim against the member whose rocket caused the damage, could he not?
"I am not optimistic" is a subjective statement in itself, Ray. And it is questionable that a majority of the membership could, in fact, effect change (see the post "JC, TRA and the mysteriously changed bylaws".
I gave BK as only an example, but reagrdless of his being "elected", he is still in a position of influence. For example, he is on the NFPA committee.
Others (Bob Kaplow) has given testimonial on Chuck Rogers.
see my reference above to "JC, TRA and the mysteriously changed bylaws"
I have stated my reasons to both charges
ask the syadmin how many listserv subscribers there are, and then ask Dick or Ken how many current members there are. Then do the math.
IMO, my vision of rocketry is so fundamentally different from what TRA has pursued for 40 years that a BoD position would not be appropriate.
I believe that a BoD member should be in alignment with an organizations vision, and help it achieve that vision. Members who are in alignment with TRA's vision of rocketry should work to make it more effective in pursuing that vision.
I do not now have, and never have had, any desire to be on the TRA BoD. Given that, the prospects of my being elected is irrelevant; and your suggestions that I run for the BoD is irrelevant.
no, Ray, anti-ARSA sentiment began when the TRA BoD made announcements aimed at undermining JW's credibility vis.a.vis. the various letter / fax / phone call campaigns he initiated. It actually fooled some.
I should be quiet and not let TRA members become informed about how corrupt its leadership is? When it puts them and others at risk? When their money is squandered or worse? I should just turn a blind eye, and let it go unchallenged?
You have said something similar to this over and over. What precisely do YOU mean by "axes to grind", and, how would such a behaviorin any way negate thier first hand witness accounts, there stating of Tripoli policies, published rules, published correspondence, evidence of actions taken, etc?
Is someone who in your opinion is predisposed to be against Tripoli embezzlement, fraud and insurance fraud (only to the extent they are actually occuring) and looking for evindence to prove or disprove it, and PUBLISHING IT FOR PUBLIC REVIEW, somehow less honest a person as someone who is predisposed to support Tripoli and believe in their innocence of torts and crimes despoite the hard evidence and even official admissions?