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Old 05-18-2015, 09:52 AM #1
woda
 
 
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First Strike rounds and Insurance

I'm sure, as I did, at least a few of you received Larry's email on Friday regarding First Strike rounds not being covered by his policies.

My question is simple: are there any insurance companies that are covering the use of First Strike rounds?

Thanks in advance,
Woda
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Old 05-18-2015, 02:59 PM #2
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I can't answer your question (we don't allow them here as we don't sell them), but can anyone tell me if the stories you hear are true? Are they that much harder when they hit, etc? Are you more likely to get hurt by one that by a decent quality normal paintball?
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:04 PM #3
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You're likely to hear a mixed bag of experiences. I know a lot of people have said they're not better or worse than any other paintball. I also know my oldest son has a dent in his head from a FSR hit two years ago.
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:16 PM #4
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Rob - in my personal experience I don't think they hit any harder than a normal paintball. They are intimidating looking and sounding (they whistle). So its no surprise people say they hurt more, but I personally don't think they do.

I am just looking for an insurance company that covers them, there must be at least one, since some fields are still selling/using them.

Anyone know who? PM me if you don't want to say it publicly...
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Old 05-18-2015, 04:26 PM #5
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Well, they were recently banned in teh UK because they didn't meet the frigility requirements. If chronoed appropriately, they are not going to hit harder than a paintball if you get hit the moment it leaves the barrel. At further distances, they will hit harder, because they lose velocity slower due to the aerodynamic nature of the ball. That coupled with the fact that the tail end of the projectile is a solid piece of plastic that does not break, means that it is certainly going to be more painful more often.

We don't allow them due to the non-biodegradable aspect of the tail end.
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Old 05-18-2015, 05:13 PM #6
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Note that they haven't been banned in the UK
The ukpsf (only recognised body representing paintball) at their conference raised the issue with shaped rounds such as one2one and first strike, and felt that they may be considered non-frangible, and made a statement on that

Word got out before the official statement, hence multiple rumours that it was a ban or ukpsf insurance won't cover sites (though the ukpsf don't insure sites)

If non-Frangible then it effects the legal state of one2one and first strike
Like innthe Tiberius statement, it's subject to testing etc against standards / frangibility

Not an actual ban but sites choose to allow or not allow, by definition ukpsf accredited sites would be expected to not allow first strikes
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Old 05-18-2015, 08:16 PM #7
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To me, the problem is twfold, some players are not chronoing with FSRs but rather regular paint, therefore shoot hot with FSR. The other is that it does not seem to break as easily thus more of the force is applied to the target rather than being absorbed by the breaking round.
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Old 05-19-2015, 01:48 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horizon View Post
Well, they were recently banned in teh UK because they didn't meet the frigility requirements. If chronoed appropriately, they are not going to hit harder than a paintball if you get hit the moment it leaves the barrel. At further distances, they will hit harder, because they lose velocity slower due to the aerodynamic nature of the ball. That coupled with the fact that the tail end of the projectile is a solid piece of plastic that does not break, means that it is certainly going to be more painful more often.

We don't allow them due to the non-biodegradable aspect of the tail end.
I thought the tail was photodegradable?
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Old 05-19-2015, 01:51 PM #9
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I thought the tail was photodegradable?
Sure. Everythign degrades with enough time. Leave your plastic lawnchair in the sun and come back in a hundred years and it will probably be gone.

Last edited by Horizon : 05-20-2015 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:55 PM #10
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I thought the tail was photodegradable?
I left one in my bath tub for over a year just to see what would happen. Nothing changed about it.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:15 AM #11
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I appreciate everyone's opinion, but I am truly just looking for an insurance company that will cover the use of First Strikes.

Are there no field in the US using them anymore since Larry's email last week?
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Old 05-20-2015, 11:56 AM #12
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Genuine advice: call the local insurance agent/broke (like these guys near you: http://www.foundersgrp.com/contact.asp )

They can for sure access insurance underwriters who will cover paintball.

Simply say
"There's one requirement, and it's a technical one. We need coverage for 'first strike rounds' too. Don't worry, they underwriters should know what you're talking about"

Give them a few days and they'll get you a quote

You don't have to get insurance for paintball through a "paintball insurance" company. We get ours from a local brokerage.
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Old 05-20-2015, 12:50 PM #13
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There are a lot of factors at play here.

If someone is injured and they sue you, a legal process will ensue where parties are ultimately acting on the basis of their reasonable expectations of outcome as the case proceeds through court.

For example, in many states, there are pretty strong "assumption of liability" protections for people who operate sporting events. If you're playing soccer, and you twist your ankle on level ground, and you try and sue the league or the property owner, your case will almost certainly get tossed at summary judgement, because you assume reasonable risks of participating in an activity when you participate in that activity.

After a few decades, the reasonable risks of participating in paintball games are fairly well understood, so the risk associated with many paintball injuries is low - someone running in the woods isn't looking where they're going and runs into a tree, or someone trips over a log, isn't likely to have much success with a lawsuit because, to any normal person, those are fairly obvious risks of competing.

