Insurance FAQ - August 2012
This Insurance FAQ is to try and answer some of the many questions that the new insurance policy has engendered.
A number of significant changes to our indemnity and event membership policies and procedures are required as a result of the new insurance policy. The new policy is with a different company because this was the best deal the Board of SCA Ltd could find. The changes that we have to make now are not the result of changing insurers, they are a result of changes to the insurance system within Australia caused by changes to Australian Law that came in earlier this year.
The changes below effect Australian members only and any SCA or affiliate members travelling in Australia.
Why do we need to sign indemnities?
Our insurance company requires us to sign indemnities. It is a condition written into our insurance policy. The insurance agent is well aware that an individual cannot sign away their rights, however they can signify intent and acknowledge the danger of any activities that they are undertaking. Indemnities are requested to be part of our insurance process for this reason.
How will our current indemnity policy change?
There are three changes that will happen from September 1:
1. Our insurer has decided that indemnities must be done at all SCA events and activities.
2. Six-month indemnities are no longer allowed. Everyone must sign a member sign in sheet or an indemnity at each and every SCA event or activity.
3. Member without card indemnities are no longer allowed. Members who cannot prove they have a valid membership must sign non-member indemnities and pay an Event Membership.
How much is the new Event Membership fee?
The Event Membership charge is $5.00. This includes GST.
When does the new Event Membership charge start?
Collection of this money starts on the 1st of September 2012. We were given a grace period of two months in which to implement this change so that we could put appropriate processes in place.
What does the Event Membership entitle people to do?
Event Members can participate in everything at an event or activity exactly as a subscribing member would. They can participate in any marshallate activity they are authorised for. Event members can continue to do work such as constable shifts, marshallate activities and heralding so long as they have paid an Event Membership and are not required to act as an officer outside the event they are an Event Member for. So they can marshal on the field but not be marshal-in-charge since that would require reporting after the event.
When does the Event Membership charge apply?
The new Event Membership charge applies to every SCA event and activity.
What about demos?
For the SCA in Australia demos count as events and so all of our participants must be subscribing members of SCA Ltd or Event Members who have signed indemnities and paid the Event Membership fee. For members of the public, they must sign indemnities and pay an Event Membership fee if (and only if) they participate in any SCA activity. Holding a sword to look at it is not participation, swinging that sword at a pell is participation. Holding a bow is not participation, drawing it is.
What about free or “by donation” events?
Events can still be free or by donation for subscribing members of SCA Ltd. However, our insurers still require us to pay them for insuring any non-members present, therefore Event Membership fees must be collected at all events and activities even if there is no other charge for the event. The group can’t pay for memberships from group funds as that compromises our non-profit status so groups can’t cover the fee.
Do we have to charge the Event Membership for every day of a multi-day event or just once for the whole event?
Just once for the whole event. Originally we were requested to pay a Day Membership fee, which would have meant charging non-members for every day of a multi-day event. However with further negotiation this was changed to an Event Membership fee.
What about unofficial activities?
There are no unofficial SCA activities. If people choose to do things with their friends in their own time, they do not have to comply with any SCA rules, even if the things they do are SCA-like, but they must be careful to avoid giving the impression that what they are doing is SCA-sanctioned and these things will certainly not have SCA insurance cover.
Who does this new Event Membership charge apply to?
Our insurance requires that SCA Ltd pay the insurer for everyone who is not a current subscribing member of SCA Ltd who is present at any SCA event or activity.
Do children need to pay the Event Membership?
Yes. All minors (of whatever age) as well as adults must have indemnities signed (by their parent or guardian) and pay the Event Membership fee at all events and activities unless they are current subscribing members of SCA Ltd.
What about members of SCANZ, SKA, SCA Inc and any other affiliated SCA groups?
Our insurance is Australia specific and only members of SCA Ltd are automatically covered. Members of our affiliate organisations must be covered individually.
