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BobWhiteVA

Troop Trailer Insurance

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Hi All,

We're currently looking into insurance for our recently acquired trailer. I understand that we need theft insurance for the trailer and equipment contained within, and that when it is being towed, it is covered by the liability insurance of the person towing it.

 

What i'm struggling with is whether or not we need additional liability insurance on the trailer when it is at rest. E.g. if it falls on someone, catches, fire, etc. We've gotten a quote that covers theft and liability for our CO at a cost of over $900 per year, which is way out of budget for us. Theft insurance alone runs less than $200. Our CO is a small community organization and they lack much in the way of liability insurance of their own, so this is a big issue.

 

What are others doing about insurance? What are you paying?

 

YiS,

BobWhiteinVA

 

 

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Does your CO already have insurance for themselves? Or are they currently 'taking their chances'?

The CO for this unit is a church and our trailer is covered by them when it's parked on their property.

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I just checked, and we don't carry theft insurance on the trailer. This is going to prompt me to look at that. Like Packsaddle our CO is a church and well insured; we keep the trailer parked there so I'm sure we share whatever coverage they have. I have no idea what kind of deductibles or limits we might face.

 

You should have a talk with your DE or other professional about how the BSA insurance works. For there to be a liability there has to be negligence on someone's part; an inanimate object cannot be negligent. So for instance if the trailer blows up because of a propane tank unsafely secured inside it that should be covered by the BSA policy.

 

A few cautions: many BSA professionals I've known didn't really understand the way insurance worked, so be prepared to have to ask several times and have several follow up questions before you get the full picture. Also make sure you have someone on your side who understands insurance in on the conversations so you know what questions to ask. On the CO side, they often don't like talking about this issue, most don't really understand how much they've taken on and generally don't like to share what they might consider private information about their coverage.

 

​Finally, the $900 quote you received sounds high, that's about what I just started paying for my 16 year old son to drive, and your trailer couldn't possible pose as much danger to the public as a sixteen year old male behind the wheel of a car.:)

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One also has to consider the fact that the trailer and gear belong to the CO, not the unit. The unit buying insurance may be a duplication of insurance, check with the CO before going the insurance route.

 

Stosh

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Technically, the trailer should be titled to the CO, since the unit and all its property belong to them. Only in rare cases is the unit its own legal entity. (In which case, why would you need a CO?)

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thanks for the responses, our CO is small and is in the process of obtaining their own liability insurance, they are a community organization that does not have any property or facility, so no theft of their own.

 

We ended up paying for theft insurance and property liability for about $350 a year.

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Bob, you've said "the CO does not have any property..."

 

You do understand that the trailer, tents, stoves, etc are the CO's property?

 

Unfortunately, no matter the source of funding, if gear is bought "for the unit," it is owned by the CO. When a unit leaves a CO, a bill of sale needs to be written FROM the old CO to the NEW CO that indicates a transfer of assets.

 

It's true that CO's typically do not like talking about this, or more correctly... the unit leadership does not like talking about this subject to their CO. This kind of discussion is sort of "icky" to most folks, and shows the hard business side of life and Scouting.

 

Life is ugly, and when we all start talking about liabilities, and $1,000,000 aggregate occurrence coverage and the like... many folks' eyes glaze over, but insurance is a very important subject.

 

BSA Liability coverage is ALWAYS secondary after all other partie's coverage has been exhausted in the occurrence of an incident. The National Council and probably your local council are also self-insured. This means an army of lawyers will be protecting the wallet firstly, and secondly (if at all) helping your poor unit or well-meaning volunteer driver after a mishap.

 

Don't mess around with this stuff. the theft of the trailer and it's contents are the least of your worries. When the trailer decouples from the ASM's Dodge dart, rolls into the southbound lane, and all the LP cylinders ignite in the aftermath - that's what you're worried about. Or more importantly - you CO SHOULD BE WORRIED about.

 

What's the CO going to do? shut down the unit. But they are legally on the hook for damages.

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How does it work to insure other people's assets? Does your insurance company know that what you are insuring does not belong to you? When it comes to making a claim, it might be a bit late to be making that clarification.

 

Stosh

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I would think that the name that's on the trailer title/license is the one who has the liability. They are the ones who should be insured. As I said before, BSA units are not usually legal entities which can own property or be sued...it's either the CO or an individual and/or the Council. And you can bet the Council will have it's backside covered. Caveat: I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. But you should consult one.

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How does it work to insure other people's assets? Does your insurance company know that what you are insuring does not belong to you? When it comes to making a claim, it might be a bit late to be making that clarification.

 

Stosh

 

He said they "ended up paying..." That could mean the insurance policy was paid-for using monies from the troop account. (Which, of course - the currency is an asset of the CO.)

 

I suppose an insurance company would rather take a policy premium $ up front, and then during a claim the underwriting department would eventually find out who REALLY owns the trailer.

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Yes the assets are the CO's as well as the funds, but will the confusion lie in who owns what if there is ever a claim? We have enough confusion WITHIN BSA as to who owns what when it comes to the CO's. How is an insurance company ever going to sort it out? :)

 

Stosh

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just to clarify, we are paying the bill via our CO, the CO is taking out the policy and handling all the paperwork. So we are giving the CO a check out of our Troop funds.

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Bob, you've said "the CO does not have any property..."

Don't mess around with this stuff. the theft of the trailer and it's contents are the least of your worries. When the trailer decouples from the ASM's Dodge dart, rolls into the southbound lane, and all the LP cylinders ignite in the aftermath - that's what you're worried about. Or more importantly - you CO SHOULD BE WORRIED about.

 

What's the CO going to do? shut down the unit. But they are legally on the hook for damages.

 

CT, thanks for your response. As I understand it after talking to insurance agents, our DE, and reading whatever I could find, if the trailer were to separate from a vehicle, the vehicle owner's liability insurance is the primary vehicle. BSA insurance kicks in as the secondary policy. See: http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2014/04/03/ask-the-expert-how-should-scouters-handle-insurance-for-troop-trailers/. Of course there's always the risk of someone who is injured filing suit against the driver, Troop leaders, CO, national BSA, etc.

 

So our real concern was around any kind of liability we needed to cover when the trailer was at rest (in addition to theft insurance). Thanks!

 

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