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Re: liability Insurance

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:27 am
by RussellCofIdaho
Thanks, I'll check into it.

I guess what has me burned the most about these prices is that for the approximately 3 month summer season where 99% of the running takes place, the cost is now $1000 a month! If they just charged by the month, it would be $250 a month, still high but at least within the range of possibility....

Re: liability Insurance

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:36 am
by Benjamin Maggi
As someone who was once an insurance attorney, the potential liability that the company would have to take on for three months would never justify the $750 premium that they could get from your club. Insurance claims are either nothing (because no one is injured) or a lot (because someone(s) is injured). There is very little middle ground. If you want insurance to cover and protect your club, you will need to pay for it.

Re: liability Insurance

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:49 am
by Greg_Lewis
An aside: With the low cost of today's video cameras, I'd mount one on each end of the train facing the passengers, and high enough so you can see all the way to the other end. Thus you'd have a record when someone leans way out and tries to grab a tree on the way by. I put dashcams in both my vehicles after someone cut me off on the freeway and tried to get me to rear-end him.

Re: liability Insurance

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:47 pm
by RussellCofIdaho
Benjamin Maggi wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:36 am
As someone who was once an insurance attorney, the potential liability that the company would have to take on for three months would never justify the $750 premium that they could get from your club. Insurance claims are either nothing (because no one is injured) or a lot (because someone(s) is injured). There is very little middle ground. If you want insurance to cover and protect your club, you will need to pay for it.
I'm not a club! I simply want to give train rides for a donation to benefit local groups at the park!

Yes, there is tremendous liability if there is an accident or loss of life but there has to be some kind of balance to allow us to do things that benefit the community without all such benefits sucked dry by the pie-in-the-sky determination of cost of liability being so far and above the value of the service to the community that it makes It impossible to do!

And we are not talking about goofballs offering to let the public juggle chainsaws! I am a trained professional railroad worker wanting to offer kids rides!

Sorry for the rant, been dealing with 'the other' untenable situation all morning- the government...

Re: liability Insurance

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:15 pm
by rkcarguy
I feel your pain, I was part of a car club that was into Solo-2 events and tried to expand into racing karts as well. Between rising costs of securing venues and adequate liability insurance to satisfy the owners requirements, the kart thing didn't go and the Solo-2 portion died. Just have road rallies and the occasional show-n-shine-n-eat events now.
Worse yet, I haven't had an accident or ticket in decades, and my car insurance went up 20% this year because my area is "high risk, and highly litigous" per the insurance company :evil:

Re: liability Insurance

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:21 pm
by Benjamin Maggi
I get it. I heard your argument a lot from people who wanted inexpensive insurance, or cried foil whenever premiums had to increase.

Consider it this way: if you are sure no accidents (which could cost the insurance company a lot of money) will ever occur, you don't need insurance. If you are concerned some accidents could occur, then you must pay a premium commensurate with the amount of risk that the company will assume.

Re: liability Insurance

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:03 pm
by SteveM
Insurance companies have lots of data about cars, houses, businesses, but not a lot about miniature trains or Solo II.

You talk miniature trains, he thinks you are running a rogue amusement park rides. You talk Solo II and he thinks you are bunch of NASCAR wannabes running into each other.

If they don't understand it or can't quantify it, then on top of the premium for the actual risk you pose, there is premium for the perceived risk above that and then a risk premium for the uncertainty.

Steve

Re: liability Insurance

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:33 pm
by RussellCofIdaho
SteveM wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:03 pm
Insurance companies have lots of data about cars, houses, businesses, but not a lot about miniature trains or Solo II.

You talk miniature trains, he thinks you are running a rogue amusement park rides. You talk Solo II and he thinks you are bunch of NASCAR wannabes running into each other.

If they don't understand it or can't quantify it, then on top of the premium for the actual risk you pose, there is premium for the perceived risk above that and then a risk premium for the uncertainty.

Steve
Exactly.

They don't really know, they don't have any standards as to what is required for a safety program so they bump it up 'just to be sure', like I said previously'pie-in-the-sky'.

But this last guy is a reputable insurance carrier for miniature railroads.

Before I buy anything from them, if they say 'it is this much liability', I will say 'prove it!'. Show me your calculations of actual risk experience and prove to me this is what you mush charge to support your business or I will not buy'!

Re: liability Insurance

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:18 pm
by Pontiacguy1
A couple of years ago, our insurance carrier sent someone to one of our meets to look around and to check out the station, our waiver signing process, and our loading and unloading process, and also to see our track maintenance records. The guy was impressed enough that he returned the next day with his daughter so that they could ride! I don't think our premiums went down, but they haven't gone up any since then either.

Re: liability Insurance

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:40 am
by rkcarguy
They actually have a lot of Data on Solo-2 racing. In my 10 years with the club, we had one property damage incident where a BMW spun off the course and damaged a building which was our first insurance incident. For those who don't know, Solo-2 runs a cone course, one car at a time, for the fastest time. We used to use large parking lots and a closed airport runway for our venues. As the owners of the venues became more fearful as we have became a more litigious nation, they began requiring more insurance....it went from $1 million to $3 million to $5 million during my time with the club, which of course cost much more for premiums. Over the years that's one claim for $900 of damage, no injuries or fatalities, and somewhere in the range of over $300,000 paid for insurance premiums.
I would agree that insurance probably doesn't know much about backyard trains, and I wish the insurance companies would step up and offer something tailored for various situations like private owner and family used RR's, clubs, and "rides" open to the public.

I'll ask this to those of you that have been in the hobby for a long time, how many injury accidents have you heard of or seen?

The difference in how things run between the US and Canada is also very interesting. For instance, a go kart track opened up nearby in 2011 and has to have a very rigorous insurance system, linked plastic barriers, X-amount of setback, then chain link fencing, then any spectators have to be in a special area so far back from the chain link fencing. To even get in the gate, everyone must purchase a insurance band. Then there is another track about an hour away in Canada. The gate is open and you just drive in. The course consists of old tires bundled together and 3 20' freight containers arranged in a pyramid stack with karts going out into and coming off the track through a gap in the center of them. That's it. You can step right up to the tires and watch if you want.

Re: liability Insurance

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:52 am
by rkcarguy
I understand the risk with public rides unfortunately, there are so many people looking for easy money anymore as Greg Lewis pointed out. Dealing with the public opens up that risk, where the public themselves are the risk.

Re: liability Insurance

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:53 am
by RussellCofIdaho
rkcarguy wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:40 am
I'll ask this to those of you that have been in the hobby for a long time, how many injury accidents have you heard of or seen?

The difference in how things run between the US and Canada is also very interesting. For instance, a go kart track opened up nearby in 2011 and has to have a very rigorous insurance system, linked plastic barriers, X-amount of setback, then chain link fencing, then any spectators have to be in a special area so far back from the chain link fencing. To even get in the gate, everyone must purchase a insurance band. Then there is another track about an hour away in Canada. The gate is open and you just drive in. The course consists of old tires bundled together and 3 20' freight containers arranged in a pyramid stack with karts going out into and coming off the track through a gap in the center of them. That's it. You can step right up to the tires and watch if you want.
I am not near any clubs or private tracks anymore so don't know about accidents but find it interesting the difference between the US and Canada. I'll have to do some research into the differences in liability laws between the two.

I don't have a problem with someone suing when there is actually some liability but am really frustrated with frivolous lawsuits, especially when some win! Like the movie company who was refused permission to shoot on railroad tracks and did it anyway. Several crew members were killed or injured, the owner/producer was convicted but the families sued the railroad anyway and won! I'm sure it will be overturned in appeal but still...