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BMFA subs increase.

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john stones 112/09/2018 20:35:34
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The fpv/ drone group contains many people who differ little from us, times I've met them, I've enjoyed there company.

Erfolg12/09/2018 21:47:25
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IMO the drone issue is distracting us.

The BMFA seems to have and continues to play a significant role in the discussions that seek to influence the current legislation that is being implemented, that is, and will increasingly affect us. I do not know, although I guess that these other organisations do not invest as much time and money in influencing the process. Yes, I know that is what the BMFA should be doing, so should the others shoulder some of the burden. Being blatantly biased, as in reality they are and continue to be the catalyst that the politicians and bureaucrats point towards as the reasons for these new regulations. In fact they should be doing moreangry, yes I seem to have my angry head on.

To me the most important activity of the BMFA at present is engagement with the authorities with the impending regulations.

On that basis, the BMFA, is not just about insurance.

I still see the NFC as an indulgence, if it takes even one minutes of the BMFAs paid staff away from the day job. I recognise some will argue that the NFC is part of the day job, as there are many fractions within the BMFA, not all requiring equal attention. It now exists, so there is little to be said, other than the promises of segregation of accounts and ring fencing of financial matters needs to be seen to be a reality.

Like a few others, i will be watching at any future proposals to increase the subscriptions, particularly if they are above inflation. There could be valid reasons, particularly if the mode is shifting to the right. When I restarted aeromodelling, I was in my late 50s, now, well , I am in a group that I see as old.

If we have an issue with members cars being damaged by our activities, on the scale that is being suggested, the issue needs dealing with. . Safety should be seen as a given, it is how we operate to enjoy what we do, to gain the maximum pleasure. In our case to fly model airplanes, doing things safely should be how we do everything we do, even if it is just for self interest. Although life is about balancing risk against reward.

CARPERFECT12/09/2018 23:53:46
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As Honorary Treasurer and Chairman, and on behalf of the BMFA Council, we need to let members know about some pressures on BMFA finances. As a not-for-profit company our aim has always been to keep the cost of membership as low as possible whilst fulfilling our financial obligations and ensuring that we do not incur a loss at the end of year. This invariably carries some risk. This and next years’ budgets have come under significant pressure and there are two main reasons for this - Insurance Claims and Membership Numbers.

Insurance Claims

Our annual insurance premium totals almost £400,000 (around 1/3 of our total expenditure). If our record of insurance claims is below a certain threshold we receive a rebate from the underwriter. This can be likened to a No-Claims Discount on car insurance. In recent years the rebate has exceeded £30,000 and budgets have been set on the assumption that this sum will be forthcoming. The 2017 figure (paid in this financial year) was £3,000 lower than anticipated and we have been warned by our insurers that we may not reach the threshold for any rebate for 2018. This is due to a significant increase in the number and cost of claims as Manny has explained in more detail in his Chacksfield Chat column in the forthcoming issue of the BMFA NEWS. It’s also possible that premiums could rise as a consequence.

Membership

The BMFA’s primary source of income is membership fees and assumptions have to be made on the likely number of members when setting each year’s budget. There is always some turnover of members but usually the number of joiners roughly equates to those who don’t renew. At the end of 2017 our membership stood at 35,200. The current budget anticipated a small drop to 35,000. However, whilst renewals have stayed largely the same and the number of registered clubs has actually risen, fewer new people have joined and we are likely to finish the year at little more than 34,000. At £34 per member this makes a big hole in what should have been a balanced budget. With fewer members there are some savings on insurance premiums, printing and distribution costs but the net impact will be in the region of £20,000. Although we have significantly stepped up our PR this year in an effort to attract new members we can’t guarantee that the downward trend in membership, in which the BMFA is not alone, will not continue. If every club recruited just one more member we would stem the tide!

CARPERFECT12/09/2018 23:54:13
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Faced with the prospect of fewer members, no insurance rebate and with the requirement to offset the expected loss in the current financial year (and a small deficit from the previous year), we still have to balance the budget. We have looked closely at all of our expenditure and opportunities have been taken to make savings. However, in order to ensure that we remain ‘in the black’ the Council will be proposing to the AGM that Senior membership increases to £38. At just 73 pence per week, we believe that this still represents excellent value; the increase of £4 is little more than the price of a pint of beer. Remember, BMFA membership is not just about insurance: the support that we offer both to individual members and clubs when needed can be of huge importance. Furthermore, without our strength in numbers and reputation gained over many years giving us credibility when negotiating with regulators in both the UK and Europe, our freedom to enjoy our sport in the way we do now would almost certainly have been curtailed by legislation.

