A question we sometimes hear from our members is: “What do I get for my SSAA membership?” In fact, there are many benefits of being a SSAA member including free copies of the Australian Shooter, timely updates on issues affecting our sport through E-newsletters and access to more than 400 ranges Australia-wide. One aspect of the SSAA membership that many people forget, or may not be aware of, features the insurance benefits you are entitled to just by being a member of the nation’s largest shooting group.
Every single SSAA member is covered for liability and personal accident insurance, along with membership discounts and benefits on other policies when using the services of the SSAA Insurance Brokers (SSAAIB). The liability insurance covers the member while engaged in all lawful recreational shooting activities to a limit of $20 million, subject to $1000 excess. For example, if the member causes any property damage or personal injury to a third party while engaged in shooting activities, then they need to contact the brokerage as soon as possible so SSAAIB can report the incident to the insurance company for its consideration.
The brokerage is happy to state that very few incidents have been reported, but some examples of rare claims lodged on behalf of members include livestock being shot by members while on hunting trips; a firearm misfiring and damaging a motor vehicle; or property such as rainwater tanks or quad bikes damaged by members while shooting.
It is important to note that the liability only covers legitimate shooting activities. Any other incidents, such as fire damage caused by a campfire or impairment due to the use of quad bikes or vehicles while shooting, would all be covered under the member’s personal liability or motor vehicle policies, assuming they have this type of insurance. If in doubt, contact the brokerage and a claim form can be completed and submitted for the insurer’s consideration.
As far as members’ personal accident cover is concerned, there are three sections of which all have had successful claims. These sections include weekly income benefits to a maximum of $750 per week in the event of you being unable to work; non-Medicare medical expenses to a maximum of $3000; and the capital benefit of $75,000 in the event of a member dying while participating in a shooting activity.
The capital benefit is one that we have thankfully rarely had a claim for, but the reality is that it can happen. This benefit ensures the family receives $75,000 paid to the deceased member’s estate, which will help assist the member’s family in their time of grieving. There have been two claims for this in the past 12 months where each estate has been paid $75,000.
One thing to take some comfort in from these recent claims is that neither of the two incidents involved firearms directly, reinforcing the maxim that shooting and hunting are among the country’s safest recreations.
Another insurance benefit available is, of course, the firearms cover under the Gold Membership. A SSAA Gold Member receives $25,000 cover on firearms and firearms accessories for full accidental loss or damage, for only $25 extra per year. Gold Members receive cover on firearms for full accidental loss or damage, including while in use, overseas protection for up to 28 days and an affordable $100 excess.
According to SSAA National Insurance Manager Trevor Jenkin, there would be more than $2000 of insurance benefits incorporated in SSAA membership, including the Gold upgrade.
SSAA National President Geoff Jones said there are many reasons to join the SSAA, as more than 175,000 members have already done, and the insurance deal is just one of them. “The SSAA is always looking for new ways to reward our members and although it’s easy to overlook insurance, it is one of those things that can bring peace of mind at the very least, but also provide security for your family in case something does happen to you,” said Geoff. “Having our own insurance brokerage is a tremendous benefit that SSAA provides to all its members and I encourage our members to take advantage of this, as I have done by becoming a Gold Member.”