The SSAA Gold Membership option was introduced in February this year, providing members with $25,000 worth of firearms and fixed firearm accessories insurance for just $35 per year, in addition to their standard membership cost.
After receiving feedback from our members, Australian Shooter sat down with Trevor Jenkin from the SSAA Insurance Brokers to see how this fantastic new member benefit is coming along and to discuss any frequently asked questions.
Australian Shooter (AS): Trevor, first up, can you explain how the SSAA Gold Membership came about?
Trevor Jenkin (TJ): The team at SSAA Insurance Brokers has received many inquiries from SSAA members wanting to insure just their firearms, separate to any home and contents policies. Around three years ago, we started canvassing the insurance companies to see if this was available on the market. In the end, insurance company Covertec was able to assist us with the stand-alone firearms insurance policy.
One thing this exercise did show us was the amount of interest from our members in the product. With these figures at hand, we then went back to the insurance companies and asked them to come up with a facility to cover firearms as part of SSAA membership, which QBE was able to do.
AS: $35 for $25,000 worth of firearms insurance is great value, isn’t it?
TJ: Without the huge membership of the SSAA, we would never have been able to secure a $35 premium for this offer. As a comparison, to insure your firearms for $25,000 under our stand-alone firearms insurance policy, the cost could be more than $1000 per year. It goes to show what buying power 170,000 members can have.
AS: Is there anything in the fine print our members should be aware of, though?
TJ: Definitely not. The firearms are covered for theft, accidental damage and accidental loss of the equipment. As well as this, the cover extends to while the firearm is in use, as well as covering them for up to 28 days if taken overseas on a hunting trip, for example.
AS: Have you had any claims yet?
TJ: Yes, we have, and I would like to think all of them have been settled fairly and quickly.
AS: Speaking of claims, can you explain the process that a Gold Member would have to follow in order to lodge a claim?
TJ: The first thing the member needs to do is complete a claim form, which can be found on our website. Alternatively, they can phone the SSAAIB office and we will email them this form. Once filled out by the member, we need the completed form sent to our office, along with proof that they are the registered owner of the firearm, confirmation they are a financial Gold Member and quotes for the replacement or repair of the items being claimed. Once we have all the information, we lodge the claim with QBE and manage it on behalf of the member.
AS: We keep mentioning the firearms, but does the cover also extend to include firearm accessories?
TJ: Yes, it does. Accessories such as bags, scopes, mounts, slings, lights, bipods, lasers and ammo holsters are all covered. It does not cover gun safes or loading presses, as these items would be insured under your home and contents insurance. It also excludes all ammunition and archery equipment.
AS: It really makes it worthwhile to be a SSAA Gold Member, doesn’t it?
TJ: It sure does, especially when the insurance benefits in particular are huge. By being a standard SSAA member, you are getting $20 million public liability cover while engaged in lawful recreational shooting activities and personal accident cover while engaged in shooting activities. If you also become a Gold Member for $35, you receive the $25,000 firearms cover. If you were to add these up and insure them all separately under other cover, you would not be getting much change out of $2000, from my experience.
AS: Thanks for your time Trevor. We agree that SSAA Gold Membership is tremendous value.
Gold Membership in action
I know it’s a cliché, but you really don’t think about insurance until you need it. After my experience in early March, I can tell you I think a lot more about it now. It seemed almost inconsequential, ticking the box for the $35 SSAA Gold Membership firearms insurance, but it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made this year.
A small group of us were returning from a hunting trip past Mitchell in Queensland. It had been a great four days, but that turned sour when the vehicle we were travelling in caught on fire. We did our best to extinguish the flames, but they quickly took hold, so we did our best to retrieve what we could. It took the fire brigade 30 minutes to reach us (we were in the middle of nowhere) and by that time, all had burnt to the ground.
While our normal insurance covered the vehicle, it did not cover my firearm or the many accessories I had been carrying with it. One call to SSAA Insurance Brokers and I had the claim form within minutes. In less than a couple of weeks, I had my claim approved and paid.
My sincere thanks to the team at SSAA Insurance Brokers. It is the best $35 I’ve ever spent!
Dave Hamill, Qld