By Judy Allen F193946
Chairman, Risk Management Committee
This committee formerly was known as the Insurance and Risk Management Committee, and its name was changed because of its new focus over the past couple of years. After ensuring that the property and casualty policies (these cover the building and equipment owned by FMCA) were up-to-date, the committee began to focus on what risk management means to FMCA.
FMCA provides coverage for all active members via two programs: the Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance policy and the MEDEX emergency medical assistance program. These are paid for by FMCA as part of your member benefits.
AD&D benefits are explained in detail in the Certificate of Benefits found on page 155 of the July 2005 issue. Find, read, and clip out this certificate, and file it with your important papers, as it is an asset to your estate. The certificate lists the amounts paid and how they are paid when a loss occurs. Under Coverage A, if a loss of life occurs to an FMCA member or covered child because of an accident (accidental death), whether it occurs in a motor coach or not, coverage is available 24 hours a day. Under Coverage B, when loss of life occurs on a common carrier “” a means of transportation of passengers for hire and operated by an employee of that concern (i.e. train, bus, or airplane) “” benefits are paid. Under Coverage C, the policy pays benefits if members or covered children are killed as a result of a motorhome accident. What about invited guests? Invited guests are covered under Coverage B and Coverage C if the accident occurs on a covered trip that is at least 50 miles from their primary residence. Guests are not included under the 24-hour coverage provided by Coverage A. Invited guests include grandchildren, great-grandchildren, significant others, etc. Who receives the proceeds of this policy? The insurance policy designates that they will be paid in accordance with the law to a surviving spouse or to lawful children sharing equally. If this does not apply, then the benefits will be paid to the estate and administered by the executor; or, you may designate a beneficiary by sending the information in writing to FMCA.
The second part of the AD&D coverage is Accidental Dismemberment. When the accident results in the loss of an arm, hand, foot, or eye, the policy will pay benefits to the FMCA member. The loss must be reported within 365 days of the accident and must have resulted from injuries received in the accident.
Claims must be in writing and submitted to FMCA, which in turn submits them to Hartford along with verification of active membership.
Hartford Life Insurance also offers the Loyal Years plan, which rewards you with additional amounts of coverage based on years of membership in FMCA. This supplemental policy is paid for by you, and you select the types of benefits you wish to carry. It is an individual policy, not a blanket policy paid for by FMCA. It is offered to the membership through direct-mail solicitation paid for by Hartford.
Another FMCA member benefit is automatic coverage under the MEDEX PLUS emergency medical assistance program. This program helps traveling members to effectively manage the complexities and expenses of out-of-area medical and travel emergencies. Benefits are paid for incidents that occur while traveling for business or pleasure when you are 100 miles or more from your primary residence (as listed on your driver’s license). Coverage is provided in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. MEDEX must approve and coordinate all services.
The primary focus of this MEDEX plan is to provide assistance to members during medical emergencies and to assist with travel arrangements after the situation is resolved. A summary of benefits is provided below. Please note that while this program includes payment for emergency medical transportation, it does not include payment for the initial transportation to the hospital and only specific conditions will warrant emergency medical transportation to a member’s home. As a general rule, MEDEX pays for emergency evacuation when it is medically necessary to obtain a higher level of care.
If you have another plan, purchased individually for which you pay a premium, consider all benefits you may have purchased before canceling, as it may include different coverage than what FMCA provides through this blanket plan. However, you can still use the MEDEX coverage even if you have another plan.
(1) Emergency medical air and ground evacuation to the nearest appropriate facility if an FMCA member is involved in an accident or suffers a sudden, unforeseen illness that occurs more than 100 miles from home and adequate medical facilities are not available. When medically necessary, MEDEX will arrange and pay for transport to the nearest medical facility capable of providing the care needed. Under certain circumstances, it may be in the best interests of the member’s medical condition to immediately return home. However, this plan is not intended to fulfill requests to return home to their primary doctor for care or treatment when appropriate care is available locally.
