OregonRocketry Position is TRA will be the sanctioned national club for launches at the Brothers and Sheridan sites. NAR will be the sanctioned national club for launches at the Wilsonville site.
Over the years, a number of rocketry clubs with affiliations to TRA or NAR have become official prefectures and sections of both of these organizations. Accordingly, they may be considered “dual affiliation” clubs. Also, many flyers are current members in good standing of both TRA and NAR. While this situation is a positive one in most regards, and exhibits the mutual respect and cooperation both organizations have been able to build over the years, there is one important administrative problem that arises as a result of “dual-affiliation clubs/dual-affiliation members.” This is the question of insurance coverage.
Both TRA and NAR extend coverage to their members at any event where mutually recognized safety codes are being observed. In the case of a claim for any mishap, the determination of coverage is straightforward in the case of single-affiliation members – TRA members are covered by the TRA policy, and NAR members by the NAR policy. It becomes more complex when dual affiliation members are involved. In such cases, the leadership of TRA and NAR have agreed that any dual TRA/NAR flyer who has a claim at a TRA-sanctioned event would be covered by TRA insurance, and conversely covered by NAR insurance if it is a NAR sanctioned event.
Obviously, there is a problem with this approach if the club is a dual TRA/NAR club, and the member is not a single-affiliation member, but a dual TRA/NAR member. In the case of a claim, who covers? The clear issue here is that there is a risk of two insurance policies being charged for one claim, and/or the possibility of controversy or claim denials by one or both carriers. As most of us are aware, controversies in insurance claims can get ugly, and could expose both the local club and national organizations to financial liability and possible legal actions. This is a situation that must be avoided.
TRA and NAR leadership have examined this issue at length, and it appears that the most practical, and administratively reasonable process to adopt – and which would also have no negative impact to either organization’s insurance policy – is to require dual TRA/NAR clubs to declare in advance of any launch event which days of the event will be considered sanctioned by TRA or NAR. In this way. the “tie-breaker” of any claim by a dual TRA/NAR member can be determined, and there will be no opportunity for double claims, or double denials of claims.
To make this work, effective March 1, 2010 all dual affiliation TRA/NAR clubs will be required to send an e-mail message to BOTH TRA and NAR HQ (firstname.lastname@example.org) a minimum of 24 hours in advance of any sanctioned event, providing the dates of launch events, and which organization, TRA or NAR, will be considered the sanctioning organization. Clubs are encouraged to supply this declaration as far in advance as is feasible to ensure it is not overlooked.
TRA and NAR leadership have also agreed to stress to dual clubs that failure to make this notification may result in denial of claims by both insurance carriers. Also, since it will not be truly possible to legitimately ascertain whose insurance policy should cover, neither TRA nor NAR will extend financial coverage of a portion of the insurance claim deductible, which both organizations have agreed to do by current policy. Thus, it is in everyone’s best interest to ensure these declarations are made correctly, and any possibility of claims being questioned is eliminated.