Keith Lomax FSMAE Ian Pallister FSMAE

Honorary Treasurer Chairman

CARPERFECT12/09/2018 23:56:56
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The bit in the middle about only being £20,000 short fall. 35,000 x 4 = £140,000 ? So why do we need an extra £120,000 ?

JOHN MOSLEY 213/09/2018 06:34:30
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Just a point to note some people are members of more that one club. Sound to good for club numbers but poor for BMFA. Anyway the increase is a sensible amount and is still good value for money. Just check your car insurance etc to see how insurance us costing more due to the claims made. As modellers if you don't want to pay more be careful how and where you fly, don't fly over cars and road.

The Wright Stuff13/09/2018 08:47:33
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Posted by CARPERFECT on 12/09/2018 23:56:56:

The bit in the middle about only being £20,000 short fall. 35,000 x 4 = £140,000 ? So why do we need an extra £120,000 ?

I suspect that there are four elements to this:

  1. Economics can be complicated. We are shown only a much simplified version of the numbers. There is likely to be more to it than we generally appreciate (or 'need to know'.
  2. The £20,000 shortfall is for the one year, there is also a need to repay deficits from previous years.
  3. The £4 may well be 'haggled back' to £2 or £1 at the AGM, hence the initial proposal is more than actually needed.
  4. Of course, it may be that the subs increase itself affects the numbers renewing, so that the £20,000 is based on renewal rates at the current £34.

Edited By The Wright Stuff on 13/09/2018 08:48:37

Andy Meade13/09/2018 10:20:33
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That's exactly the point I was trying to make! Commercial operators are taking advantage of the BMFA's "free" certification scheme rather than pay for a proper commercial course.

Pete

I take issue with this - it's not true. To be a commercial operator you will need a completely different insurance, which requires paperwork from your CAA approved NQE. A BMFA A, B, or C cert will not suffice.

Piers Bowlan13/09/2018 10:46:39
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I won't lose sleep over the £4 rise personally but if you want to attract more members putting up the subs by 12% doesn't seem the most effective way of doing it. So next year, less people join and so the subs rise again +12%, and repeat...you can see where I am going with this.

It would be interesting to hear what the total insurance claims were last year and more significantly what proportion was damage to members cars? It struck me as odd that members of a MFC, close to where I used to live, parked their cars next to the pits rather than at a respectable distance. Their shiny motors always looked very vulnerable to me, but it's OK as they are insured by the BMFA! I wonder how far away they would park their cars if they had to claim off their own motor insurance policy if their car was damaged by an errant model aeroplane. I guess the BMFA think it is OK because that is 'what they have always done'! It would be interesting to see how the insurance premiums might fall if members cars were not covered by BMFA insurance, assuming that claims for damage to members cars is a significant part of total claims. Less risk=lower premiums= less deficit at the end of the year for the BMFA.

I noticed while I was at Cosford this year that the flightline was some distance from parked cars yes.

I too think that the BMFA is doing a great job regarding negotiating with the CAA/D of T/EASA et all, but I don't think that is connected with the reason why they are running a deficit.

The Wright Stuff13/09/2018 10:51:37
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Posted by Piers Bowlan on 13/09/2018 10:46:39:

I wonder how far away they would park their cars if they had to claim off their own motor insurance policy if their car was damaged by an errant model aeroplane. I guess the BMFA think it is OK because that is 'what they have always done'! It would be interesting to see how the insurance premiums might fall if members cars were not covered by BMFA insurance, assuming that claims for damage to members cars is a significant part of total claims. Less risk=lower premiums= less deficit at the end of the year for the BMFA.

It's not quite true to say that members' cars are covered. Damage repair WOULD be paid by the car insurance in the first instance. The BMFA insurance only kicks in as third party liability, so there is no guarantee that the car repairs would be covered (in fact, I'm sure that many claims would be rejected). All that is covered is the eventuality that a member is sued for the damage.

Edited By The Wright Stuff on 13/09/2018 10:52:53

john stones 113/09/2018 11:04:53
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I don't understand what can be claimed for, it's gibberish to me. Never entered my head you could claim for a model crashed into whilst in the pits, has the number of crashed models whilst being flown lessened I wonder ?

