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Author Topic: Agreed Value Insurance - Scheme?  (Read 4409 times)
Heisenberg
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« on: February 01, 2013, 08:20:40 AM »

there's a new vca benefit this year and it's called agreed-value viper insurance. it was announced at the president's meeting in detroit. vca members can now get this insurance through the vca via Steve Furguson. Steve was kind enough to have his company offer this 'benefit' to the membership.

btw, steve furguson is also head of the financial oversight committee. he says everything is legitimate btw, simply take his word for it.

no conflict of interest there.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 05:43:10 PM by Heisenberg » Logged
Janni
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2013, 08:59:05 AM »

OK - so here's IMO the right way to look at a conflict of interest

Using your position to profit from a decision you participate in.

This IMO is not a conflict.  It's a benefit that is being offered.  Noone has to buy this.  The VCA didn't vote to enrich Steve by buying insurance.  Steve is a passionate Viper owner, and while I don't always agree with him - he's not trying to scam anyone.

there are times when it MAKES PERFECT SENSE to do business with someone who shares your passion.  In this case, it might make sense  that a Viper owner might have the contacts and see the need for agreed value insurance and help negotiate a better deal than someone who was a disinterested 3rd party.  Go ahead - quote it - call Hagerty or some other specialty insurance company.  No one is forcing anything on you or spending your money for you (or your dues money)

Does he / his company make money off this offering?  Sure - but that's not a conflict of interest.

In a nonprofit, you often work with people who volunteer their time.  You can often get a better deal than you could otherwise, or at least the person / company might care just a little bit more when it's for something for which they share an interest.

And since this does not "benefit" the VCA, it's NO's or BoD members, the fact that he sits on the Financial Oversight Committee is irrelevant.

What WOULD BE a conflict of interest would be a NO discussing business / using their position to influence the NOs or BoD members to vote on something that enriches that person or a close family member.  And that HAS HAPPENED and is a DEFINITE conflict of interest.

I don't see why this is hard to understand.
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shooter_t1
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2013, 11:55:24 AM »


I don't see why this is hard to understand.

I think what has become apparent to me Miss Janni, is that the National officers and BoD have lost the trust of the members. So much sneaky shit has been pulled by the same people, AND ignored by people in a position to stop it, that when something that could be a legitimate benefit to club members (agreed value insurance for instance) comes along, it is viewed with suspicion.

Take this Ferguson guy for example. I don't know him...what I do know however, is that he waxed poetic about the great job that CM did, and then endorsed mister arrogance for National President. So I think I'll err on the side of caution and until proven wrong, label him firmly on the side of .....CRONY.....
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RTTTTed
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2013, 12:03:34 PM »

"Guilt by association"  Supporting CM and/or his cronies is definitely a bad state of affairs and not a good recommendation.

As far as the insurance ... Is this to pay for the insurance that used to come from membership fees?  None of that insurance that CM said was sooo expensive was valid for any "out of country" events.  Could have discounted all out of country membership fees?

I may be wrong but now locals have to pay for the insurance that used to be covered?  The info I received wasn't clear.
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Janni
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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2013, 12:10:37 PM »

I think what has become apparent to me Miss Janni, is that the National officers and BoD have lost the trust of the members. So much sneaky shit has been pulled by the same people, AND ignored by people in a position to stop it, that when something that could be a legitimate benefit to club members (agreed value insurance for instance) comes along, it is viewed with suspicion.

Take this Ferguson guy for example. I don't know him...what I do know however, is that he waxed poetic about the great job that CM did, and then endorsed mister arrogance for National President. So I think I'll err on the side of caution and until proven wrong, label him firmly on the side of .....CRONY.....

Oh - I am not saying that he hasn't drunk the Koolaid (and I disagree with him on MANY topics).  He heartily endorsed the new administration and I might even go so far as saying "crony", too.

However, based on the fact that he's offering a completely option service to VCA members, and he's not in a position to vote on something taht benefits him - it's a stretch to call it a Conflict of Interest.  And to keep shouting CONFLICT OF INTEREST and saying that anyone in any position can't make a single dime from any Viper related activity is throwing the baby out with the bathwater (and it's a little like closing the barn door after the horse is well down the road.....)

