Some Thoughts on Liability Insurance

By Staff

During the past show season, we received several letters in our
Reflections column on the subject of liability insurance and the
financial difficulty it imposes on engine clubs. Many clubs are
able to take the cost in stride, though some actually stopped
holding shows for this reason. In our Editor’s Letter we asked
for some reader response on the issue, and questioned whether some
kind of national organization could be formed to enable clubs to
qualify for a group insurance policy. What follows are excerpts
from the response, and our conclusions.

Jack Versteeg, president of the National Early Day Gas Engine
and Tractor Association, wrote to say that he has been working for
some time to try to get a national policy for his group, which
currently has 21 branches. He suggests that possibly if more clubs
affiliated with NEDGE&TA, such a group policy could become a
reality.

‘I have found out,’ he writes, ‘that one of the
requirements of the insurance industry will be a strong set of
safety rules, such as stringent boiler inspections on the steam
side, guard ropes around a gas engine display, alcohol on show
grounds (none). Other factors to be considered are: type of show,
steam alone, gas alone or both, where held, own show grounds,
public park, fairgrounds or what.’

Jack adds that the monitoring of such a group policy will be
quite a task with a lot of paper work. He promises to keep us
informed of his group’s progress in seeking their policy.

Mark Rembis of 2190 Buford-Bardwell Rd. in Mt. Orab, Ohio 45154
wrote to tell us about another organization he belongs to which has
the kind of national federation which engine clubs might consider.
He collects antique fire apparatus, and is secretary-treasurer of
the Miles Greenwood Historical Fire Apparatus Society, in
Cincinnati. This club is a chapter of the Society for the
Preservation and Appreciation of Antique Fire Apparatus in America,
which is headquartered in Syracuse, New York. Chapters may enroll
in a national liability insurance program which covers all
activities at a very reasonable rate.

Dave Semmel of Box 385 RD # 1, Pine St., Slatington, PA 18080 is
an engine collector with other interests as well. He belongs to
several Antique Auto Clubs which issue charters to regional clubs.
The small newly formed engine club he belongs to was able to get
the necessary liability coverage locally this year.

Richard Fourez, RR 2, Box 53A, Potomac, IL 61865, treasurer of
the I & I Antique Tractor and Gas Engine Club, told what we
imagined was a somewhat typical story. The club, which has 35
members and is 9 years old, has never had an accident or injury of
any type. This year, when it was time to renew their policy,
members were asked for detailed information on their various
events. The result was a premium that was twice the annual income,
and rather than pay it, they cut their participation to a
minimum.

Richard and members of his club agreed that some kind of a
national organization would be a help to them, and that more
dissemination of safety information could be another function of
such a group.

Wayne Schmidt, secretary of the Grease, Steam and Rust
Association, P.O. Box 29, McConnellsburg, PA 17233 reported that
his club supports efforts to find a solution to the liability
insurance situation which has become a problem for his group as
well.

John White, president of J. L. White Insurance, 156 Main St.,
Middleburgh, NY 12122 is treasurer of the Hudson-Mohawk Chapter,
PGEA and is an insurance broker by profession. He thinks the
concept of a national organization has tremendous potential,
‘not only for group insurance but also group purchasing of many
goods and services.’

John has offered to help in any way he can to further the
interests ‘of this great fraternity dedicated to the
restoration and preservation of rural America’s power and
machinery of yesteryear.’

Our conclusion is, for the moment, that it might be a good idea
to wait to hear more from Jack Versteeg about his efforts to get a
policy for the NEDGE&TA. Considering that we send solicitations
for directory listings each year to over 500 clubs and museums, the
fact that we heard from only six may indicate that the need for
some kind of national organization is not seen as pressing or
critical at this time. Or, it may just mean our Editor’s
Letter is not widely read!

Our thanks to those of you who wrote, and we’ll follow up in
the future, when there is more to report.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines