Special Stage Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
JVL, per your suggestion I have done some research and managed to speak with some key people and underwriters that were generous with their time to answer my questions on this critical topic. I suspect that I was not able to find out anything that many of you probably already know, but here is what I have found out (please let me know if you feel I do not have correct information):

1) Rally competitions both global and in the U.S. are all facing serious insurance pressure to address the primary concern of liability suits stemming from lack of consistent spectator area control.

Don't fool yourself by thinking that U.K., Ireland, Australia and others are not facing the same insurance issues. I've read various comments on sponsor support relating to poorly attended rallies due to "contained" spectator areas - Alas, this is probably a direct response to demands by insurance carriers. (How about a camera inside the leading competitors cars, that's what makes it so much fun to watch on speed, the arials are cool, but I personally enjoy the "inside" view with the navvie comments. How about you?)

Spectator area control is a very big concern for underwriters.

2) Lack of "consistent" Control Protocol from one rally to the next because local control volunteers do not have a chance to become proficient and effective since they typically only work one rally per year.

After speaking with one underwriter I found that the rally competition I volunteered at was exemplary in following recommended proceedures, but he pointed out there are still many rallies he has attended that do not follow these proceedure and found spectators driving against rally traffic just minutes before a stage was to start. One of your spectators could be an underwriter observing your event for risk evaluation!

3) Competitors and Organizers extend the event liability risk when their actions are deemed irresponsible even before and after the event has taken place.

One organizer was found driving at excessive speeds (almost racing speeds) prior to the event which caused a pending claim. Another incident involved a competitor driving the rally competition car after the event that also caused a pending claim.

4) Competitor claims are escalating for bodily injury and medical claims.


For my two cents worth, it would be worthwhile to place a task force in place that will come up with some real solutions to these objections, solutions that will show factual results=LESS CLAIMS ARISING FROM RALLIES by strict adhearance to standard proceedures.

Incidently, driver training and licensing was a concern, but much less than the ones listed above and one that is easily addressed.

*** Please don't read anything negative directed at anyone specifically, as no names were mentioned regarding these specific examples. Strict confidentiality was respected. As an insurance agent, I am very mindful of individual's privacy.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, understand that while I am very new to this great community of rally enthusiasts, my only intention is to be useful by bringing you information that will hopefully help you understand that each and every one of you can affect the future of rally in America by the choices you make when you race, when you volunteer and when you organize. While I personally have been impressed with the local club and organizers, appearantly from someone else's perspective, that is not always the case at other locations.

I look forward to many more rallies that will be safe for all to enjoy! :)


Femme

"If you drive in the right lane and it's too slow, move to the left"
;)
 

·
400 flat to crest
Joined
·
5,777 Posts
Thanks mary,
some specific deatils of just what Insurance Underwriters concerns are is just the sort of thing that is needed for meaningful discussions about how to keep them happy.

Intersting to see that they didn't have any big concerns about the relatively un-trained nature of the people in the cars which has generated so much words and detail palns here.

Thanks!
And anybody else have any comments on these details?





John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat!
Vive Le Groupe F!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
410 Posts
>Intersting to see that they didn't have any big concerns
>about the relatively un-trained nature of the people in the
>cars which has generated so much words and detail palns
>here.


This months Grassroots Motorsports has an interview with Sue Robinson that also states that the major insurance concern is spectator control and potential for spectator injuries. The experience level of drivers was not mentioned as an insurance concern to the best of my memory.


Matt Smith
www.fireantracing.com
Viva NASA Rallysport
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
789 Posts
>And anybody else have any comments on these details?


Sure John--A good part is just what I have been saying for the last couple of months: the insurers are most concerned about liability for claims brought by people not on waivers--spectators (you could also add in civilian traffic on transits and property damage to owners) and less concerned about what participants drive on the stages or how they drive on stages (novices, etc.).

That is why I find all the chatter about novice training, vehicle restrictions, vehicle build rules and a points system for licenses (to punish crashing), unfortunately, somewhat off the mark.

The tough question are how to eliminate spectator issues and keeping very limited transit mileage.
 

·
5 right opens
Joined
·
859 Posts
>The tough question are how to eliminate spectator issues and
>keeping very limited transit mileage.


Well, there you went and said it... now all we have to look forward to is Stadium Racing.

Seriously, if it all boils down to spectator liability than either...

We don't have any spectating (in which case stage rally is dead)

or

We run in Stadiums, behind fences or in closed "super stage" venues (in which case stage rally is dead).

