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jake

Liability Insurance???

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Here in PA our club has run into a problem. Pa State Parks are requiring that clubs carry liability insurance if you are using Park ramps for tournaments. We are being asked to fill out a "Special Activities Agreement". The Bureau of State parks are assuming NO responsibility for participants or spectators. So is there any other clubs out there that this is effecting?

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If your club is a BASS Federation Nation club your club has $1,000,000 liability insurance.  I assume TBF has a similar program, but I do not know.

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We are not a affiliated with either. I am having a hard time finding any other clubs that are not. Can anyone tell me if other states do the same.

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We have the same requirements here in Northern Virginia.  Runs us about $400 per year for the coverage.  We usually charge an extra $10 per angler in the begining of the year to cover the cost of the insurance.

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$400 sounds reasonable. Getting the club to vote on it will be tough. We had to cut 3 tournaments and come up with alternates. Here's another question...does a club need to be "incorparated" to buy insurance. I know where this may lead...filing taxes???

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Look up Sadler sport and recreation insurance. They should be able to answer any questions you may have. Our club is 100% payback. The only things we do is hold back a little bit from each tx to have a bigger payout for our end of the year classic and possibly new scales every few years. This is a very informal club. We pay no yearly dues, fish exclusivly on1 body of water and all participants are informed of insurance costs at the start of each season. Great group of guys that I am proud to be associated with!!

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You don't need to be incorporated to buy club insurance.  But it would be handy (for a variety of reasons) to file a 501c non-profit application.  It's easy and cheap to do.  Here's more info: http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=96109,00.html

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I have never heard of a law like that but it does not surprise me.  I know some crowded lakes require an "event permit" to use a public launch for even small tournaments.  It would not surprise me if part of the event permit process is to provide proof of liability insurance.

The TBF and Fed Nation have to be the best ways to get liability insurance for a club.  Plus, you get many other benefits than just the insurance policy.   

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I can tell you for FACT that most lakes here in NJ and NY ,either privately owned or parks, REQUIRE both the event organanizer to have HUGE liability insurance, as well as all boaters participating in it .

I personally check for proof of Liability Insurance cards before any boat launches at my events, and for very good reason.

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If you have never seen what happens when a bassboat hits a floating but semi-submerged log or unmarked shoal, [or gator, or bale of floating hay, etc] while tooling down the lake on pad, or never seen a bass boat hit a wake and flip, then you may wonder the need for liability insurance, but trust me dudes, it happens often , and more than any of us would like to think about, because IT AIN'T PRETTY or cheap when it does.

And yup, it even happens to pros and guys that KNOW lakes real well.

I had a buddy who was a licensed guide on Table Rock in MO., and he was just puttering along , heading to a spot to fish, going through heavy morning fog doing about four MPH, and in the distance, he hears a boat running on pad, but because of the fog, never ever saw it until it was crossing the top of his HULL.

That boat crushed Tim's Nitro in half, and forcibly ejected the other boater, who stupidly had NO PFD ON, but not before the other boater hit his trolling motor, gashing his head.

Tim swam [he was wearing a PFD, thank God] and grabbed the now unconscious other guy, and pulled him back to his floating bow section of his broken boat, and put the guy up on his front deck . Tim's cell phone was now soaked and now not working, so he wrapped the guy's bleeding head with his tee to stop the bleeding the best he could, and stayed that way until the fog lifted and other boaters saw the wreckage, and then rescued them both. The other guy lived, and admitted he was running on pad by FREAKING GPS !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another buddy, running through Cochran's Pass on the Big O in FLA , keeping it up on pad to keep the boat up in the shallow water, hit an estimated 14 foot gator, ripping thier lower unit right OFF of a 250 , totally loosing any ability then to control his boat in any manner, and they spun out of control into the reeds, with the non getting ejected [but only bruised]. They sat there for HOURS, waiting for another boat to be able pull them out to open waters, with gators grunting all around them.

Another buddy, down on Kentucky Lake, hit a floating, yet submerged, log as they say way, way wrong [is the really a GOOD way to hit a log ?{LOL}], sending him also out of control, and him and his boat went UP ONTO LAND, hurting Billy really bad, and also totally the boat.

Good thing there was nobody sitting at the picnic table he crushed on that point, or somebody just fishing there.

Dudes, I can tell you countless TRUE stories like these that have happened to buddies of mine all across the country, and these are all real experienced boaters and some are guides on these lakes.

There are a ton of boaters out there, and stuff happens all the time.

You NEED liability insurance for when stuff like that happens !!!

Heck, nobody PLANS on having an accident; BUT they sure as all heck occur, and more often than you'd ever think.

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Thanks everyone. Great info.

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Jake, I know it is an expense but it is best to transfer the risk of loss to a professional risk taker.

It is not the limits that you want to be concerned but the defense costs, which can run into the hundreds of thousand of dollars.  :)

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We did find a very affordable policy. $300,000 for $184/year. Not the highest coverage but we realized this was better than nothing.

We are also going to add to the bylaws that all boat owners must show proof of insurance.

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