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User avatar
By davisstraub
#380081
Professional liability insurance was added a few years back to the USHPA portfolio in an effort to support instructors, our key to the future of hang gliding. Now the USHPA wants to add commercial liability insurance in order to actually support the schools and instructors.

Mark states that, "Possibly we could keep the pilot/site policy (CGL),..." And it is apparently the case, as far as we who are not in the know at the USHPA are concerned, that our individual/site/event insurance will not necessarily be dropped in March.

Maybe the folks at the USHPA have received inside word that we will in fact be dropped.

The first shoe that did drop was commercial insurance from First Flight (John Harris), which the USHPA sees as a shot across the bow and a warning that we are next. But maybe it is commercial insurance for the schools that is in fact the concern of Lloyd's of London. Maybe it is the case that we will continue to have our insurance.

If that is the case, providing commercial insurance to schools is a choice. Requiring it, when it would appear to me that at least some (if not many) schools do not have it is a choice (for the USHPA) but really is not a choice at all for the schools.

Mark states that insurance is a very complex sphere. I would love to hear more from him about these issues.

Again, I have supported the USHPA efforts monetarily.
User avatar
By Helix3
#380084
Jacmac wrote:Couldn't the Pilot and Site insurance continue to be covered by Lloyd's and the RRG cover the commercial schools and instructors?
sg wrote:A note on insurance pools....

So many people left the sub-pool they were in to move to new Obamacare plans, that the pool became too small, which made it too risky, and thus, that whole pool got dumped... 
...
Shrinking insurance pools eventually get dumped or get so expensive everyone leaves them.  Just a matter of time.
Jacmac raised a good question.

sg is spot on.  

Lloyd’s dropped the commercial school insurance, in part, because it only had 9 participants.
Each claim in such a small pool proportionally equates to higher risk percentage points.

This is why Lloyd's will not renew schools such as Joe Greblo's even though Dockweiler never had a claim.

With a larger # of participants, an RRG could be formed for just the commercial schools. By themselves, however, the 9 commercial operators say they cannot generate enough revenue to cover the fixed overhead costs of running an insurance company.

On the flip-side, USHPA says an RRG for just USHPA recreational members + USHPA instructors would face the same problem of covering fixed overhead costs.

USHPA says bringing commercial operators into the RRG helps cover the RRG's fixed overhead costs (hiring actuarials, accountants, lawyers to write up the policy + governance documents, and all the regulatory overhead).

I wonder how much the RRG's fixed overhead costs are.

[Update: Start-up costs = $200k (overhead) + $2M (actuarial-estimated minimum capital requirement).]
******

One option USHPA did not pursue --

Abandoning the instructor professional liability policy + letting instructors and schools find their own commercial coverage.

This would leave a majority of independent instructors + smaller schools unable to find affordable commercial coverage on their own.

Then, the only instructors with 3rd-party liability coverage would be those working for big schools with the revenue to afford their own 3rd-party liability insurance without participating in a pooled RRG.

*****

Interestingly, Lloyd's forced USHPA to provide instructors the professional liability policy.

One of the reasons given was the need to generate a larger revenue stream.
Last edited by Helix3 on Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By davisstraub
#380088
So there we have it. Only nine schools had commercial 3rd party liability insurance from First Flight. I was also told that Jackson Hole Paragliding paid $60,000/year for liability insurance.

Now all schools will be required to have this insurance (join the pool).

How much are the schools going to pay to help with the fixed costs?

Interesting that Lloyd's forced the original coverage of instructors with professional liability.
Last edited by davisstraub on Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By Jacmac
#380097
Helix3 wrote: On the flip-side, USHPA says an RRG for just USHPA recreational members + USHPA instructors would face the same problem of covering fixed overhead costs.