Our affiliation agreements require that we recognise membership in these affiliate organisations and provide insurance so SCA Ltd will cover the insurance fees for these members. Members of affiliate organisations must still sign Australian non-member indemnities at every SCA event and activity in Australia.
How will this system work?
Gate staff must require members of affiliate organisations to sign the existing non-member indemnities. Please mark such indemnities with a large “A” in the margin to make them easy to spot. When summarising numbers at events, gate staff should list affiliate members (split into adult and minor) as separate categories to members (adult and minor) and other non-members (adult and minor). These numbers will be reported to SCA Ltd by your group’s Reeve when they pay the group’s Event Memberships each quarter. Gate staff do NOT collect the Event Membership fee from affiliate members.
What about College Members?
University club membership is NOT equivalent to SCA Ltd membership. People who participate in SCA colleges must still sign indemnities and pay Event Memberships at all SCA events and activities unless they are also current subscribing members of SCA Ltd.
Why doesn’t SCA Ltd pay for them like they will for affiliate members?
1. Members of our affiliate organisations are still paid-up subscribing members of the SCA,university club members are not.
2. We estimate that there are 500 university club members in Australia, half again our subscribing members. Of those, we estimate that only 100 participate in the SCA regularly.
To cover this many complimentary subscribing memberships or to pay the Event Membership for this many people would require doubling our subscribing membership cost and throw an unreasonable burden onto our subscribing members.
What about College events?
University clubs may, of course, run university club events and activities under university rules and insurance. The SCA has no involvement with those and SCA rules and SCA insurance do not apply to them. Note that university club insurance may not extend to people who are not members of the university club and specific approval may be required to get university club insurance for some events and activities, especially if they occur off-campus. That may vary from university to university as they may all have different insurance policies.
SCA College groups running SCA events or activities must comply with all SCA rules for College groups. They must meet the Corpora requirements for being a College, including having the required number of subscribing SCA Ltd members and having all the required officers being subscribing members of SCA Ltd. They must also collect indemnities, collect Event Membership fees, and report on and pay GST.
Colleges operating under university administration rules may run an event as an SCA Ltd event by running the event under the sponsorship of an SCA Ltd branch and complying with all the requirements of this as listed above. The sponsoring group must be fully aware of the event bid and have full financial and compliance oversight as for an event run by the sponsoring group. Such a circumstance may include a kingdom event, an event using the SCA Ltd insurance policy, or an event which does not comply with university requirements (eg percentage of student attendees expected) but will comply with SCA Ltd requirements.
University Clubs that don’t meet the requirements to be SCA Colleges may still run SCA events and activities in the same way that guilds, households and incipient groups do – through a sponsoring group. The event will officially be an event of the sponsoring group and the sponsoring group must be fully aware of the event bid and have full financial and compliance oversight as for every other event that group is responsible for.
So, can we run SCA activities on university grounds through a College to avoid paying the Event Membership fee?
No. Events and activities are either university club events and activities, run under university club rules and insurance, or they are SCA events and activities, run under SCA rules and insurance. You cannot advertise university club activities as SCA activities or vice versa.
Does this mean College events are now also liable for Kingdom Levy?
No. College run events are still exempt from Kingdom Levy. This is a decision the Kingdom can make, the other changes are required by real world authorities.
Can we collect the Event Membership charge and then give people a subscribing membership once they’ve paid the equivalent of a subscribing membership?
No. We must pay our insurers for every occasion where indemnities and Event Memberships are required. Not paying this fee breaches our contract with the insurer. Back dating a subscribing membership to the first occasion a non-member attends could be found to be fraud.
Can the group pay the Event Membership to give newcomers a couple of free events?
No. Using SCA money to pay for memberships for individuals compromises our non-profit status.
Does the change in our insurance change our non-profit status?
No the change in our insurance and the GST paid on our insurance in no way affect our non-profit status.
How must groups pay Event Membership money?
This will be paid to the corporate account every quarter just like current Event Membership money.