BMC individual subs: continued rise

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Allan Gould, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. Allan Gould

    Allan Gould Guest

    Just seen my BMC sub rise again to £25 this year. In the last couple of years, it seems to have gone
    up significantly.

    08-Apr-1997 14.00 09-Mar-1998 15.00 08-Mar-1999 15.00 08-Mar-2000 17.00 08-Mar-2001 18.00 08-Mar-
    2002 19.50 10-Feb-2003 22.50 09-Feb-2004 25.00

    I have a hunch this might just be due to increased costs of the included insurance. I like what the
    BMC does and want to support its work, but do not wish to be locked into costs associated with
    rising litigation & insurance claims passed off as subscription increases (not to mention lining the
    pockets of the people profiting therefrom). I don't actually need much of the insurance (mostly a
    walker). If the insurance element is the cause of the recent rises, isn't it time that these were
    uncoupled and members were allowed to choose their insurance, rather than dragged along on the
    increasingly expensive (compulsory?) insurance bandwagon?

    If it wasn't for the gear & magazine subscription discounts, which make the sub a reasonable
    proposition, it would have been 'adieu' some time ago.

    Allan
     
    Tags:


  2. Paul Lydon

    Paul Lydon Guest

    On Tue, 24 Feb 2004 17:27:58 +0000, Allan Gould
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >Just seen my BMC sub rise again to £25 this year. In the last couple of years, it seems to have
    >gone up significantly.
    [snip]
    >I have a hunch this might just be due to increased costs of the included insurance.

    Insurance premiums probably has got something to do with it. I am also a very active caver and like
    most cavers have Third-Party Liability insurance arranged through the caving equivalent of the BMC.

    Not only have premiums have greatly increased in the last couple of years (despite there never
    having been any claims made), we (cavers) also had fun and games with previous Insurers refusing to
    renew policies and making stipulations on numbers insured, etc. The numbers involved (~6,000 cavers)
    mean that income from premiums is not all that great when compared to a possible single payout in
    the hundreds of thousand if not millions. The BMC has much more clout in this respect as it has
    probably 10 times as many paid up members as does the equivalent caving organisation.

    What did come out of all the chaos of trying to get TPL re-arranged when it expired the end of last
    year was just how it did indeed matter.

    Access to most caves in one caving area was withdrawn. Committees of National organisations had to
    resign officially in case of any uninsured litigation.

    Unlike walking on Public Footpaths where you have a right of access, access to caves usually
    involves an access agreement with the landowner and many insist on TPL cover.

    It is not immediately obvious where TPL insurance affects walkers. One area where it may impinge on
    walkers is in the case of Clubs where there is always a TPL aspect and Club Officers may need TLP
    insurance. There my be other areas where TPL insurance matters even for walkers.

    Or it maybe that walkers and rock climbers are lumped together in the BMC scheme?

    Anybody else know?

    Just my 0.02p's worth.
    --
    Paul Lydon Winster, Derbyshire, UK
     
  3. Duncan Gray

    Duncan Gray Guest

    "Paul Lydon" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Tue, 24 Feb 2004 17:27:58 +0000, Allan Gould <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >
    > >Just seen my BMC sub rise again to £25 this year. In the last couple of years, it seems to have
    > >gone up significantly.
    > [snip]
    > >I have a hunch this might just be due to increased costs of the included insurance.
    >
    > Insurance premiums probably has got something to do with it. I am also a very active caver and
    > like most cavers have Third-Party Liability insurance arranged through the caving equivalent of
    > the BMC.
    >
    > Not only have premiums have greatly increased in the last couple of years (despite there never
    > having been any claims made), we (cavers) also had fun and games with previous Insurers refusing
    > to renew policies and making stipulations on numbers insured, etc. The numbers involved (~6,000
    > cavers) mean that income from premiums is not all that great when compared to a possible single
    > payout in the hundreds of thousand if not millions. The BMC has much more clout in this respect as
    > it has probably 10 times as many paid up members as does the equivalent caving organisation.
    >
    > What did come out of all the chaos of trying to get TPL re-arranged when it expired the end of
    > last year was just how it did indeed matter.
    >
    > Access to most caves in one caving area was withdrawn. Committees of National organisations had to
    > resign officially in case of any uninsured litigation.
    >
    > Unlike walking on Public Footpaths where you have a right of access, access to caves usually
    > involves an access agreement with the landowner and many insist on TPL cover.
    >
    > It is not immediately obvious where TPL insurance affects walkers. One area where it may impinge
    > on walkers is in the case of Clubs where there is always a TPL aspect and Club Officers may need
    > TLP insurance. There my be other areas where TPL insurance matters even for walkers.
    >
    > Or it maybe that walkers and rock climbers are lumped together in the BMC scheme?
    >
    > Anybody else know?
    >
    > Just my 0.02p's worth.

