The AALS Insurance Scheme consists of four areas of coverage each one looked at in the needs of the various Clubs belonging to the Association, their method of operation, and the current requirement of Workplace, Health & Safety Legislation.

1. Public Liability Policy

This covers a whole host of situations, the Club and its members, in event of some incident that may result in a claim from a member of the public or another member. It also protects the Club from claims arising from a bona-fide visitor, volunteer worker, canteen operation, loss or damage to goods in custody, Boiler Inspectors for Professional Indemnity, Competent Person (ie a club member registered with the Australian Association of Live Steamers Safety Committee to inspect the Club's tracks and equipment for annual registration. It also covers the National Committee and State Representatives of AALS & AMBSC regarding their advice, etc, to affiliated members.

Generally, it is considered that this is the best coverage that can be provided in the present time.

Of course there are some sides to the equation that some people consider onerous. It is a requirement that members sign in and out in a Members Register, usually a suitably drawn up exercise book. Volunteer workers and bona-fide visitors (ie other clubs' members) also sign an Attendence Register.

2. Personal Injury Policy

This covers injury at club functions (ie workdays, run days etc) for members aged 11 years and over. There is no upper age limit. There is a long schedule of payments and of course it assists the member who is still working more so than those retired and those on all Government benefits. The cost is very small, but it has good benefits. It also covers volunteer workers.

3. Marine Transit Policy

This covers the transport of members models from doors closed at their home to doors open at the club grounds or at the destination they are visiting. It also covers you on trips anywhere in Australia including Bass Strait Ferries (providing you are travelling on the ferry). Theft from a locked, secured car or trailer on an overnight stop is also covered. Coverage is for $25,000 maximum with a $250 excess per claim. All members pay this small fee as well as the Personal Injury Policy fee.

As with the Personal Liability Policy there are some checks and balances. For normal running days there is no need to log journeys with your model. Other times such as visits to other clubs, travel interstate, taking your model to another workshop for repair or similar, it is required that you notify your Club at a meeting prior to your journey or as a minimum contact the Club Executive and signify your intentions. This can be noted by the club to cover you in the event of an incident.

4. Directors Policy

This covers the Committee/Directors of the Society for any perceived errors, or discrimination any one may wish to take against them. Coverage is for $1million and in this day and age is seen as being part of the best cover we can give our members.

5. General

The Association Policy commences 1 March each year. During the year you will be required to report on the number of members you have gained or lost in each 6 month period. members joining after the 1 March each year will be required to be registered at the next registration period, but will not require payment of a fee. members leaving after 1 March each year, and having paid a fee, will not get a refund. (Unders & Overs). Their names will be recorded however and will be held on the register in accordance with the Statute of Limitations.

Insurance payments are calculated on a Base Risk Fee paid by all clubs and a Per Head Fee based on the number of members at July each year. Although the Association is charged the same fee per club irrespective of numbers, the above method gives relief in payments to the smaller clubs. Those clubs over the average membership number pay a greater amount to assist the smaller clubs.

Clubs who wish to join the scheme can commence on the first of any month. It must be realised that this would bear no relation to the current pricing of members or the estimated pricing of next year. Please contact the Insurance Officer (address on the 'Contacts' page) for details.

6. Conclusion

The above should clarify details of the AALS insurance arrangements. The rates are competitive, but the real beauty is that it is designed and negotiated by Model Engineers, for Model Engineers. Confidential arrangements can be negotiated to assist with payments if the Society has some cash flow problems. This is interest free of course and is all done on the goodwill and fellowship of the Hobby ie a handshake on the deal, (and no one has defaulted yet!)

Issue 9 July 2004