This special newsletter is to bring your attention to the new arrangements for insurance and annual subscriptions.
You might have thought that you had paid your annual subscription or you might be about to slip a cheque in the post, but it isn't that simple this year. Read the extract below from the letter that will be arriving through your letterbox with the AGM notice and start saving the pennies to pay for the new level of GSG subscription with included BCA public liability insurance.
You can find the BCA insurance documents mentioned below on the BCA web site at:- http://www.british-caving.org.uk/bca/insurance/insurance.htm NOTE:- The new insurance scheme means that all the caves and mines that had closed to cavers because of the end of the old scheme are now open again.
The following paragraphs explain why this year's subscription renewal has become more complex.
The last few GSG Newsletters will have told you of the struggle the BCA (British Caving Association - the new UK national caving body) was having to renew the public liability insurance scheme for UK cavers. Even before then the premium had risen rapidly over recent years as the underwriters began looking more closely at the potential risks. The BCRA scheme might have been in operation for over 20 years without a claim, but that didn't help, and the underwriters refused to renew the policy last September. After a lot of hard work on the part of Nick Williams and other unpaid BCRA/NCA/BCA officers, we now have some news for you - some good, some not so good.
The good news is that the BCA have found underwriters willing to sell public liability insurance to cavers, the BCA are paying the premium and it is now in force. The not so good news is that it is even more expensive than last year. That means the present GSG membership subscription cannot cover it and you all need to pay extra to stay GSG members.
To reduce the amount payable by armchair cavers, and to more fairly load the burden on those who are active there are two levels of premium. Every member of a member club of BCA (as the GSG will be) must pay a 6.00 non-caver premium for 2004. Those who are active cavers must pay 18.00. By all members paying the premium the GSG and all its members, caving and non-caving, are covered against claims arising from incidents involving the club.
There are special terms for cavers who are members of more than one caving club and for those using explosives or cave diving. The enclosed question and answer sheet should answer most of your questions. If you have any more, as a first step please ask me and not Nick Williams. He's already spending far too much unpaid time on this issue. If I cannot answer them I'll collect them and pass them on to BCA.
The GSG Management Committee's decision is that the GSG remain in the national insurance scheme. The 2003 membership subscriptions did include some allowance for insurance, but not enough to afford the 6.00 non-caver subscription without an increase. To make it clear how your payment for 2004 is calculated the form splits the subscription into two: one to pay the insurance premium and one to fund all other GSG activities. This raises the annual subscription for full members from 15.00 to 18.00 for non-cavers and 30.00 for cavers. The reduced levels for full-time students, the unemployed and the retired (over 65) are now 12.00 and 24.00. There are corresponding increases for Joint members. Life members will also have to pay the appropriate amount to cover the insurance premium. Any member not paying the premium will be deemed to have resigned from the GSG. If they inform the Group of their decision any subscription already paid for 2004 will be returned.
A membership subscription renewal form is enclosed and should be completed by all members. You may have already paid the old level of subscription by standing order or cheque, but you must now decide whether you are a caving or non-caving member, calculate how much you have still to pay and then send me your cheque.
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