USHPA says bringing commercial operators into the RRG helps cover the RRG's fixed overhead costs (hiring actuarials, accountants, lawyers to write up the policy + governance documents, and all the regulatory overhead).
Here's the rub for me personally. Pilots are being dragged into subsidizing insurance for instructors, sites, and commercial versions of both by becoming part of this RRG. If the level of claim risk for individual pilots is low enough that Lloyds isn't concerned about continuing coverage, why are we leaving? It appears that pilot dues have been upped by 50% to cover commecial operations, instructors, and sites; not to cover costs directly related to being a pilot. I don't see a problem with an RRG for sites and instructors 3PL, but pilot's 3PL insurance doesn't need to be tied to it.

If 200 sites, instructors and commercial operations shut down due to the lack of coverage, that doesn't stop all pilots from being able to continue flying at sites where it isn't required. Those 200 sites and schools can continue raising capital to fund an RRG until they reach the threshold needed without threatening all pilots with loss of coverage.

That said, I suspect that no matter how much money is collected between now and when the insurance has expired, the USHPA will go forward with creation of the RRG with what it has at the time (which is probably more than enough already when you add in the extra $50 from 9000 pilots). I'm concerned about the pilot dues and pilot 3PL insurance being tied to it because if there are a numbers of claims, pilot dues could be raised even further or the whole thing could collapse like a wet taco.
User avatar
By DAVE858
#380100
Given everything that has been going on, what if USHPA were to drop the whole tandem thing entirely. I mean down to the FAA exemption & everything & only insure instructors actually instructing & not merely giving rides.

If you read the tandem exemption in the FAR it specifically states that tandem are supposed to be for instructional purposes only, I think in the vast majority of Tandem Flights its more about the ride. The only thing the student has control of & is taught to use during these flights is a Selfie Stick... Keep in mind the majority of these flights are done with Paragliders.

People keep advocating that Tandem Rides bring people into the sport & put the sport out there. I think it is the opposite. I feel it deters many people from becoming pilots because they get the reward without puting in any work & there is no sense of achievement.

I know that these ideas will never happen because Tandems have turned our sport into a business & an amuzement park ride & they generate a lot of revenue. The problem is that the revenue generated does not outweigh the risk in the event of an accident.

I ask that people consider how different things would be if the only way to fly was to actually learn to fly. I think there would be a lot more pilots.
By blindrodie
#380102
For me anyway, I'm happy to subsidize guys and gals that are trying to earn a living giving tandems whether it's a joy ride or not. I know they can never earn enough to do so and I want everyone that wants to fly a tandem to do so.

My donation is one small gesture to my flying family that I can only hope will keep the skies open for me and those with the dream of flying free, not to mention companies like WillsWing.

Can I fly free where I am without insurance? Yes. But I would also like to go to Oklahoma and Arkansas to fly with my buds there. Might not happen without liability insurance for the Launch/LZ owners.

Throwing my beer money at this regardless of outcome is just something I feel good about. YMMV.

8)
User avatar
By Mavi Gogun
#380108
Aldpal wrote:While I welcome differences of opinions, and discussions on other options in these various insurance threads, I get the impression there are individuals that would like to see this effort fail and also see the demise of the the USHPA. I presume some of this dissention is from proponents of the US Hawks. Ironically if the USHPA folded and everyone joined the Hawks I expect that we would elect the same current USHPA directors and we would proceed the same way that the majority of current members are supporting. I guess the current Hawks would then need to form another organization in what I believe is a misguided belief that there will be more power in dividing every one that has an interest in "part 103" free flight into smaller groups that won't or don't work together for our common interests. At some point when you are part of a collective that has made a decision to go down a certain path, you can choose not to follow, but you should at least get out of the way, and give those that are putting their money where their mouth is, a chance to succeed. Of course this is not absolute so please don't counter with statements like "what if the groups path is headed for a cliff". By the way I believe hang gliding will survive either way, but possibly in only a greatly diminished way then it already is. I plan to donate through the local fundraising that my local CSS club is doing to support this effort. Details here:

http://www.crestlinesoaring.org/node/1435
Dude, you've soooo perfectly summed up my apprehension. Well said.
User avatar
By Mavi Gogun
#380119
Jacmac wrote:Here's the rub for me personally. Pilots are being dragged into subsidizing insurance for instructors, sites, and commercial versions of both by becoming part of this RRG.
You haven't sufficiently appreciated the implications of the shrinking insurance pool. No one is "being dragged" so much as being shown the exit from the burning building; once you get there, what you do is up to you. The umbrage taken at "subsidizing" sites is antithetical to the community dependent nature of our common undertaking- I liken it to the guy who is showing off the new glider rack he just built... that only holds one glider. With that attitude, if able, expect to fly alone.

