Participant Insurance Fee Increase: Frequently Asked Questions

Revised 10/2016

What is the participant insurance fee?
In addition to the membership registration fee that is transferred directly to the BSA National Council, each registered youth and adult pays an insurance fee to the Dan Beard Council that is used to offset the cost of the Accident and Sickness Insurance and General Liability provided to all members.

Why is this fee increasing?
The council has been able to keep the insurance fee at the very reasonable level of $3.00 for two years. Due to the increasing costs of insurance coverage related to premium increases, experiencing ratings, and other factors beyond the council’s control, the cost to the council per member continues to increase. In fact, the per-member cost to the council exceeded the $3.00 fee paid by participants last year, but the fee assessed to members has not been increased. Figuring in expected increases for 2017, the cost to the council is expected to be $4.80 per member.

Is the increase related to the council’s accident experience rating, membership policies, or other factors?
No. At least not directly. It is impossible to determine the exact factors an insurance company uses to determine its premium costs, although the experience rating is certainly a major consideration. While the council’s experience rating rarely goes down, for an organization of more than 34,000 youth and 6,000 adult members, and over 1,200 acres of camp property, it has an exceptionally responsible history (this is due to leaders like you who help mitigate risk). The best summary of the cause of the increases in premium costs is that insurance fees just continue to rise everywhere, and we are not immune to increasing costs.

When will the increase go into effect?
The new insurance fee of $4.80 per registrant will be effective January 1, 2017. This is the rate that will be used for the rechartering process that begins in the fall of 2016.

Does the council make any profit from the insurance fee?
No. The insurance fee assessed to members is equal to the cost per member that is paid out for the insurance coverage for each member. The council charges $4.80 for each member for the insurance fee, and pays out $4.80 per member for the insurance premiums.

Will fees be pro-rated for members that join mid-year?
Yes. Because the council believes that Scouting dollars should be directed towards program delivery as much as possible, pro-rating the fee will mean that all participant insurance costs are covered only by the insurance fees. The insurance fee will be pro-rated at 40 cents per month of the year, operating on a calendar year. So if a new member joins in August, he or she will pay a $2.00 pro-rated insurance fee (5 months x .40).

What does the insurance fee pay for?
The insurance fee pays for two vital insurance coverages for registered members: General Liability Insurance and Accident and Sickness Insurance. The General Liability coverage is a self-insured policy operated by the BSA directly; this provides coverage of claims alleging negligent actions that result in either personal injury or property damage. The Accident and Sickness insurance, administered by Dempsey and Siders, Inc., provides secondary coverage for claims where a member becomes ill, injured, or suffers bodily harm while part of a Scouting-related function. Together, these coverages ensure our members are compensated in case of an accident and protect our youth, volunteers, units, and the council from potentially-devastating financial and legal obligations. Our members can focus on delivering Scouting rather than being uncomfortable about hypothetical liability. At $4.80, this is an exceptional value for a year of coverage: for example, one of the larger claims from 2 years ago paid out over $25,000 to an injured member, leaving them with no out of pocket costs other than the $4.80 fee.

When will the insurance fee increase again?
The council’s all-volunteer Finance Committee reviews insurance policies and costs annually; if in a future year the costs of insurance exceed the fees assessed, a new increase may be discussed. In the meantime, the council will continue to work to keep insurance policy costs low.

How can I help keep insurance fees down?
Safety and awareness by all our members is key to preventing accidents and, in turn, keeping the council’s experience rate low. Every activity has an element of risk – what is important is to mitigate risk when possible and “Be Prepared” for potentially hazardous situations through vigilance, communication, and strict adherence to BSA policies and the Guide to Safe Scouting.