I just want to go play with my red hat sisters in my own chapter.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, I told my husband what happened to some red
I have now been contacted by heads of Queen’s Councils in both
THIS WILL NOT DIE DOWN OVERNIGHT NO MATTER HOW BADLY SOME RED
HATTERS AND/OR THE RHS WANT IT TO.
I truly believe that in the end, there will be an insurance policy
available to Canadian Red Hatters. Whether
a person or chapter wishes to purchase coverage is totally their decision, as I
have stated all along.
I am not in the insurance industry, nor is anyone in my family and
there is NO personal gain to me in any of this whatsoever, just many sleepless
nights and expenses I didn’t want!
I would love to walk away from this nightmare but there are a lot of
red hatters relying on some of us for guidance and/or support and/or knowledge.
Therefore, I will do what I can to help my red hat sisters just as I would help
my own brother or sister.
I hope it is all settled quickly and I can go back to just having
fun in my red hat….
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The object of this email is purely
to share with you the facts as provided to us by professionals. I am not, nor
have I ever been, in the insurance industry nor is/has any member of my family.
I am not trying to solicit insurance or anything else.
Red Hat Friends…
We had our meeting of Queen Mothers Wednesday, September 20th
with the topic of INSURANCE ISSUES FOR RED HATTERS IN CANADA and
had two insurance experts and a civil litigation lawyer who specializes in
personal liability speak to us. It was certainly educational.
It was our intention to provide you with the most honest and factual
information on what if any dangers we are subjecting ourselves to as
Queen Mothers and red hatters. Information for you to take back to your chapter and discuss. At the same time providing you, hopefully, with options of what we can do as a whole, you can do as a chapter, and you can do personally, to protect yourself. The ultimate decision is yours.
We were told of a lawsuit recently filed in
FIRST AND FOREMOST,
please do not panic at what you are about to read. There are
solutions.... and we are working hard to find the one that works best for us. WE
DO HAVE OPTIONS!!!! We are working hard on behalf of our fellow red hat
sisters to reach a solution that works for all of us to provide the maximum
protection at the least cost.
Brief overview of what the lawyer said…
If sued, you will endure emotional & financial stress for 2-6 years before you get to court and be subjected to 10’s to 1,000’s of dollars in legal fees. If the suit is settled out of court you still must come up with legal fees and settlement money. If found liable you will have to pay legal fees, the judgment and the court fees. Steps will be taken to collect your assets (home, bank accounts, pension funds, automobiles etc. can and will be seized) She referred to two recent BC law suits and explained the circumstances and how long it took before they came to trial and the outcomes.
How to protect yourself? Adequate insurance
(homeowner’s liability)*, waiver of liability is only agreement to limit legal
liability (for event organizing etc.) and it is not absolute and not a
replacement for adequate insurance. Participants must understand the waiver as
it is not foolproof. For day trips, conventions, events outside our homes other
than going to a restaurant, a waiver should be signed for each and every
occurrence. Risks are smaller if there is a signed waiver.
Regardless of the outcome of a lawsuit, you will
always pay defense costs and legal costs even if the case is dismissed.
Insurance will cover these costs.
Someone asked if you are sued and you and your
husband have joint ownership of your family home what happens? They could still
seize your half of the home, therefore forcing your husband to sell his half or
come up with the cash equivalent.
Brief overview of what the insurance experts
Personal liability insurance covers (which must
be attached to your homeowners, tenants insurance or your contents insurance)
you on or off your premises world wide. Although the basic amount is one million
dollars they recommended amount is two million and preferred amount five
million. People are getting more litigious and amounts are increasing. If you
add an “umbrella” policy on yourself, attached to your homeowners policy it
raises your liability coverage.
Discussions took place re chapter insurance and
that they are presently looking at a possibility of a chapter policy at anywhere
from $5-10 per person per year. It would be worth it if offered, as it would
help to keep any risk away from your homeowner’s policy.
Note that if you make a claim against your
homeowners policy, your risk-free status is lost, requiring you to pay a much
higher annual amount of insurance. In the case of the Queen Mother in
Issues we are researching… How
can we protect ourselves, what can we do? Do we need to do anything?
It was "suggested" that we have a minimum of 2 million on our
homeowner’s policy. An added feature to protect us is an umbrella policy on
the Queen Mother so that should she ever be sued, it will not affect her
homeowner’s policy. We've heard a new wrinkle to this that as long as
we're associated with the RHS can this policy - or even our homeowners insurance
protect us? One Queen Mother was told no. An update will be available this week.
We are looking into chapter insurance. We are working on a policy that will
cover all of the chapters in the Okanagan at a cost of $5-10/year per person.
We need TWO waivers which our lawyer is preparing. Our lawyer has drawn up two
waivers which each chapter should use to protect themselves. They will NOT
prevent a lawsuit and they can not protect us other than show a judge that we
made every effort to protect ourselves and to make our members aware that in
anything we do, there is risk. One waiver must be signed by every member of your
chapter. The other must be used for each event members attend.
We must have "Event Insurance" as well as the waivers, for any
gathering of red hatters where we have invited others to attend.
The lawyer for the RHS says that they have no plans to provide insurance for
their members. He said they will consider it but not to expect them to do
anything. The staff and executive of the RHS are all covered by insurance.
Many Queen Mothers asked “Why do we belong to the Red Hat Society? What do we
Are we better off NOT being members? This was a
really big question at the end of the meeting. Would we be better to be
independent red hatters with our own group of chapters?
If we all drop out of the Red Hat Society and continue on our own as red
hatters, we can get non-profit insurance.
Do we join together under one chapter (Queen’s Council?) and incorporate it to
get adequate insurance coverage? The lawyer for the RHS has given us authority
to do this if necessary in order to get insurance coverage. What will it cost to
incorporate? We would need a Board and Directors Liability Insurance but the
overall cost per chapter would be relatively minor. We are awaiting the reply
from our lawyers.
Please ladies, do not panic.... We do have a lawyer and insurance
professionals researching our options. Please be aware and be prepared and
protect yourselves. If you live in
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