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airtwardo

"Insurance & PRO" Update

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A quick update on some of the issues I've discussed
in earlier forums...

Ms. Madolyn Murdock, USPA board member held a group meeting at this years *ICAS Convention in Dallas early
this month.
*(International Council on Air Shows)

Several PRO teams were there and had a discussion
pertaining to the impending insurance issues,
as well as the overall PRO Rating system in general.

Between that meeting and several discussions among
USPA personnel I was party to, during the
"Centennial of Flight" demo for the Kitty Hawk celebration,
I am please to find that progress is being made.

All the pertinent information concerning past insurance
claims, etc., has at long last been collated and passed on to
an alternate insurance carrier.
I spoke with a representative of that company a couple
days ago and was told that a bid for the coverage we
as an organization are seeking, is currently being worked
up and should be ready for presentation to the board by
mid January.

Although no concrete figures are yet available.
..the representative felt that their numbers would be 'significantly' lower that what the USPA is presently
paying. (465,000 + -)
for what should essentially be the same coverage...
(possibly sans the aircraft coverage)

As far as the PRO Rating is concerned...

As I mentioned in a prior thread, I felt that some kind
of reassessment of the current program would be
forth coming.
It appears as though I was correct, several ideas are currently being looked at.
Among them are fee increases in both the initial rating
and renewals of current holders cards.

Nothing concrete yet, but I've heard 350.00
as a ballpark figure for new rating applicants,
and around 250.00 to renew.

As well as what to some may seem a dramatic increase in performance requirements.
Encompassing the regulation in regard to currency, ability, and equipment utilization of Demonstration Jumpers.

I'm glad to see that the organization is moving forward in all these areas and taking steps to assure the continued growth of our sport.










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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Hell yeah!!! It's about time someone put some backbone into the value of the pro rating. It should've always been as least as hard to get as the AFF rating used to be.

Obtaining the rating as it currently exists, puts the idea in some people's head that they are capable of much more than they really are. Let's see how good you are in marginal winds in front of 90,000 people.:ph34r:
The older I get the less I care who I piss off.

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All the pertinent information concerning past insurance claims, etc., has at long last been collated and passed on to an alternate insurance carrier.


Do the members have access to this information?

Quote

Although no concrete figures are yet available.
..the representative felt that their numbers would be 'significantly' lower that what the USPA is presently paying. (465,000 + -) for what should essentially be the same coverage...


Unless there are limits to the awards, this will not be a long term solution.

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Whenever this discussion comes up, it's always framed in reference to a few specific events that resulted in high insurance payouts.

In my recent memory, I can't think of any civilian demos that went badly wrong. I can think of the military ones, but not civilian. I haven't even seen anything on You Gotta See This... A demo incident would surely be covered by hundreds of cameras.

Do we know anything at all about the incidents which resulted large payouts?

_Am
__

You put the fun in "funnel" - craichead.

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How about the one at Bike week in Daytona a year or two ago that had a guy hook into a woman in the crowd and tore her up pretty badly? I seem to remember pre 9/11 a jumper flew into the crowd at a stadium also and did some damage.

Post 2001 it seems most major demos have only been able to be done by military teams since they have the waiver from the TSA/FAA and the government insuring them.
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

Parachutemanuals.com

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Post 2001 it seems most major demos have only been able to be done by military teams since they have the waiver from the TSA/FAA and the government insuring them.

***
Not true...
I did a major airshow in Las Vegas 3 weeks after the 9-11 tragedy

And I was a performer in three of the largest demos in the country this year.











~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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On the flip side, there was a DEMO I was involved with that the client only gave 48 hours notice on into Disneyland in California. Disneyland has a "permenent" TFR of 3 miles and 3,000 AGL.

I called up the FSDO and they said, no freekin' way were they going to rush that through, oh, BTW, who did we think we were going to use for the DEMO. We told them the Golden Knights and suddenly they were a lot more cooperative. Calls were made between our upper management, D.C. and the FSDO and bingo, it happened.

It's a LOT easier for the military teams to do stuff than the civilian teams -- at least that's been our experience out here.
quade -
The World's Most Boring Skydiver

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It's a LOT easier for the military teams to do stuff than the civilian teams -- at least that's been our experience out here
***
True.
No doubt in part because they believe the military teams to be more qualified than civilian teams.











~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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How about the one at Bike week in Daytona a year or two ago that had a guy hook into a woman in the crowd and tore her up pretty badly?

***
If I recall...
That guy WASN't insured.

BTW...
He hit a waitress holding a tray full of beer....
Talk about screwing up every possible way!!!:S











~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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I don't think the jumper was but I think the woman he landed on was...