Yep I'm cynical at times. crook

Cuban813/09/2018 11:05:20
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Posted by The Wright Stuff on 13/09/2018 10:51:37:
Posted by Piers Bowlan on 13/09/2018 10:46:39:

I wonder how far away they would park their cars if they had to claim off their own motor insurance policy if their car was damaged by an errant model aeroplane. I guess the BMFA think it is OK because that is 'what they have always done'! It would be interesting to see how the insurance premiums might fall if members cars were not covered by BMFA insurance, assuming that claims for damage to members cars is a significant part of total claims. Less risk=lower premiums= less deficit at the end of the year for the BMFA.

It's not quite true to say that members' cars are covered. Damage repair WOULD be paid by the car insurance in the first instance. The BMFA insurance only kicks in as third party liability, so there is no guarantee that the car repairs would be covered (in fact, I'm sure that many claims would be rejected). All that is covered is the eventuality that a member is sued for the damage.

Edited By The Wright Stuff on 13/09/2018 10:52:53

So..... are we saying that if modeller A crashes his model into modeller B's car and causes damage, modeller A should in the first instance, report the incident to their insurer as they would on finding any other malicious or accidental damage to their parked car? The cost of the repair would then be recovered by A's insurance chasing B for the money? At which point BMFA step in and protect B from legal action.

I have witnessed a couple of damage only accidents to cars over the years and only BMFA was ever involved....confused!

I know we've had insurance explained to us quite a few times, but it's not a subject that gets retained easily, unfortunately.

I think that if you really wanted to destroy the BMFA, then removing car damage cover would do it. Be careful of what you might wish for, just to save a few pence.

Edited By Cuban8 on 13/09/2018 11:10:13

The Wright Stuff13/09/2018 11:13:51
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Posted by Cuban8 on 13/09/2018 11:05:20:

So..... are we saying that if modeller A crashes his model into modeller B's car and causes damage, modeller A should in the first instance, report the incident to their insurer as they would on finding any other malicious or accidental damage to their parked car? The cost of the repair would then be recovered by A's insurance chasing B for the money? At which point BMFA step in and protect B from legal action.

In principle, this is exactly how third party insurance should work, yes. It has to be proved that the modeller who crashed was negligent. If it was deemed to be an unavoidable accident, then no BMFA payout is required. It's the car insurance company's hard luck.

Perhaps there are short cuts applied in practice, though, like BMFA paying out in anticipation (perhaps to save legal costs) if it seems likely that a case could be brought to bear...

Nigel R13/09/2018 11:19:53
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Something to chuck in the mix.

FPVUK are, in its entirety, one man.

They don't have any of the "association" type stuff that BMFA do. No circular. No contests. No legal support for flying site problems. No codes of practice. No body of experience on "how to set up a club" or "how to make a flying field work". No achievement schemes. Just insurance. Which as I understand it, was in the first instance, a very general model type policy covering all sorts of stuff, although now it is more tailored (like the BMFA) to drones and electric flight RC kit.

And as well as insurance, the one chap who has laboured to work with CAA to do what BMFA were doing with regards to the regs.

So ulitimately, for your money, you get insurance and one man to do everything else including admin for 3k members.

At least, that's my understanding. I haven't joined. I have just dug around on some FPV forums and looked at their website. I may well be inaccurate or wrong.

Anyway, next year, for £18 more than fpvuk, in the BMFA we get an organisation that backs up clubs and their setup and running, and does a whole lot of organisiation of the hobby at a national level.

I am unsure what services and so forth the LMA provide over the insurance, I am not a member and haven't investigated. There seems to be a sense of an assoication, advice, etc. Perhaps an LMA member could chip in here.

I'll reiterate, I really think the BMFA should consider trying to merge with FPVUK. Keep FPVUK labelled up as such, but share admin and legal capabilities. We'd be better together.

David Mellor13/09/2018 11:25:51
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A Question for Carperfect:-

It is very good to see Keith Lomax and Ian Pallister interacting on this thread (as carperfect).

I know that BMFA membership is bigger than insurance.

However, insurance is vital - without it we cannot fly. And, at £400,000 it is a huge annual cost.

So my question to Carperfect is this - approximately what proportion of annual claims-cost is to BMFA members for loss caused by BMFA members?

If, as has been suggested, most of the insurance claim-costs are what you might call "friendly fire" (BMFA models damaging property owned by BMFA members), then isn't this a cost we could reduce as an alternative to increasing subscription fees?

Cuban813/09/2018 11:36:54
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Posted by The Wright Stuff on 13/09/2018 11:13:51:
Posted by Cuban8 on 13/09/2018 11:05:20:

So..... are we saying that if modeller A crashes his model into modeller B's car and causes damage, modeller A should in the first instance, report the incident to their insurer as they would on finding any other malicious or accidental damage to their parked car? The cost of the repair would then be recovered by A's insurance chasing B for the money? At which point BMFA step in and protect B from legal action.

