what's goin' on here? (insurance carrier shuts down gun club)


Angus Lincoln
September 15, 2004, 10:45 PM
I went to my shooting club/range today, only to find that it had been shut down without any notification.after making some inquiries I learned that it had to cease shooting activities because it's insurance carrier would no longer cover them.I live in northern New Hampshire which is a fairly liberal in terms of gun control.Does this situation occur from time to time regarding ranges and thier liability coverage?My worst fear is that some anti gun group is trying to shut downmy gun club by pressuring insurance companies to avoid coverage to such clubs.Am I paranoid?:confused: :fire: :cuss: :scrutiny:

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September 15, 2004, 11:05 PM

joe sixpack
September 15, 2004, 11:31 PM
Welcome to THR anyways!

cheers. ab

Angus Lincoln
September 16, 2004, 10:17 AM
Thanks for the reply guy's but with all due respect, I was kinda hopin' for more than 3 syllables!Guess I'll just keep my fingers crossed in regards to my gun club gettin' some insurance.:banghead:

September 16, 2004, 10:33 AM
Angus, I think my first call would be to a club officer or director. It's their responsiblility (obligation ot the members) to be sure business such as insurance is taken care of. Short of anything else, call NRA and tell them to put you in touch with the company that they endorse for this function. sundog

George S.
September 16, 2004, 10:49 AM
Insurance companies can pretty much withdraw coverages at their will. If the company is thinking that the end of the AWB may cause "potential" problems with people taking rifles with high velocity capability to the range, then they are simply covering their assets. While that sort of thinking is clearly wrong, as the chances are that your members have been shooting high-powered rifles all the time, the insurance industry is still about profit for them as opposed to actually protecting their insureds from any harm.

The club officers should have been notified by mail that the coverage was cancelled. It would be interesting to see if the company stated any specific reasons for the cancellation. Does New Hampshire have a state agency that deals with insurance regulation? The club officers should contact them to find out what can be done and whether or not the insurance company acted within state laws in cancelling the coverage. In any event, the officers should be working to resolve the problem, so you should contact them for information. Does the club hold regular meetings? You might request that a special meeting of the membership be convened to discuss the issue.

The NRA would be a good source for finding a new company to provide insurance coverage, but the chances are that the premiums could be higher. Some companies will charge much more for coverage when the find that an individual or company has had insurance cancelled regardless of a reason.

September 16, 2004, 10:56 AM
We ahd a similar situation here but the range didn't shut dowm. there are only two ranges close enough to drive to and one of them had a man rent a gun and kill himself at the range. The insurance went through the roof and they had to stop renting guns. The other range had the same insurance and also stopped renting guns.

September 16, 2004, 12:48 PM
while insurance laws do vary from state to state, i'd bet that one of two things happened at your gunclub angus.

one, the policy was freshly in force, and the company pulled out within the time frame law allows them to, for any or no reason whatsoever, typically 30 days from the inception date of the policy. normally it is done if a review of the underwriting information for the account (signed applications, inspections, etc) reveals more risks/hazards than they company originally agreed to cover.

the second option is that the company knew ahead of time that they didnt want to renew the policy, so they would send out a 'notice of nonrenewal', and the law gives the insured enough time on it to find coverage elsewhere. if this happened, then either the gunclub didnt take it too seriously and is apathetic to keeping the range open, or there arent any companies willing to write the risk.

its getting more difficult for 'admitted' insurance carriers to write so-called "volatile" risks.
(an Admitted carrier is a company that has filed all their Loss Cost Multipliers and underwriting guidelines with the state they are doing business in. a Non-Admitted carrier is one that doesnt file any LCM's or guidelines and can pretty much charge whatever they want. There has to be good reasons why an insured would only have non-admitted markets available to it, such as being denied from three admitted carriers.)

the company i work for underwrites an Izaak Walton range, but all we cover is their property, no liability.

i can understand why obtaining insurance for a gun range is difficult. suppose someone has a ND that kills another person. suppose it is a range officer that has the ND. the family of the victim could sue the gunrange. insurance companies know that wrongful death suits are multimillion dollar losses, after settlements and lawyer fees are calculated.
it would only take one such loss for the policy's typical limits to be exhausted: $2,000,000 general aggregate, $1,000,000 occurrence.
if the insured has an umbrella or excess policy the limits would be higher.

September 16, 2004, 01:32 PM
they are simply covering their assets.
More like Covering there Backsides...:rolleyes:

September 16, 2004, 03:02 PM
Definitely call your directors to find out exactly what happened, but also contact the NRA. They will assist in obtaining insurance. Good luck.

September 16, 2004, 06:44 PM
Ric: That is as wrong as it can be, insurance going up because of a suicide. We really need lawsuit protection laws.

September 17, 2004, 08:05 AM

I agree completely. No range close enough to drive to that rents guns. They both are nice ranges and I shoot league at them but they no longer rent.

Damn shame

Ex-MA Hole
September 17, 2004, 08:16 AM

What club?

Where in NH do you live?

I belong to Pioneer in Dunbarton.

Angus Lincoln
September 17, 2004, 11:18 AM
Wow! Thanks for all the input guys.I continue to be amazed at the amount of good,helpful and friendly advice given by the fraternity of gun owners.Here's what I was able to find out after reaching the the range officer by phone.(btw, this fish and game club is in Madison,nh, a simple outdoor range w/ an adjacent trout pond. no indoor range and no gun rentals)I didn't get a reason for why the ins. co. discontinued thier coverage.I'm not sure that he knew either.He did tell me that new coverage would be activated in a day or two.I was curious as to how much the annual premium would be, expecting some sort of astronomical figure. He said around 2800.00.He also said that in the 25-30 years that the club has exsisted there has never been an accident.I intend to be at the next club meeting maybe I can get some more info.Thanks for taking the time to reply.I guess the paranoid feelings are gone but I can't shake the skeptical feeling:scrutiny:

Jim K
September 17, 2004, 11:51 AM
Hi, Angus,

Might I suggest that, as a member of the club, you attend club meetings and have input to their doings. One problem with many clubs is that those who are willing to do a bit of work are elected as officers year after year and tend to become complacent, while meeting attendance is near zero.

Go to the meetings, participate, even run for office. Get your friends involved. Discuss issues like insurance, gun rental, instructions, etc. Recommend the club set up a "calling tree" or a web site where members can get info of importance to the club.


September 17, 2004, 09:02 PM
YOUR SPEAKING THE TRUTH Jim Keenan!!!!!!!!!!

You forgot the part about those same elected individuals doing the lionshare of work while the ones that show up to hunt or shoot once in a blue moon bitch and complain about "Why did "X" not get done." or "Why did you pass "X" law."



Angus Lincoln
September 17, 2004, 11:20 PM
I think you are right Ray.Participation in club activites and attending meetings would be the proper road to take.In my case, time available to me is very limited;my job commits me to working during the times that club meetings and events are held excepting certain times of the year. The course of events that led to the closing of my club caused me to be concerned about external influences affecting my club more than some type of internal neglect.I was very happy to learn that the range would be back open in a day or two.I''ve been a member all of4 months and bought a junior membership for my son. The place is great and from what I've seen so far,is very well maintained and very well organized by a group of guys and women who have been at it for quite some time.I look foreward to the the days when I'm able to be more help to them. In the meantime I'll be working o.t. so I can afford more ammo;) Thanks for your time and thoughts

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