***
No...I don't think so...
She was trying to sue the jumper...the bar....bike week...
everybody in Fla.
because she couldn't pay her hospital bills. :(











~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I also scuba dive and ski too. So far, nobody has appeared on the beach to license me and deny me access to the ocean unless I buy a policy, and the ski slope operators have a considerable investment in infrastructure, but I don't need to belong to a group or obtain a license to hit the slopes. So what is it with the sky and USPA anyway?

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I too participate in those sports as well...

I actually have to show a license to 'buy air'...
and to dive on charter boats.

The PADI Instructors I know that do it for a living
are in fact insured against possible liability should
someone in their 'care' be injured.

I also have 'decompression chamber' insurance
that I buy through PADI, to cover the expence
should I need the service.

Ski slopes....Read your lift ticket.
YOU are responsible for injuries and or damage
you may cause.

USPA doesn't try to regulate the sky...
I know of several jumpers that are not members...
and
they fall pretty much the same as members do.
They just don't have access to the benefits offered
by the organization










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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It's great to see some progress in this area, but raising the rating fees to those levels will put many PRO rated jumpers 'out of business'.

Of all the demo jumps I have done, I was only paid for one of them. Before the PRO rating was implemented, we used to do all sorts of fun, charity style demos at locations all around our DZ. Schools, church picnics, and other gatherings were all on the list of yearly demos we would drop in on just for fun. This built great repor with the community, and since they were all close by the DZ, we could drop the jumpers on the way to altitude with a load of jumpers, so the cost was very low (and 100% absorbed by the DZ and jumpers). When the PRO rating came along, there were enough jumpers who anted up and got the rating to continue the jumps, but for several hundred dollars, those ratings will lapse, and those demos will no longer exist.

One area the USPA needs to look at is that stupid magazine they put out. Why do did they send two copies to my house for all those years? My wife and I could have shared one copy, and if fact, she never read hers anyway, and now that we are divorced, I'd bet she still doesn't read her copy, and wouldn't care or notice if it didn't show up. Or how about the DZO at the DZ I work at? He gets one, so does his wife, and then they get extra copies because they buy advertising, and because they are group members. How many copies do they need?

Why is the USPA not putting it online? Why not offer a discount for people who don't want the paper copy? If the dicsount is less than the cost of the magazine, the USPA would generate revenue for each memeber who takes that option. I know of several households with mulitple members who would exersice that option for at least one membership. What about those concerned with the environment, and wasting paper? They would surely read the internet copy to save the trees. It would be a simple manner of posting the magazine on a monthly basis (I'm sure it's already in digital form before it goes to the printer anyway). How hard would that be to implement? Take less money from the jumper, and remove them from the mailing list.

I'd be broke and starving if I ran my business like the USPA is running theirs.

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One area the USPA needs to look at is that stupid magazine they put out. Why do did they send two copies to my house for all those years? My wife and I could have shared one copy, and if fact, she never read hers anyway, and now that we are divorced, I'd bet she still doesn't read her copy, and wouldn't care or notice if it didn't show up. Or how about the DZO at the DZ I work at? He gets one, so does his wife, and then they get extra copies because they buy advertising, and because they are group members. How many copies do they need?

Why is the USPA not putting it online? Why not offer a discount for people who don't want the paper copy? If the dicsount is less than the cost of the magazine, the USPA would generate revenue for each memeber who takes that option. I know of several households with mulitple members who would exersice that option for at least one membership. What about those concerned with the environment, and wasting paper? They would surely read the internet copy to save the trees. It would be a simple manner of posting the magazine on a monthly basis (I'm sure it's already in digital form before it goes to the printer anyway). How hard would that be to implement? Take less money from the jumper, and remove them from the mailing list.

I'd be broke and starving if I ran my business like the USPA is running theirs.





Have you seen the BPA's magazine "The Mag".

www.skydivemag.com/

Not only is it interesting and edited by a cool skydiving chick (Hi Lesley :$), they put up many of the articles on their web site - especially those dealing with safety and technique.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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Ski slopes have federal laws specifically tailored to protect them of any liability. Before the 70's, running ski hills would have been just as financially risky as running a dropzone.

More importantly, though, it's pretty rare that a skiier or diver will kill the person they land on.

_AM
__

You put the fun in "funnel" - craichead.

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I feel you pain bro!

I agree that the types of demos you speak of
are at least...
if not more important, than the 'high profile' types
I ordinarily am involved with.

For me the increase in fees is an expense that
would be passed on to the people I contract with...
I will still feel it though, as the demo market is an
extremely competitive arena, and we can't jack the
price a whole lot and still be in the running so to speak.