In principle, this is exactly how third party insurance should work, yes. It has to be proved that the modeller who crashed was negligent. If it was deemed to be an unavoidable accident, then no BMFA payout is required. It's the car insurance company's hard luck.

Perhaps there are short cuts applied in practice, though, like BMFA paying out in anticipation (perhaps to save legal costs) if it seems likely that a case could be brought to bear...

From the above, then all BMFA payouts for car repairs should only be in the case of negligence? How in practice would that be determined without proper examination of an airframe and in-depth questioning of the person in question. Does this happen now? In the case of an unavoidable accident, I find it difficult to accept that an insurance company would simply laugh off the cost of the repair - also, would not the claimant then face a hike in their car premium because of the claim - an unfair loss.

Edited By Cuban8 on 13/09/2018 11:47:34

Cuban813/09/2018 11:40:11
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**LINK**

If all else fails, read the instructions wink

Edited By Cuban8 on 13/09/2018 11:41:49

David Mellor13/09/2018 11:53:27
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Cuban8, the link is useful.

It refers specifically to member-to-member claims. What I'd like to know is what proportion of our insurance claims costs is for member-to-member claims.

If our flying field is typical (it may not be), the only significant potential "targets" for accidental damage within a quarter-mile radius are ourselves (BMFA members) and our cars.

So in any imagined accident scenario, the most probable outcome would be that a BMFA member damages a BMFA member or a BMFA member's property simply because the general public is well over a quarter of a mile away and out of reach for the most part and the only other things to hit (grass and tarmac) don't matter.

The reason the question is important is that putting the car park 500 yards away (instead of 10 yards from the pilot's box) removes a big cost element as far as insurance is concerned. And the extra exercise involved in walking further would extend our lifespans......

It does seem weird to me that we are happier to continue paying out to continually fix damage that we cause to our own property than we are to fix the problem by simply putting our property (cars) out of harms way and walking a few extra yards.

 

 

 

 

Edited By David Mellor on 13/09/2018 12:05:18

Nigel R13/09/2018 12:17:25
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I suspect it is a very large portion, David.

As you say the general public are usually not close to our activities. Sheep or other livestock represent the closest living things to many sites.

Our club field is probably quite typical. Cars are parked within the field boundary. Flight line is within a few metres. Far from ideal. But many many members fly nothing but foamies.

However.

I can't decide whether foamies are more or less dangerous. They seem to go wrong rather often. There seems less care taken toward their operation too. I rarely if ever even see people running a range check let alone taking time to have a look over the servo connections and whatnot. But the supply of them is cheap and plentiful. However an individual incident involving a foamie has to be lower cost problem than a big petrol powered airframe going splat on someones brand new jag.

Erfolg13/09/2018 12:18:44
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Well then, thanks to Cuban 8, we now should know, irrespective of BMFAs advice on car park and other arrangements, if your car is damaged by a model your car insurance could well increase, as your insurance company could be covering the cost.

This should galvanize all clubs and their officials to ensure that the flight line relative to car parking, is approaching 100% safe from an errant model. All the excuses about having to walk, or the carrying of loads, should be covered by, if you insist for what ever reason, you need to drive to the flight line, all flying must halt, until your vehicle is removed to a practically safe position.

The BMFA and its insurers should then be much happier, in the lower claims that will result. Members will be happier as increases in membership fees will not be based on avoidable claims.

I have said that I am not that concerned with respect to the proposed increases, particularly in that I anticipate the bodies engaged in the formulating of all aspects of what will become the laws and regulations facing us, benefit from face to face meetings. These meetings, both formal and informal do require travel, overnight accommodation and other expenses. These processes show no sign of diminishing. Interacting with the bodies and persons does need to happen at a face to face level, to build relationships and avoid misunderstandings. Video Conference calls are only really effective when the people know each other, they are far less effective when the parties do not know each other.

I am less enthusiastic with respect to Quads than many. My reasons are in some respects similar to the CB broadcasters of the 70s. There are a significant number who operate with disregard to all UK laws and regulations, to the extent that there activities are reported as potentially live threatening.

One of the clubs where I am a member, has allowed quad racing on the field, the training of commercial drone operators. Yet I personally have observed a quad operating in the area with total disregard to the CAA regulations, sufficient to be a threat to persons and property.

In these circumstances, any relationship the BMFA has with these type of devices, is fraught with various issues. We could develop an image that we fail to control effectively the membership and seen to be defending the indefensible.

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