While a player lifting their mask and getting shot in the eye isn't likely to be as cut and dry as that, the responsibility there is still pretty clear and we've had a lot of cases like that and insurance companies know what to expect.


So let's look at first strike rounds. Is being shot at by first strike rounds a risk someone reasonably assumes when they play paintball? Do first strike rounds cause greater harm than "normal" paintballs? Are they more likely to cause a failure of a goggle system, or netting? Do they create increased risk because people not normally within range of a paintball and think they are a safe distance away are not?


The problem isn't really the ACTUAL answers to any of those questions. The problem is that we don't really know the answers to those questions, so if someone gets injured by a first strike round, the plaintiff is going to raise as many of those issues as they can, and the insurance company (representing the field) is going to have to defend against all those issues, which makes the case far more expensive to defend, and thus far more expensive to settle.


I would be surprised if any underwriter had left themselves open to that risk on a generic paintball policy. You can probably get an underwriter to add FSR's, but I would not want to guess at the price. That price would probably be lower if many of the questions above were answered (in a scientific manner) in advance. Or even if field operation standards were modified to include FSR's. (One defense against a negligence claim is that "everybody in the industry does it this way.")


IANAL and that's just some general thoughts - I'm sure there is WAAAAY more involved than just that but should give an idea what some of the issues may be.


To the OP, this sounds like a question better suited for an insurance broker (will you defend me if someone is injured by a FSR?) and/or specialized attorney (what changes if a player is injured by a FSR instead of a regular paintball?)


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Old 05-20-2015, 06:59 PM #14
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Chris pretty much summed it up. If I were an underwriter, I wouldn't cover FSRs
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:31 AM #15
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Quote:
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To the OP, this sounds like a question better suited for an insurance broker (will you defend me if someone is injured by a FSR?) and/or specialized attorney (what changes if a player is injured by a FSR instead of a regular paintball?)
To add another thought to this issue - rather than looking for an insurance broker/company/agency/underwriter that WILL insure FSR's right now, I think the questions asked of a broker or agent are important here. Knowing there are some insurance issues and/or risks involved, deliberately trying to find coverage for FSR's is somewhat questionable. It's public knowledge at this point that FSR's are not being covered by Cossio. OK. If a field switches insurance to specifically not have non-coverage on FSR's, does that constitute malicious intent in an injury case? I don't know. Most field owners don't know. Hell, an insurance agent might not know, they might have to hand it off to their claims people and hope for the best.

My understanding is that there are three main insurance agencies that specifically handle paintball fields. Yes, there are local brokers who can get the coverage as well. All of them go through an underwriter of some sort. But if an insurance policy doesn't specifically cover FSR's at this point, it may be lack of coverage by omission.

Food for thought. Turning away FSR business might be a little bitter, but it's far less so than having an injury/incident that insurance refuses to cover.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:41 AM #16
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I appreciate everyone's opinion, but I am truly just looking for an insurance company that will cover the use of First Strikes.

Are there no field in the US using them anymore since Larry's email last week?
I have friends that played a game called CT6 in North Carolina this past weekend. They used FSR with no issues. That field may have taken their chances but, you can try calling them to see who they use for insurance. You would have to look up the game because I don't know the field name.
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Old 05-23-2015, 05:04 AM #17
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We stopped allowing the FSR the minute we received the email. Does anyone know if Tiberius is planning on getting the rounds approved?
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Old 05-23-2015, 06:41 AM #18
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That's really the question, why hasn't Tiberius gotten these approved? They've been around for years.
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Old 05-23-2015, 01:00 PM #19
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They can't get them "approved" without changing the entire definition of what qualifies as a paintball. The current definition includes, amongst other things, that paintballs are spherical (round), where as FSRs aren't round on every side.

So it's a massive undertaking to change that definition and I can imagine some of the other people at the table (who make paintballs) aren't super keen to do so
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Old 05-23-2015, 01:40 PM #20
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They also don't need them "approved". There's nothing that prevents anyone from shooting first strike rounds.

An insurance underwriter may refuse to offer liability coverage to a field unless they prohibit the use of FSR's.

An insurance underwriter may be less likely to refuse to offer that coverage is FSR's are included in the ASTM definition of paintballs. Or they may not.

An insurance underwriter may offer coverage that includes first strike rounds even if they are not included in the ASTM definition of a paintball, but they may choose to charge more for it, and fields may decide whether paying for that extra coverage is worthwhile.

But there is no "approved". Each field decides whether to allow FSR's, and that decision may be affected by the availability and price of liability coverage, and the availability and price of liability coverage may be influenced by whether there is an ASTM standard for FSR's, or if FSR's are included in the standard.

There's a flipside though - if the ASTM standard for paintballs is changed to include FSR's, that may cause the price of liability coverage for all paintball fields to go up, or cause underwriters to change their standards from the ASTM standard to their own standard that excludes FSR's.

It's not like just because the standard changes the insurance underwriters just say, oh, ok, it's fine then.


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Old 05-24-2015, 12:57 AM #21
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I would like to know what caused this to happen. I find it very unlikely that Larry and his people suddenly found out about FS rounds and immediately sent out the letter when they heard about them.

It would make sense if an incident happened involving the FS and they suddenly "banned" them.
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