Hopefully a new insurance policy / carrier will have
more reasonable rates and we will be able to offset
the rating increase with a premium decrease.

Who knows at this point.

In your case...doing demos on jump run.

From the way you describe it, I'm guessing you don't have demo insurance for those anyway?
You would only need a PRO if you were purchasing the
demo coverage...and even then only for certain types of demos.

You don't have to have the rating to do demos...

There has been discussion in this area as to having the demo customer sign a 'hold-harmless' type of agreement.
One team / DZ in the Midwest is even advertising
that in their demo promr materials...
An attorney I spoke with felt this approach was less than worthless...
but it is an idea for 'backyard' type jumps I guess.

Maybe as 'Masher' suggested...
A multilevel PRO Rating system could be instituted...
with crowd size or landing areas as a consideration
in regard to rating requirements.

I don't know the answer...

In one respect, if a person only does one or two
demos a year...are they really current and qualified
to be a "PRO"?
On the other hand I know guys that don't have
the rating but are more qualified than
most Golden Knights in the performance aspect.


As far a multiple magazines goes...
in reality that is a minimal expense in the big picture
on the spread sheet...
You wanna talk cost cutting?
Let's look at the new building...the property next to it,
slated for the all important USPA Museum...
how about a review of some of the outside vendors (23?) that perform whatever services for the organization....

I agree with Doc. Kallen....what a way to run a business!










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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All the pertinent information concerning past insurance claims, etc., has at long last been collated and passed on to an alternate insurance carrier.


Do the members have access to this information?



see 10 Year Report - pdf file

Linked from Insurance Crisis



I've seen that...but a more detailed description of actual incidents and payouts is called for to
adjust an actuarially chart and get solid figures with which to compare.

Break down by type, payout and year would be highly informative...

And things don't make sense to me...

Granted I'm a bit slow...
but weren't we just told that THIS YEARS premium is 420,000...
if that is the 10 year total, something doesn't add up?


Or is it just me?!:S










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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In all fairness, i didn't read the spreadsheet, but in light of the previous discussion in which cancelling all the insurance discussed, every bit of cost cutting is helpful. In reality it's always helpful to any business to cut costs, but that another story.

The demos I was referring to were done by staff members who all had 1000's of jumps, and were doing 20 to 30 jumps per week at the time. Currency and ability were never a question. When you offer to jump into the baseball field of a local elementary school on the last day of school, the school board loves the idea untill you bring up legal releases and such, at which point the kids lose out on a cool event.

While the rating may not be a requirement, a group member DZ would be hard pressed to allow a jumper without a rating to do any demo at all, which is why a several hundred dollar rating fee would really affect the small 'backyard demos'.

I really don't have an answer either. Keep up the good work and things will work themselves out. We can count on the USPA to make a sound and prudent desicion, right?

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Accourding to: http://www.aerohio.com/exhibition.htm

This insurance increase has priced many smaller local events out of the market, and we feel that this is unfair. To remedy this, we are now performing events without insurance. In lieu of insurance, we use a simple hold harmless agreement to protect ourselves, the property owner and/or the event promoter. This type of waiver arrangement has been the standard in the skydiving industry for over 20 years and is a common and accepted practice in other sporting events such as baseball and auto racing. While there will always be larger events where insurance is a good idea, we feel comfortable performing at nearly any local or regional event with this alternate means of risk management in effect. Not too surprisingly, this has been quite popular with most of our smaller event customers.


It seems like insurance really does'nt matter to GM DZ's.
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

Parachutemanuals.com

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see 10 Year Report - pdf file



Thanks!

Again - I pose the question - what are these big payouts that are forcing the rates up? Are we really talking about events that happened in 96 before the pro requirement?

There does not seem to be an excesive number of injuries or claims in the pro section at all.

Now I'm really confused.

_Am
__

You put the fun in "funnel" - craichead.

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I've seen the information on the link provided...
And again, I hope it works out for all involved.

I discussed that solution with our attorney,
and he was of the opinion that any agreement of that
type would not hold up in court.

For it to be at all viable, each and every person attending
the event would have to agree to the terms and do so
with a signature...
minors would be exempt from the conditions...
But not from being able to sue should injury occur.

Also...
Even if such a hold harmless waiver were in force...
If a spectator were to be injured, and negligence on the performers part could be proven...
The waiver would not be worth the ink or the paper it's on.

It's an interesting, creative and understandable approach.
And with all due respect to the DZO's utilizing it...

(I mean that sincerely, I know the reasoning involved and
their high qualifications & standing within the organization
and demo community.)

...I personally wouldn't bet my current & future
net worth on a program of that nature.










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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