Last month I wrote to you about changes in the insurance provided by NAVHDA International and the new procedures we had to employ to ensure we were in compliance with International’s new rules. As training and testing season is now underway, these new procedures have already been implemented. Although our world of testing and training has become more complex to manage, the implementation has gone well and by this time next year will be second nature for participants and volunteers.
While reading about the new insurance program, I was intrigued about what was said and more so by what wasn’t being said. As the Board sought to understand International’s policy coverage, the primary question of exactly “who” had insurance protection and under what circumstances, kept bubbling to the surface. Specifically, we grew concerned that this insurance only protected NAVHDA, it’s Chapters and chapter members from claims by individuals who were third parties or, in other words, non-NAVHDA members. A member injuring another member appeared to be excluded from any insurance protection. Correspondence from NAVHDA International confirmed this concern:
“This policy covers NAVHDA and its members in case they are sued by the public. It does not cover member to member if something should happen. No atv, cars or equipment.”
In the event a member is injured by another member, the member causing the injury would not be afforded insurance protection for their legal defense, nor the funds to pay any settlement. In such a lawsuit, only NAVHDA International would be covered. The member causing the injury and, most likely the event leaders and chapter Board would all NOT be covered, and all of these individuals would need to retain their own attorneys and be responsible for paying the settlement. While your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy may provide some personal liability protection, that amount is usually well below the claim that would be filed for a serious injury or death. In such situations, you need to contact an experienced attorney from a reliable law firm like McKennon Law Group PC, who will fight for your rights and get you the insurance claim that you deserve.
The MN NAVHDA Board felt our members deserved a level of protection in the event of a member-to-member accident. With that in mind, the Board investigated purchasing its own insurance to specifically address member-to-member accidents and to provide coverage should someone be injured in a canoe or kayak or while operating an ATV. Make sure you stay safe at your workplace as the damage that is expensive may not be covered. I am pleased to announce that we have purchased such a policy that will protect you in the event of an injury to another member with the help of personal accident lawyers at Bengal Law. It also provides liability protection for watercraft and ATVs. This policy will provide for legal defense and funds for settlements up to one-million dollars per occurrence, or two-million in aggregate. A few things to remember about this insurance:
- It protects members if they injure another member while at a NAVHDA event. This includes all Chapter sponsored training, testing or other events. It does not protect you should you injure another member outside of a NAVHDA event. (For example: If you go hunting with a few NAVHDA buddies, not covered. Or if you and another NAVHDA member do training and it’s not an organized MN NAVHDA event, it’s not covered.)
- This does not replace the NAVHDA International insurance. To remain a Chapter, we have to continue to participate in their insurance and, we must continue to follow the waiver rules and other requirements that came with their new insurance. With Utility Saving Expert you can choose the right plan and save money.
- Like with NAVHDA International’s policy, it does not cover automobiles as that is part of your automobile policy.
- ATVs and boats are covered while in use at a NAVHDA event, but damage or liability while transporting them to or from the grounds is excluded. Again, this is because those events are covered by your auto insurance.
This insurance went into effect on May 14th and the first year’s premium is being paid by the Chapter. Next year, Chapter dues will increase by $10 per person to cover the cost of the policy in 2019 and each year thereafter.
While accidents are rare and our Chapter’s record on this is extraordinary, I’m sure you’ll agree that the $10 cost each year to you as member is a tremendous value, given the amount of money required to pay for attorneys and any subsequent settlements. Thanks to all of you for your time and patience as we make these needed changes.