Jacmac wrote:If the level of claim risk for individual pilots is low enough that Lloyds isn't concerned about continuing coverage, why are we leaving? It appears that pilot dues have been upped by 50% to cover commecial operations, instructors, and sites; not to cover costs directly related to being a pilot. I don't see a problem with an RRG for sites and instructors 3PL, but pilot's 3PL insurance doesn't need to be tied to it.
Again, the added expense of shrinking coverage doesn't seem to be fully appreciated. Decreasing participation in the pool increases costs. Additionally (as Mark has noted, multiple times), the scale of a claim impacts how the insurance company handles suits- fight or settle. As a result, small claims are death of a thousand cuts, adding up to a net loss- while the really big stuff they fight as a reflex. The consequence is that large suits are less likely to be won- and, paradoxically, covering catastrophic liability is more attractive, profitable. This puts us in a position of only being able to secure coverage independently for the big stuff. So, no, dues are not going up to merely "cover commercial operations"- they are going up to make our dividend, smaller self-insurance pool *possible*.
Jacmac wrote:If 200 sites, instructors and commercial operations shut down due to the lack of coverage, that doesn't stop all pilots from being able to continue flying at sites where it isn't required. Those 200 sites and schools can continue raising capital to fund an RRG until they reach the threshold needed without threatening all pilots with loss of coverage.
See previous remarks about pool size- and the every-pilot-for-themselves/one-glider-rack ethic.
Jacmac wrote:That said, I suspect that no matter how much money is collected between now and when the insurance has expired, the USHPA will go forward with creation of the RRG with what it has at the time (which is probably more than enough already when you add in the extra $50 from 9000 pilots).
No, the tow rope has to reach all the way from the tug to the hang glider- we either achieve the critical funds to buy what we need, or we don't. You may be thinking "oh, we'll just have a smaller pool to pay out of"- but that ain't the way it works, as the RRG isn't actually an insurance company, but rather an assurance of funds used to procure a policy. Insufficient funds to cover the liability = no policy.

Your "probably more than enough already when you add in the extra $50 from 9000 pilots" is, I suspect, a number plucked for a favored orifice- and smells of money-grab conspiracy nonsense I've heard propagated by folks over on US Hawks forum.

Jacmac wrote:...the whole thing could collapse like a wet taco.
Oh, for sure- especially with a few pilots dragging their feet on launch. We've let our culture become this thing that looked the other way when folks did stupid s---- now we're all paying the price. It's up to you and me to change how we behave. If we succeed, both risk and costs will fall while we retain more of our contribution- empowering us to build something otherwise impossible.
Last edited by Mavi Gogun on Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By once&future
#380124
Just an observation from a former 30 year USHGA member:

The exasperated lecturing tone I'm hearing from those trying to harangue the undecided into contributing seems lots more likely to just turn them off. Plenty of pilots have enough of the old solo bandido spirit that if the organization comes on too strong they might just say the hell with it.
User avatar
By Mavi Gogun
#380128
magentabluesky wrote:Mavi,

Does Turkey require Hang Gliding/Paragliding Insurance to fly in Istanbul?

You say “we”. Do you have pony in this race?
I'll ignore the "ain't from around here, are you boy?" sub-text for a moment (it's an excuse to discount without consideration) and speak to the substantive question:

Turkey isn't a litigious culture- because there is no real faith in law to supply redress of grievances. So, no- no one is checking the insurance coverage of pilots on launch in Turkey; though pilots are supposed to file a flight plan with the jandarma before taking to the air, no one complies with that absurdity.

As to Istanbul, I know of only a few pilots that fly in the city; most are powered paraglider pilots, one with a mosquito. Some base jumpers did a commercial from a skyscraper- I don't know if they were insured.