Spectators are the main reason why teams get sponsors. Without anyone seeing what we are doing, then how do the sponsors benefit?

With no ill intent... ask yourself why NASCAR is so popular.

Sponsors drive the sport and without eyeballs on the cars and butts in the seats...

Well, I guess that leaves us with Stadium Rally then.

Or does it?

Scott -
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't believe it has to be one extreme or another (no control vs stadium crowds). They are looking for more CONTROL, Better Trained Crews That Are Able To Control the Crowds And the Roads and More Knowledeable of Protocol Proceedures With Tight Adherence to That Protocol. IF IT IS SOUNDING LIKE THE POLICE ENFORCEMENT, I DO THINK THAT WOULD HELP.

(edited to take caps off, I got carried away thinking it would be easier to see-sorry-I wasn't hollering honest :+ )

Current volunteer crews just don't know what to do if a spectator decides to run through the barrier to get a better view or a better picture shot, or worse, sneak their car in to get to the site as they are running late! Yeap, guess who saw it happen. An insurance rep. Waivers may help, but legally they won't make Rally immune to serious claims and law suits. Are there any attorneys here that are members that can comment or input a correct interpretation on signed waivers?

One comment someone said was that there just wasn't enough time to go through and find the best possible location for spectator appeal. And that is the truth, you guys and gals work for months and then for weeks go get little sleep and you do it all on your personal time. I really can really appreciate that you are already streched mighty thin, so this is not meant as a dig at all. We just have to get you more community support to commit to helping rally events become more popular. Did you see the Rally New York article that was posted? What's good for Rally is good for local biz owners too. Should there be more advertising and recruiting be on the early planning agenda's.

You know what spectators want to see, you know what sponsors want to see and now you know what underwriters want to see. Yes it will be difficult to keep everyone happy, but I don't believe it is impossible, it will just take more effort.

O.K. I think I've ranted enough insurance for today. You have my support and respect for rally. Please let me know if I can be of any help.


Femme :)

"If everyone is going the other way, stop! and turn around!"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Awww Shucks Charlie, I not the kind of gal to kiss and tell:+

Besides, if'n I told ya, you'd probably burst my bubble and tell they weren't so great and yours was better. And then I'd have to start another research project. "he said, she said"

Honestly, by looks of the pics and the live updates I read avidly on the RA site, I sure wish I coulda, woulda been at LSPR! I'm sorry I missed it. :-(

Joeg,

Crash and Pay was my bright idear, Sorry, I plead temporary ignorance and I'm sticking to it. Driver training/licensing is still an issue, it's just that it plays a smaller part than I originally thought. It is assumed that rally community and RA is going to standardize (SP?) and implement changes in the near future. So it is still something that needs to be followed through on.

Thanks for your input and patience as we try to find real solutions to this dilema.

Femme

"Green Light, Go!...Red Light, Stop!...Yella Light, Go FASTER!"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
How do "the Press" fit into all this? Why do we let Press people walk up and down a Hot stage? Wouldn't they be considered a liability too? I've chased more than one photographer out of a bad spot just to have them walk down the Hot stage to who knows where.
I know no one is going to like me saying it, but I think we need to have more limitations on the Press. No one should be able to walk down a Hot stage. Yes, it does make press coverage more difficult but killing a Press person is just as bad as killing a spectator. Yes, they sign a waiver, but try to explain that to the next of kin's lawyer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
926 Posts
Press

From my experience as a worker I found there is press then there is press.

One kind isnt familiar with rally, is often from a local news outlet and has only his news ID. These people do need to be treated much like a spectator because they cant be trusted to know enough to stay out of the way. At MFR and STPR we were instructed to marshall them like any spectator.

The other is the kind that shows up with the sanctioning bodies press ID. These guys cover more events than any of us workers, maybe more than most entrants and know a lot about rally including how to take care of themselves and not create a hazard. If they had the SCCA Press ID, we were instructed to let them move about as they wished. I have worked near several at both MFR and STPR and never saw one do something stupid. Yes I see them moving down a stage on foot, but I also see them getting off the road before the next car approaches and they are astute enough to realize when a second car is close on the heels of the first and to not junp out on the road. As far as I am concerned giving them free reign is apropriate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
Thanks for the information Mary. What your reporting is what I've heard from many other sources.

Did I miss something of this nature being reported earlier on this forum? It certainly helps to have facts to base why things are proposed and happening rather then "We feel blah blah".
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top