    At MCofS , where the situation is probably identical to BMC, we had a long dicuscussion on this
    topic at the last AGM. The cost of providing insurance has certainly been increased by the insurers.

    To avoid doubt anong anyone reading this who's not sure, we're not talking holiday/travel insurance
    here, but insurance against third party claims. Also, I'm writing this as an individual MCofS
    member/volunteer helper, I'm not an office bearer in any capacity.

    The insurers who provide cover to the governing bodies of sport have increased the premiums over the
    last year or two to governing bodies of sport generally. This is in the light of the Diane Modhal
    case over a disputed drugs misuse accusation which bankrupted the UK Athletics Association, and an
    earlier case by a boxer whose name I forget now, who suffered brain damage over insufficient medical
    provision provided by event organisers when somebody kept punching his head.

    In the light of the UKAA case it would be lunacy for any organisation not to obtain insurance cover
    to protect themselves.

    There are 2 main classes of membership at MCofS and presumably also BMC, individual and club.
    Affiliated clubs are covered for their activites under the insurance scheme. I feel that the clubs
    who are charged a per capita rate of insurance the same as the individual members) gain much more
    benefit than the individual members from the insurance. The clubs could be sued by (eg) persons
    injured during their outings, whereas individuals walking or climbing are probably just at risk of
    causing a rock to fall onto somebody else. For reasons mainly of practicality however, the premiums
    are spread evenly over the whole membership. Climbers, walkers and cross country skiers all have to
    pay the same.

    There's a little more background in the artice at www.mountaineering-scotland.org.uk/nl/55f.html#a3

    My attitude is that the membership fee is a price which has to be paid to have an effective
    representative body for our interests, and the insurance part of it is sadly vital in this
    increasingly litigious society.

    I could finish by pointing out that by joining the MCofS you get practically identical benefits to
    the BMC, but at a lower membership fee, and that particularly applies to all those BMC members in
    Scotland whos interests are better served by MCofS, but obviously I won't as this isn't the forum
    for such blatant advertising.

    --
    Duncan Gray

    homepage - www.duncolm.co.uk also www.mountaineering-scotland.org.uk The Mountaineering Council
    of Scotland
     
  4. Steve Pardoe

    Steve Pardoe Guest

    Hi, Duncan & all, "Duncan Gray" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    berlin.de... <snips, sorry>

    > At MCofS , where the situation is probably identical to BMC, we had a long dicuscussion on this
    > topic at the last AGM. The cost of providing
    insurance
    > has certainly been increased by the insurers.

    <snip excellent stuff, very helpful, thanks>

    > There's a little more background in the artice at www.mountaineering-
    > scotland.org.uk/nl/55f.html#a3
    >
    > My attitude is that the membership fee is a price which has to be paid to have an effective
    > representative body for our interests, and the insurance part of it is sadly vital in this
    > increasingly litigious society.

    Sadly indeed, I'm bound to agree. Our local Climbing Wall has seen a huge (IIRC, over three-fold)
    increase in its premium, and it's the same in any business, if you can get insurance at all it's
    becoming incredibly expensive.

    > I could finish by pointing out that by joining the MCofS you get
    practically
    > identical benefits to the BMC, but at a lower membership fee, and that particularly applies to all
    > those BMC members in Scotland whos interests
    are
    > better served by MCofS, but obviously I won't as this isn't the forum for such blatant
    > advertising.

    Quite ;-)

    Steve P (BMC member, who also buys specialist insurance for skiing etc through BMC)
     
  5. On Tue, 24 Feb 2004 17:27:58 +0000, Allan Gould
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >Just seen my BMC sub rise again to £25 this year.

    If you were the member of an affiliated club, then your contribution to the BMC would be £6.25. And
    you'd have the option of upgrading to full individual membership for an extra £9 (though the only
    benefit not given for the basic £6.25 is personal accident insurance). This is courtesy of the block
    votes cast at the EGM last year by the big clubs (FRCC, CC, AC, etc).

    You may or may not feel that this stinks...
     
  6. Allan Gould

    Allan Gould Guest

    > You may or may not feel that this stinks...

    That would be about the size of it...

    There might be two issues here:
    a) the clubs' block vote vs individual members (ongoing, viz EGM 2003)
    b) the "compulsory" insurance increase in the subs

    Allan
     
  7. Roger

    Roger Guest

    The message <[email protected]>
    from Allan Gould <[email protected]> contains
    these words:

    > There might be two issues here:
    > a) the clubs' block vote vs individual members (ongoing, viz EGM 2003)
    > b) the "compulsory" insurance increase in the subs

    The BMC was formed as an organization for clubs, not individuals, so it is not surprising that it is
    the clubs that have the clout. I don't know when individual members were first recruited but I have
    a BMC circular dating from 1970 which refers to them as 'Associate Members'. Said circular (on the
    Glen Brittle Memorial Hut) also implies that the Scottish collaborator in the hut, then known as the
    A.S.C.C. (Association of Scottish Climbing Clubs), had no individual members at the time.

