liability Insurance

Discuss park gauge trains and large scale miniature railways having track gauges from 8" to 24" gauge and designed at scales of 2" to the foot or greater - whether modeled for personal use, or purpose built for amusement park operation or private railroading.

Moderators: Glenn Brooks, Harold_V

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Topics may include: antique park gauge train restoration, preservation, and history; building new grand scale equipment from scratch; large scale miniature railway construction, maintenance, and safe operation; fallen flags; track, gauge, and equipment standards; grand scale vendor offerings; and, compiling an on-line motive power roster.
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RussellCofIdaho
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Re: liability Insurance

Post by RussellCofIdaho » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:54 pm

Interesting this just came up on my feed, I have been designing an 18" gauge portable train, electric for now, may be Steam in the future. It is large but stable.

I have recently revived my old 7 1/2" gauge train I built 35 years ago and am thinking it might be better for a small portable train ride in local parks.

I talked to my local insurance provider and they estimate an up front payment of $3000 per year if no fares are charged! By contrast my business liability insurance where I use power tools is estimated at $76 a month!

Obviously I need someone who knows what he is doing in this.

I called our local Chamber of Commerce, the city and the farmers market and they all said they have no specific requirement for liability insurance, the farmers market even suggested I just put up a sign that says 'not responsible for injury or accidents'!!!

So people and authorities are all over the place here!
Russell Courtenay
Idaho - USA
unknownidaho.wordpress.com
Big trains and big dreams...

Glenn Brooks
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Re: liability Insurance

Post by Glenn Brooks » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:56 pm

My experience as an owner operator in the amusement industry is there just isn’t any push anywhere to implement these kinds of inspections or requirements for private, non public rides and attractions. There are equipment and operating requirements for amusement rides in almost every state - which require annual safety inspections for all commercial rides and attractions that are offered to the public. But even these almost universally have no requirement for a licensed mechanical engineer inspection. The only exception being permitted structures requiring stamped architects plans, such as say, structural engineering approval stamp for building a large roller coaster, or some sort of pedestrian or motor capable bridge. Even FRA regulated railroads (basically anything over 24” gauge) allow operators to self train and approve their locomotive engineers, with no special external training or oversight, (except for FRA regulations). And for private back yard railroads, there is an extremely wide range of design, build, and maintenance capability with NO public inspection or oversite. So it’s just a non issue, except for the usual building codes and land use requirements, when we build something like a backyard railroad.

Now, different story when you invite people to ride on your train. Or if you charge a fee for a ticket to ride, Then you can open the door to safety inspections, competent operation, and no end of grief if not properly protected with liability insurance. Whole different discussion.

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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RussellCofIdaho
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Re: liability Insurance

Post by RussellCofIdaho » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:00 pm

I was thinking to limit liability do what the railroads do: 1)liability insurance 2)liability release on each ticket 3) workers trained and liability covered by membership fees.

Still not cheap but at least all your a---- (bases) are covered. 😜
Russell Courtenay
Idaho - USA
unknownidaho.wordpress.com
Big trains and big dreams...

Glenn Brooks
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Re: liability Insurance

Post by Glenn Brooks » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:09 pm

Russel, good plan. In the amusement industry, the insurance company routinely also usually requires a set of rules be posted at the entrance to the ride - stay seated, don’t lean outside the car, etc. what ever is appropriate to the configuration of your RR ROW. A small sign is easy to do usually.

Also, re: insurance. If you scout around and get quotes from an amusement centric insurance provider you might be able to cut your local insurance quote in half. At least for backyard RR setup.

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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RussellCofIdaho
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Re: liability Insurance

Post by RussellCofIdaho » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:36 am

Got a response from Dan Roddy at HMBD Insurance and he says the $3000 a year up front for a no charge ride is correct!!!

Absolutely crazy. I'm going to check into some kind of rider on my home insurance but there has got to be a way to make this work....
Russell Courtenay
Idaho - USA
unknownidaho.wordpress.com
Big trains and big dreams...

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Greg_Lewis
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Re: liability Insurance

Post by Greg_Lewis » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:36 pm

Be sure you get it in writing from an underwriter (not an agent) that you are covered.
Greg Lewis, Prop.
Eyeball Engineering — Home of non-interchangeable parts.
Our motto: "That looks about right."
Celebrating 30 years of turning perfectly good metal into bits of useless scrap.

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RussellCofIdaho
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Re: liability Insurance

Post by RussellCofIdaho » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:58 pm

Greg_Lewis wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:36 pm
Be sure you get it in writing from an underwriter (not an agent) that you are covered.
Though I haven't seen a public ride insurance policy, I have seen others, all quotes come with specific language about what is covered, and specifically excluded. I know my maintenance business has specific exclusions, but they are things I specifically WILL NOT DO, like asbestos insulation!

I have never seen a specific exclusion for train rides and our 18" gauge train around the ranch was specifically listed as 'farm equipment', no other limitations for ridership given. We did have an injury accident (thankfully the airlift was 'just in case', no lasting injury), but we improved safety practices and never had a problem, question or inspection for insurance.

We will never take chances with safety again but I am not really a worry wort about it either.
Russell Courtenay
Idaho - USA
unknownidaho.wordpress.com
Big trains and big dreams...

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Greg_Lewis
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Re: liability Insurance

Post by Greg_Lewis » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:50 pm

RussellCofIdaho wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:58 pm


...
I have never seen a specific exclusion for train rides ....
Glad you are taking precautions. I did get an exclusion from State Farm and when I called they said it was specifically aimed at our trains. As a result I do not give rides to anyone outside of family and close friends.
Greg Lewis, Prop.
Eyeball Engineering — Home of non-interchangeable parts.
Our motto: "That looks about right."
Celebrating 30 years of turning perfectly good metal into bits of useless scrap.

rkcarguy
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Re: liability Insurance

Post by rkcarguy » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:56 pm

^^^^Somehow I'm not surprised, coming from State Farm.

Glenn Brooks
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Re: liability Insurance

Post by Glenn Brooks » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:03 am

Russell, I wonder if the size of your proposed train (18” gauge”) and nature of the venue had something to do with the cost? Now, 2 years out of date, but my last quote for a 12” backyard RR was in the neighborhood of $1200 or $1500. Although Commercial operations are always more expensive. I’ll have to go back and dig up my emails, see if I can find who I talked to at the time.

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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RussellCofIdaho
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Re: liability Insurance

Post by RussellCofIdaho » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:43 am

Glenn Brooks wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:03 am
Russell, I wonder if the size of your proposed train (18” gauge”) and nature of the venue had something to do with the cost? Now, 2 years out of date, but my last quote for a 12” backyard RR was in the neighborhood of $1200 or $1500. Although Commercial operations are always more expensive. I’ll have to go back and dig up my emails, see if I can find who I talked to at the time.

Glenn
I specifically told them that at this time only the 7 1/2" gauge train would be operating, no discount...
Russell Courtenay
Idaho - USA
unknownidaho.wordpress.com
Big trains and big dreams...

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Benjamin Maggi
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Re: liability Insurance

Post by Benjamin Maggi » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:24 am

I would suggest reaching out to the Merriam Insurance Agency. (https://merriaminsurance.com/) Ask to speak with Brian Merriam. His firm has handled insurance for our live steam club.
"One cannot learn to swim without getting his feet wet." - Benjamin Maggi
- Building: 7.25" gauge "Sweet Pea" named "Catherine"

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