What I am is a dues-paying member of the United States and Houston Hang Gliding and Paragliding Associations- vote Tiki Mashy, director, region 11!

(The idea that a US expatriate somehow lacks investment in our country is absurd; ask your friendly local member of the armed forces what they think of the suggestion- I'm sure they will be better equipped to express my feelings on the mater.)
Last edited by Mavi Gogun on Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Mavi Gogun
#380129
once&future wrote:Plenty of pilots have enough of the old solo bandido spirit that if the organization comes on too strong they might just say the hell with it.
Our sport naturally attracts that sensibility- however, most pilots quickly apprehend that ours is an interdependent sport. I reckon those who say "the hell with it" over this were just looking for an excuse to do so- and can never be reached; we are behooved to challenge their attempts to poison the well for the rest of us.
By Jacmac
#380131
Mavi Gogun wrote: You haven't sufficiently appreciated the implications of the shrinking insurance pool. No one is "being dragged" so much as being shown the exit from the burning building; once you get there, what you do is up to you. The umbrage taken at "subsidizing" sites is antithetical to the community dependent nature of our common undertaking- I liken it to the guy who is showing off the new glider rack he just built... that only holds one glider. With that attitude, if able, expect to fly alone.
If Lloyds is willing to continue covering pilots at the same levels as past years (with normal minor increases), then raising the membership fee by 50% can only be interpreted as subsidization of the insurance that will not be provided by Lloyds any longer. How else can the membership fee increase be explained? If the USHPA leadership came out and said we are creating an RRG and it cost the pilots no more than before, you wouldn't hear me complaining.

I'm a capitalist and for free enterprise, which this RRG certainly is a part of. If you are a fan of paying into site, instructor, and commercial operations to keep the sport alive, please feel free to donate or invest thousands of dollars. I encourage you to do if it makes you happy. Anyone that wants to donate money to get the RRG going, please give generously. I would just rather not see the pilot membership fee going towards it when it isn't necessary.

Your glider rack analogy isn't appropriate. A better analogy would be income tax, where money is collected and no choice exists on where the money goes. It is redistributed as the elected government sees fit. It's a necessary evil, but that doesn't mean we all have to like the underhanded decisions, communications, or how it's spent.
By once&future
#380132
Mavi Gogun wrote:I reckon those who say "the hell with it" over this were just looking for an excuse to do so- and can never be reached; we are behooved to challenge their attempts to poison the well for the rest of us.
You're either with us or you're against us?
User avatar
By Mavi Gogun
#380138
once&future wrote:You're either with us or you're against us?
Constructive critique and good faith efforts to make the best of our circumstance are far cries from that false dichotomy. I spoke to your suggestion of the predisposed to cut investment in community- not to skeptical inquiry and challenge.

Besides- a better axiom would be "either you help us bail or the boat sinks".
User avatar
By RobertKesselring
#380139
$102,748 raised so far in 12 day.
Average of $8562.33 per day.

$727,252 left to go in 77 days.
Need an average of $9444.83 per day from here in out.

I really hope there are some big 5 and 6 figure investors to there who have yet to make their investments. And many more 3 and 4 figure Investors also.

:ahh: :ahh: :ahh: :ahh:
User avatar
By Mavi Gogun
#380140
Jacmac wrote:If Lloyds is-
Your speculation isn't really helping resolve the mater; perhaps you could speak with Mark directly to address the "if"s, then report back...

Jacmac wrote:I would just rather not see the pilot membership fee going towards it when it isn't necessary.
I haven't heard a compelling argument for the "not necessary" assessment- on the contrary, there is plenty of reason to see this as a critical, existential challenge to preserving what we have.
Jacmac wrote: A better analogy would be income tax, where money is collected and no choice exists on where the money goes.
I hear this all the time from folks who went through the public schools system- who then protest property tax to pay for schools. I'm unsympathetic. I wonder: how many times have you ran for office?
User avatar
By davisstraub
#380147
Here's the rub for me personally. Pilots are being dragged into subsidizing insurance for instructors, sites, and commercial versions of both by becoming part of this RRG. If the level of claim risk for individual pilots is low enough that Lloyds isn't concerned about continuing coverage, why are we leaving? It appears that pilot dues have been upped by 50% to cover commercial operations, instructors, and sites; not to cover costs directly related to being a pilot. I don't see a problem with an RRG for sites and instructors 3PL, but pilot's 3PL insurance doesn't need to be tied to it.
It would appear that instead the schools and the individuals pilots are being pooled together. Perhaps both are going to benefit from that. Lower future rates for individuals and lower rates for commercial schools.