    --

    Roger
     
  8. On Thu, 26 Feb 2004 16:36:04 GMT, Roger <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >
    >The BMC was formed as an organization for clubs, not individuals, so it is not surprising that it
    >is the clubs that have the clout.

    Indeed it did. But that was then, and this is now (as they say). Apparently the proposed figures for
    next year are a bit more equitable, but still involve an IM sub of £27.50.
     
  9. Mike Clark

    Mike Clark Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Allan Gould
    <URL:mailto:[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > Just seen my BMC sub rise again to £25 this year. In the last couple of years, it seems to have
    > gone up significantly.
    >
    > 08-Apr-1997 14.00 09-Mar-1998 15.00 08-Mar-1999 15.00 08-Mar-2000 17.00 08-Mar-2001 18.00 08-Mar-
    > 2002 19.50 10-Feb-2003 22.50 09-Feb-2004 25.00
    >
    > I have a hunch this might just be due to increased costs of the included insurance. I like what
    > the BMC does and want to support its work, but do not wish to be locked into costs associated with
    > rising litigation & insurance claims passed off as subscription increases (not to mention lining
    > the pockets of the people profiting therefrom). I don't actually need much of the insurance
    > (mostly a walker). If the insurance element is the cause of the recent rises, isn't it time that
    > these were uncoupled and members were allowed to choose their insurance, rather than dragged along
    > on the increasingly expensive (compulsory?) insurance bandwagon?
    >
    > If it wasn't for the gear & magazine subscription discounts, which make the sub a reasonable
    > proposition, it would have been 'adieu' some time ago.
    >
    > Allan
    >

    The insurance is complicated by several factors.

    Firstly if you are a member of a club then you most likely need insurance for your liabilities as a
    member. Many people don't realise that all members of a club are liable for a proportion of the
    clubs financial liabilities. Thus for example if your club makes a substantial booking for a social
    meet that goes wrong, or there is a fire or accident in a hotel/bar where you are holding a meeting,
    then all the members of the club are liable for a share of the costs, even if you weren't present at
    the time. These types of insurance liabilities have little to do with climbing, but are inherent in
    any organised club activity.

    Secondly there are the climbing specific risks such as accidental injury caused to a third party
    e.g. through causing loose rock to fall, or by failing to belay properly, or through equipment
    failure or failure to offer correct guidance.

    Then there are personal insurance risks, such as injury or the need for a payment to cover rescue
    costs. The above two insurance liabilities are relevant to most club members, but these later
    personal and rescue liabilities are relevant to only some members.

    On top of this the rules governing insurance companies have changed such that they need to prove
    that they hold substantially higher assets to cover the risks that they are insuring. Unfortunately
    many insurance company assets are tied to stock market valuation so they have in fact fallen. This
    means that insurance companies can't insure the same volume of risks that they used to. Thus many
    insurance companies are withdrawing from specialist markets such as caving and climbing, in order to
    concentrate on their core business areas of car, home and holiday travel insurance.

    Mike
    --
    o/ \\ // || ,_ o Mike Clark, "An antibody engineer who also <\__,\\ // __o || / /\, likes the
    mountains" "> || _`\<,_ // \\ \> | Cambridge Climbing and Caving Club ` || (_)/ (_) // \\ \_
    <URL:http://www.path.cam.ac.uk/~mrc7/cccc/
     
  10. Mike Clark

    Mike Clark Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Simon Caldwell
    <URL:mailto:[email protected]> wrote:
    > On Thu, 26 Feb 2004 16:36:04 GMT, Roger <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >
    > >The BMC was formed as an organization for clubs, not individuals, so it is not surprising that it
    > >is the clubs that have the clout.
    >
    > Indeed it did. But that was then, and this is now (as they say). Apparently the proposed figures
    > for next year are a bit more equitable, but still involve an IM sub of £27.50.
    >

    But the numbers of members are difficult to gauge. I am a member of two clubs (CCCC and AC) both of
    which are affiliated to the BMC and I pay membership fees through both clubs. I am also an
    individual member, thus the BMC currently collect three payments from me and probably list me three
    times in their records. In future years I will try to make use of the special upgrade for affiliated
    club members.

    Mike <URL:http://www.path.cam.ac.uk/~mrc7/>
    --
    o/ \\ // |\ ,_ o Mike Clark <\__,\\ // __o | \ / /\, "A mountain climbing, cycling, skiing, "> ||
    _`\<,_ |__\ \> | immunology lecturer, antibody engineer and ` || (_)/ (_) | \corn computer user"
     
  11. >insurance for your liabilities as a member. Many people
    >don't realise that all members of a club are liable for a
    >proportion of the clubs financial liabilities.

    That is normally only the case if the club is dissolved.
     
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