(2) Repatriation of remains. This is the return of an FMCA member’s mortal remains in the event of death when the member is more than 100 miles from home.
(3) Return home of unattended dependent children and grandchildren when left unattended as the result of a member’s accident, illness, or death.
(4) Return of drivable motorhome and/or automobile to the member’s residence if the member is unable to operate the vehicle due to accident, illness, or death.
(5) Transportation after stabilization. This benefit provides transportation after a medical emergency for the member to return to their primary residence (as listed on your driver’s license). When medically necessary, medical escorts and/or medical evacuation providers may be used.
This is just a brief summary of the paid benefits. You can read about additional MEDEX services and information in an article about MEDEX that begins on page 201 of the January 2005 issue of Family Motor Coaching or online at www.fmca.com/benefits. (This is intended as information, and all final questions are subject to the full terms, conditions, and limitations listed in the MEDEX PLUS Program Description, which can be obtained by contacting FMCA’s Member Services department.)
Recently the Risk Management Committee recommended that FMCA offer an individually purchased long-term care policy. Members can purchase a long-term care program that covers members, spouses, and others when they are no longer able to perform two of the five functions of daily living “” walking, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring (moving from a bed to a chair, for example). This coverage provides benefits for nursing home care or at-home care. Quotes can be received at discounted prices. An article about this new benefit appears beginning on page 64 of this issue of the magazine.
The Risk Management Committee also coordinates some of FMCA’s employee benefits. Each year the committee reviews, updates, and bids on health, dental, life, and disability insurance, as well as flexible health care spending accounts, for FMCA employees. The committee is charged with securing the best benefits at the most reasonable price.
These programs are important, but there is yet another aspect of the committee’s job: managing risk. Risk management is the commonsense approach to eliminating or reducing the liability and cost of damages, injuries, or accidents, etc. that may occur at an FMCA event (a chapter rally, area rally, or international convention); when conducting FMCA/chapter business; when renting equipment; or when publishing FMCA material (newsletters, manuals, officers’ handbooks, FMC magazine, etc.). Common sense, communication, and good planning are the keys to reducing risk and liability. FMCA and its members win when there are no losses (claim payments) for accidents or injuries due to negligence and poor planning.
The Risk Management Committee also has the responsibility of communicating how to eliminate or reduce accidents or losses. This is accomplished by enlisting the help of national committees and members to monitor activities and ensure that members and vendors are following recommended safety guidelines.
The committee has completed a “Risk Management Guide” that outlines many ways members can assist with making all FMCA rallies “loss-free” events; it has been mailed to all chapter presidents and safety teams. Since members are owners of FMCA, anytime the association pays for claims, we all lose.
FMCA transfers the majority of its risk through the purchase of insurance; however, the cost of this insurance is directly impacted by the frequency and severity of claims. The majority of FMCA claims come from incidents occurring at FMCA rallies “” chapter rallies, area rallies, or international conventions.
All chapter rallies, area rallies, and international conventions are covered by FMCA liability insurance. How do you (as a member/owner) do your part to avoid accident claims?
Chapters ask for volunteers to cook, clean, and entertain, so why not ask members to help with planning for a safe and accident-free rally? Perhaps retired firefighters, safety and police officers, or former servicemen and servicewomen in your chapter can be of assistance. Then ask members to use common sense while at the rally by walking on the correct side of the road; wearing helmets while riding scooters and bicycles; and respecting pedestrians’ rights-of-way while operating a golf cart, scooter, or tram. The committee cannot be everywhere; you are our eyes and need to assist us by pointing out unsafe conditions or behavior to those in charge. It’s a responsibility we all share.
This is a brief explanation and certainly does not cover everything related to risk management. Be aware that insurance benefits are subject to change without notification to the membership. If you should have questions or comments, contact FMCA or a member of the Risk Management Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.