AMA’s Additional Insurance Benefits

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Written by Ilona Maine
AMA News Clubs
As seen in the December 2021 issue of Model Aviation.

"The bad news is time flies. The good news is you are the pilot."

—Michael Althsuler

Thank you for your feedback about my last column and your follow-up questions. Insurance isn’t the most intuitive (or interesting) subject, so I appreciate you reaching out. Here are some highlights of the additional answers that I provided.

Always verify the coverage with your primary carrier/insurance agent. The liability portion of a homeowner’s insurance policy isn’t limited to incidents that happen at your home; it could also be applicable at your club’s flying site. The deductible for your homeowner’s applies to damage claims against your property, such as hail damage to your roof, but generally doesn’t apply to third-party liability claims. Although I used a property damage situation in my example, AMA’s liability insurance applies to property damage and bodily injury.

Did you know that in addition to liability insurance, AMA provides two additional insurance benefits to you with your membership (excluding the Park Pilot Program membership)? Let’s discuss the accident/medical coverage first. This coverage is also called AD&D, which stands for accident, death, and dismemberment. Similar to the liability policy, this coverage is in excess over any other applicable health insurance you might have. It applies to injuries that you sustain while you are engaged in model activity, regardless of who causes the injury.

That means that whether you tried to adjust your needle valve and got hit with the propeller or somebody else lost control of his or her model airplane and hit you, you can file a claim through this accident/medical policy. This benefit provides up to $25,000 for medical expenses that are incurred within 52 weeks of the accident. There is a $750 deductible.

In the mode of using examples to illustrate your insurance benefits, let’s assume I tried to adjust the needle valve, forgot all of my safety training, and reached into the spinning propeller. For what it’s worth, this happens more often than you think—even to lifelong modelers! Back to the accident, a club member drove me to the emergency room and I must have emergency surgery to repair some tendons.

Let’s say, I have a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with a $3,000 individual deductible. By the time I add up the medical expenses for the ER, the OR, or follow-up physical therapy, my medical bills are above and beyond my HDHP deductible. I am looking at an out-of-pocket expense of $3,000. Next, I file a claim through AMA’s accident/medical coverage for the $3,000 so that the third-party administrator can review them. The charges will be for eligible expenses 99.9% of the time, and the accident/medical policy would provide after the $750 deductible has been met. Long story short, my final out-of-pocket expense would be $750 and not $3,000.

On a more somber note, the accident/medical policy also provides up to $10,000 for dismemberment or death claims, if either situation happened while engaged in modeling activities.

On the topic of medical emergencies, did you know that the average response time for first responders after 911 is called is 8 to 12 minutes? How long will it take them to get to your flying site? AMA recommends posting emergency information at the flying field. This information should contain phone numbers for local medical facilities (aside from 911), as well as GPS coordinates and the address for your flying site to assist first responders who are driving to the location.


Sudden cardiac arrest is among the leading causes of death in the US and can strike at any age. When someone suffers a cardiac arrest, every second counts. For each minute defibrillation is delayed, the odds of survival are reduced by approximately 10%. Although it certainly doesn’t replace the need for medical personnel, rapid treatment with a medical device, called an automated external defibrillator (AED), can be lifesaving.

In the fall of 2014, the AMA Executive Council voted to include the purchase of AEDs as an eligible item in the AMA Flying Site Improvement Grant program. We encourage AMA clubs to receive certified first-aid and CPR training and are currently in communication with the Red Cross for potential future partnerships and educational opportunities.

I’ll share more the next time. Have fun and fly safely!


By Ilona Maine, Clubs Director |

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Always find your writings to be informtive and useful. Rusty Kennedy

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