Forum and Costume Controls

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Public Liability Insurance Info

 
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kev vader ()
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Joined: 04 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:38 am    Post subject: Public Liability Insurance Info Reply with quote

Hi All,

For those who do not know me, My name is Kevin Chamberlain and I was the Squad Leader of the TAG Redback Squad from 2008-2010 and then Redback Garrison CO from 2010 to 2015. I retired from the role in late December last year. I am currently also serving the 501st Legion in the capacity of Regional Moff (Oceania), and I've been a Tatooine Base member since 2009.


I have also been the Point Of Contact for the Public Liability Insurance Coverage during that time.


Australian Public Liability Laws are very different from the rest of the world – they are markedly different from even our closest neighbour, NZ.


Public Liability Insurance (PLI) is required for any event we attend as a group here in Australia. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, any kind of event in shopping centres, malls, costuming Conventions, schools etc. The Policy does not cover injuries or damage we sustain; rather it covers any damage or injuries that we may accidentally cause to people or property when we are attending an event in our capacities as club members.


The policy originally covered the Redback Squad. It then was changed to cover the Redback Garrison, and in 2011 was expanded to cover the entire 501st Legion AND Rebel Legion in Australia. The reason for the expansion of the policy coverage was one of simple logistics. It seemed pointless for each Garrison, Outpost and Base to manage their own policies separately; it simply made more sense to have a single blanket coverage for Australia. So 501st /Rebel Legion Members who travel interstate to troop are always covered regardless of where in the country they troop.


As you can probably expect, there was some considerable push-back from people around the country who were unhappy about the perception that this unifying of the clubs for the purposes of Public Liability Insurance constituted a ‘coming together’ of the clubs. In a way it kind of did; 99 times out of 100 our adoring public have no idea that we are separate clubs – we are just the Star Wars Guys (and Girls). The beauty of having this blanket policy is that once you are a member of either club, it is irrelevant which costume you are wearing at an event – you are still covered.


The policy requires renewal each year, and each trooper is asked to donate around AU$8-10 – not a massive financial burden by any account. Of course, the donation is not mandatory, it is voluntary. BUT, regardless of whether you make a donation or not, you are still covered – no 501st Legion Member or Rebel Legion Member in Australia is EVER excluded from trooping an event because they didn’t donate; that’s not the ethos of the clubs and that’s not how we do things Down Under.


Whilst the Policy covers full members of either the 501st Legion or 501st Legion it also provides coverage to Support Crew and/or Wranglers.


The Policy references “Voluntary Helpers” “…while acting in their respective capacities as such.” Section 10, part viii of the SLE Wording document. (I am unable to attach the document but can provide it where required.)

Support Crew/Wranglers would therefore fall under this definition; the key phrase to consider is: “…while acting in their respective capacities as such.” A question was raised with the Insurer regarding this, and the response given was that best practice would be for us to ensure Support Crew/Wranglers are wearing some form of identifiable items which would clearly show that they are acting as such – a Legion specific shirt and or lanyard/namebadge would be appropriate. This is a fair and reasonable request.


From a PLI perspective, it is very important to ensure that our members and Support Crew are clearly identifiable at events. However, it also means that some leeway which is granted to most members or prospective members around the world is denied to us, specifically in regards to having non-members trooping with us at many events.


Non-members who attend an event in a costume would NOT be considered to be “Voluntary Helpers”. They would therefore NOT be covered under the current PLI.


If, hypothetically, the 501st or Rebel Legion are invited to attend an event where the PLI is mandatory (almost all events in Australia nowadays) and we invite along a non-member and misrepresent them as a full member (by, for example, putting them in a costume at the event where only 501st/RL members have been invited to attend), then we are breaching a trust with both the Event Organiser and the Insurer. If an incident was to occur, and it became clear to the Insurer that we had breached this trust, then I am quite sure they would claim that the PLI was forfeit and we as a club would be held liable for any costs incurred. Such costs could be substantial.


Yes: other Bases and Garrisons around the world allow non-members to troop with them in costumes under certain circumstance;

Yes: this has also happened in Australia in the past.

BUT it is a practice which opens us up to legal scrutiny in Australia and we must refrain from doing it in order to protect ourselves legally.
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