When you put it that way....... It does bring a new perpective to think about. Well said.

Tom DeReggi
RapidDSL & Wireless, Inc
IntAirNet- Fixed Wireless Broadband


----- Original Message ----- From: "Tim Wolfe" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "WISPA General List" <wireless@wispa.org>
Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2006 11:54 AM
Subject: Re: [WISPA] Insurance for use of bucket truck or lift for installs.


Tom, I do share some of same views that You have. I just thought it would be a good idea to present the pros and cons of "omitting" information. There are 2 types of insurance customers it seems?. The first one is like Yourself. You buy the insurance because You have to, and the thought of using it doesn't really cross Your mind for all the reasons You mentioned below. If it were possible, I am sure that insurance CO's would love to find a way to discern the quality customers from the irresponsible ones, and charge lower rates based on this fact, and the fact that the bucket is only used once a month?. That sad part is there is no real way to do this, as insurance is based on the law of large #'s, and in order for it to work, everyone must be lumped together in one big "pool"(for lack of other words?). Your customer profile is fairly common though. I respect the fact that when the truck is in the field, only responsible operators like Yourself will be operating the bucket, being extra cautious as to whats going on around You and whats happening when the boom is moving etc. This is the way it should be at all times. Now lets move on to the second type of customer(The most uncommon, believe it or not?). This person usually does everything they can to cut corners, not only with work ethics and install qualities but also with their level of responsibilties in the day to day operation of their business. This customer will hire the cheapest employee that will work for them, skimp on safety and vehicle maintainence, owe $$ to most of the vendors he or she does business with and they will usually try and call their employees "Sub-contractors", trying to avoid paying taxes and workmans compensation to make more $$(This is really an entirely different topic, but I am just using this as an example?). This risk taking carries over to things such as the safe use of a bucket truck. If You remember, I mentioned that the people that work for this person are really only there because they can not find a job anywhere else, and our business owner in question hires them because it is cheap labor. The day comes when the bucket truck is needed for an install, and our employee gets behind the wheel to do the job(Keep in mind that our employee was up half the night boozing with his/her friends, and just found it their spouse is messing with the neighbor). When at the job site, this employee will not have very good safety principles, and will do something really dumb like tear the service head for the electric off the wall of the house and tear down the cable CO's fiber line, along with the local Telco's phone systems. The reason I am mentioning all this is because for the most part, 10% of all insurance customers file 90% of the claims for reasons mentioned above. This same customer will also use their insurance policy as a maintainence contract, and try to get the insurance CO to pay for things that You or I would simply say, "OK, this happened, but I will just fix it myself, as it was my fault in the first place". I dropped a 4ft piece of pipe off of the roof last year and it hit the only car parked on the entire street. It was an older car that already had 4000 dents and peeling paint, but the damage to the fender was $430. I just paid it, because it was stupidity in the first place, and I didn't want my rates to go up?. Now, the other side of this: We have an incidence where an individual needed new tires for inspection, so using their really smart brain, they drove it home from the mechanic that failed it, and slashed all the tires themselves. The insurance CO only paid the prorated amount, as the tires were worn out in the first place, so this enterprising individual got pissed, and went and got a set of tires(That didn't match) from the local junk yard that had been slashed in a previous crime, had them mounted on the rims for the van, and then tried to claim a 2nd time that his tires had been vandalized again. I guess You all figured out that this moron is now in jail for insurance fraud?(For every one that is caught, 10 get away with it) The reason I am mentioning all of this is that I am trying to show all of You why and how Your insurance rates have been steadily rising over the last few years. The bad thing is that even though I am an agent, I still pay the same rates that everyone else pays. I also do not have a bucket truck, as I find them useless for over 99% of all the installs I do(I am sure there are some of us who would be lost without one?), and I can not justify the costs for a device that will sit around most of the time. Keep in mind that no matter who operates that bucket truck, and how careful they are, it only takes a split second for something bad to happen, and if that claim is not insured (Or the CO denys it) and it is a large loss, The person without the needed coverage will be the one getting screwed. It really could mean the difference between You and Your family having a place to live, or the local sheriff having a yard sale. If and when it does happen, it is too late to say "Man!, I really wish I had told them about the bucket?" I am not trying to start a major debate, I am just trying to explain why all of this is a PITA, and why getting insurance is becoming way harder than it should be?


Tom DeReggi wrote:
Tim,

I agree, there is risk of not getting covered, if full disclosure is not given. That is something that the WISP should consider in advance. (But doesn't mean it won't be covered, as they'd need to prove that having the bucket was something both parties typical would think relevant to disclose. The insurance company wrote the contract and it would be their responsibility to bring up the things that should or should not be disclosed. I'd not suggest a WISP lie, if there was a question or text referencing wether there was or wasn't a bucket, as that would guarantee not getting covered.) But I think it is also relavent, what a WISPs intent is for use of the truck and bucket. Someone that wants a bucket truck, but only plans to use it once a month for the "tough" job, should not have to pay the same high rate, as say a Lineman that may use the bucket all day / every day around high voltage lines. Very few insurance companies have provisions for that, as they do not have a way to control what the usage will actually end up being. This means a WISP then needs to make cost versus risk assesments, on what they want to do. I'd also argue, that it would be rare for me to ever justify making an insurance claim, based on the risk of loosing the insurance or no longer being able to afford it, after making the claime. (except for extreme cases like someone falling and breaking their neck). If the owner or a supervisor are the only ones that will be using the bucket, more care can be taken and less risk taken, than if the intent is for the truck to be used by all/any installers frequently. Some people buy insurance for compliance to do business, not necessarilly for the coverage itself. Just like every other type of insurance (health, life, business, etc), one must waiver wether they really need insurance, or can afford to pay to releive the risk or not.

Quite honestly, I'd rather take a chance of not getting covered in a bucket, and minimize the risk of someone getting injured because they have the bucket, than have the installer taking risks on a dangerous ladder all day long. I'm not downplaying the risk involved for a bucket truck, I'm jsut saying that Ladders are dangerous to, expecially for single man crew. I know about more personal injury suits in the trades, via falling off ladders, than any other cause.

Its not that I don't believe in insurance, or in doing it legitimately. Its just that if a WISP is not careful, there insurance policy costs can put them out of business, just having an uninsured injury. For example, many "amusement" companies go out of business because they can't afford the insurance and can't jsutify takingthe risk without it. I'd hate to see the same thing destroy wireless companies.

I prefer to handle the issue from the other side... Inforce strong safety policies and safety awareness education. The safety training is much less expensive than the insurance and paying claims. Not that that negates the need for insurance, but it will keep the rates down, if WISPs as an industry don't put themselves in the position to be claim happy.

For the record, I personally do not have a bucket truck yet.

Tom DeReggi
RapidDSL & Wireless, Inc
IntAirNet- Fixed Wireless Broadband


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