Executive Director’s Commentary
By Don Eversmann, F240000
Throughout the four years that I have been serving as FMCA’s executive director, I have been very impressed with the level and quality of insurance that FMCA purchases on behalf of its operations and members. I actually know of a group of motorhome owners who formed an FMCA chapter simply to have their functions and gatherings covered by FMCA’s insurance. Prior to joining FMCA, they had purchased their own liability insurance.
If you believe that FMCA purchases insurance to cover members while they are attending motorhome events, you are absolutely correct. However, FMCA insurance does not cover everything that might occur at a rally or motorhome extravaganza. First, let me describe the insurance that has been purchased to protect our members and their property.
General liability coverage
This provides coverage for bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage that arises from an accident caused by the negligent acts of the association, the area, the chapter, or an FMCA family member while acting on behalf of FMCA (insureds). It also covers alleged acts of these insureds.
Although accidents may occur at an FMCA event, they may not be covered by our insurance. For example, automobile accidents are not covered under this policy. They would be the responsibility of the negligent vehicle owner and/or vehicle operator. The insurance always follows the vehicle. Even if the accident occurred while the driver of the vehicle was on FMCA business, the insurance of the vehicle owner would cover the occurrence.
If one of the insureds as defined above is acting on behalf of the association, area, or chapter and causes an accident through his or her negligent act, FMCA’s insurance policy would handle the claim. Let’s consider an example using a Wal-Mart parking lot. If two cars back out of parking spaces and collide, causing damage, the store would not be negligent, nor would its insurance apply. However, if the store’s sign fell and landed on a vehicle parked on the lot, the store’s insurance would apply, and probably pay on behalf of the store.
If any questionable situations arise while you are enjoying a rally or an FMCA motorhome extravaganza, I suggest that you contact FMCA’s director of Administrative Services, Lana Makin, for guidance. The facts will determine whether FMCA’s insurance will apply to your situation. Do not automatically state or think that FMCA’s insurance will apply. Take the time to exchange insurance information with all parties involved, in case the liability is considered personal.
Members should always be comfortable in knowing that their performance while acting on behalf of FMCA, an area, or a chapter is covered by FMCA insurance. Even so, in some instances, personal liability insurance, such as homeowner’s insurance, may be primary, and FMCA’s insurance would be excess.
Claims involving actions that are intentional to cause harm to another individual or to his or her property are excluded.
Generally, personal liability insurance policies are worded so that they are primary to FMCA’s policy. In simpler terms, where a member is named as being negligent in a claim, the member’s homeowner’s or personal liability policy will usually be primary. This does not mean that FMCA will not cover the loss, but it will be excess over the personal policy. This is because of the wording of the personal policy and not because FMCA is attempting to avoid any responsibility. If no personal liability coverage existed, then FMCA’s coverage would be primary.
Each case has its own facts and coverage interpretations. I want everyone to understand that FMCA does have the broadest coverage to support its members while they are attending FMCA functions and working on behalf of the association.
Other liability coverages
FMCA provides other coverages for its members for liabilities incurred during FMCA’s operations, or the operations of areas and chapters.
- Publisher’s liability: This covers chapter and area newsletters against libel, false advertising, and other publishing errors causing damages to third parties. Insureds include the officers and newsletter editors of these organizations.
- Fidelity bond: This covers chapters, area organizations, and FMCA for the dishonesty of anyone who handles money on their behalf.
- Directors and officers liability: This covers the liability of our national officers, area officers, and chapter officers for wrongful acts.
In my opinion, FMCA insurance does a fine job of covering members who are participating in FMCA events and conducting association business at the chapter, area, and national levels. However, please remember that this coverage might not always apply, because of the circumstances surrounding a particular incident. It’s helpful to keep this basic knowledge in mind.