We don't know if this is the case or not. It may be the case that there is no subsidization at all. It may be that schools are subsidizing individual pilots.

We don't know whether the school claims rate is any different than individual pilots. We don't know if Lloyd's is going to drop us anyway. I assume that they are and that they are telling the USHPA to put schools and individual pilots together in one pool.

I am pretty sure that we are not leaving.

The membership rate is going up to cover the projected greater cost of our insurance, to fund the RRG. There is no evidence that says that it comes from commercial school coverage.

Really, everything that you say is not backed by any evidence. Now, of course, the lack of transparency about this is the basic reason for that.
Last edited by davisstraub on Tue Dec 15, 2015 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By davisstraub
#380148
Given everything that has been going on, what if USHPA were to drop the whole tandem thing entirely. I mean down to the FAA exemption & everything & only insure instructors actually instructing & not merely giving rides.
Do you have any evidence that tandems have anything to do with the threat that our insurance may be dropped? Of course, you don't, because the USHPA does not share the specific information that would allow you to know that.

My individual and competition flying depends on the existence of flight parks. And flight parks depend on their ability to to sell "Discovery Flights," which depends on the tandem exemption.

So basically you are attacking my ability to continue hang gliding.
User avatar
By davisstraub
#380151
If Lloyds is willing to continue covering pilots at the same levels as past years (with normal minor increases), then raising the membership fee by 50% can only be interpreted as subsidization of the insurance that will not be provided by Lloyds any longer.
That is a really big "if." Apparently they aren't willing, but maybe they are. We out here in the field haven't been told for sure.

There are plenty of ways to interpret it. It is there to help finance the RRG assuming that Lloyds (and First Flight) will still be there, but only after our 2 million RRG stands in the way for them.
How else can the membership fee increase be explained?
See above.
If the USHPA leadership came out and said we are creating an RRG and it cost the pilots no more than before, you wouldn't hear me complaining.
They have already said that they hope to bring the costs down after they get the RRG going.

Again we do not have enough information to know whether there is any redistribution or not.
User avatar
By joefaust
#380152
USHPA is capable of choosing to have the RRG open to non-USHPA members who fly hang gliders.
Will it so choose? Or will it stay going after an unsustainable monopy?

Funds for an RRG would arrive in greater plenty if the RRG is defined for all comers without requiring membership in any particular club or association.
It appears USHPA is aiming strongly to prefer covering the commercial sector which could stand on its own
and also not open the RRG to the general recreational hang glider person regardless of membership in this or that private club or association.
We await reply from USHPA about really growing support for recreational hang gliding with an open RRG
or a more-of-same commercially-driven core of USHPA. Which way will it go, Mark?

Davis cannot prove the untenable about the essentiality of directly supported commercial instruction for hang gliding vitality and survival.
There are scores of ways for a recreational hang gliding community to learn excellent hang gliding; commercial instruction is just one of the options.
But note, even that option need not be tired to the heart and soul and pocket of a pilots' organization. Rather, a pilots' org may have unaffiliated
positive support of all the varieties of learning to hang glide.

So, USHPA, will you open the RRG to non-USHPA members?

For conscience sake I could not ever again be a member of USHPA unless they disassociate from PDMC-PG.
I co-founded the org that evolved to the unfortunate current format of the org. I'd choose to donate to an RRG that did not require membership in the current format of USHPA (U$hPa).
There is a bundle of money from a sector of recreational hang gliding awaiting USHPA's decision to design an open RRG, not a closed one.
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