When one volunteers with a not for profit organization, what you need to be cognizant of - and avoid is close dealing (as well as the appearance of impropriety.)  it does not mean that you can't offer a product or a service to the not for profit and it doesn't mean that you can't "profit" from your product of service, but you have to come by that opportunity fairly and provide as good or better a product / service than would be available elsewhere.  You also need to not particiapte in any activity that votes on or contributes to the funding of that product / service.

http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1285&context=faculty_scholarship

So - I agree with much of what you say - but I still disagree that this insurance thing is a "scheme" or even a conflict of interest.  :D

This has nothing to do with the event insurance that the VCA purchases (through K&K, it is solely an offer made to VCA members that may want to insure their Viper using a stated value policy.  the VCA is spending $0 on this - it's an offer - it's putting together someone with a product (Steve) that was developed for Viper owners, together with someone who may have a need (Viper owners) and no one is under any obligation to buy anything or do anything....
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Viper Nation - ezine
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2013, 12:19:39 PM »

He may get more Viper business if he doesn't support CM's group though ...   :idk:
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shooter_t1
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« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2013, 12:29:18 PM »

I agree with you Janni. I don't see it as a conflict of interest either. Just wanted to give my take on why people are quick to judge any of the dealings that involve former club National President's.

                                                                                                                               Yes     No
I hope whomever does the taxes for next year will endeavor to put the X in the proper column  [X]     [ ] this time when the question about doing club business with former national officers/board members/family members is asked.
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Heisenberg
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2013, 12:31:14 PM »


As far as the insurance ... Is this to pay for the insurance that used to come from membership fees?

I may be wrong but now locals have to pay for the insurance that used to be covered?  The info I received wasn't clear.

No, this viper insurance is car insurance and a good thing. It's an agreed-value policy with oem replacement parts. And it's chubb (underwriter?). I'm certain it would be available to all viper owners, vca members or not. Only time will tell if this benefit is truly a good deed by someone trying to do good for the members or if this becomes another profiteering mechanism for a select few.

This has nothing to do with liability insurance for clubs or events. That's a different topic that probably needs its own topic area.

I agree that members perception from being burned too many times is casting a negative light on something that may be a good, honest service. I think the only way to truly avoid conflicts of interest is that no officer or president or director should be in a business that profits from the club or indirectly through the clubs' members. When the trust has been earned then policy can be relaxed to a point.
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Janni
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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2013, 12:37:11 PM »

No, this viper insurance is car insurance and a good thing. It's an agreed-value policy with oem replacement parts. And it's chubb (underwriter?). I'm certain it would be available to all viper owners, vca members or not. Only time will tell if this benefit is truly a good deed by someone trying to do good for the members or if this becomes another profiteering mechanism for a select few.

This has nothing to do with liability insurance for clubs or events. That's a different topic that probably needs its own topic area.

I agree that members perception from being burned too many times is casting a negative light on something that may be a good, honest service. I think the only way to truly avoid conflicts of interest is that no officer or president or director should be in a business that profits from the club or indirectly through the clubs' members. When the trust has been earned then policy can be relaxed to a point.

Disagree.

This is like making more gun laws because no one is enforcing the existing ones.

Conflicts of interest and close dealing are bad and easy to recognize.  Work should be done to eliminate this and all appearances of impropriety.  Simple.  We had a conflict of interest policy and signed disclosures and no one did anything about it when it surfaced.  Few worked to remove the appearance of impropriety and some seemed to even embrace it.

You don't change the "rules" - you provide full and open disclosure (sunshine kills germs) and lay it all on the table.  You follow the good and simple rules that are in place in many nonprofits and have already been in place in the VCA.

A good "rule" does not change much over time.  You should not have to tighten up or relax something as easy to determine and manage as conflicts of interest and / or close dealing.  It's that kind of thinking that has caused some of the issue - "once trust is regained, you can relax the policy?"  really, is that what you just said?
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shooter_t1
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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2013, 12:53:45 PM »

Disagree.

This is like making more gun laws because no one is enforcing the existing ones.

Conflicts of interest and close dealing are bad and easy to recognize.  Work should be done to eliminate this and all appearances of impropriety.  Simple.  We had a conflict of interest policy and signed disclosures and no one did anything about it when it surfaced.  Few worked to remove the appearance of impropriety and some seemed to even embrace it.

You don't change the "rules" - you provide full and open disclosure (sunshine kills germs) and lay it all on the table.  You follow the good and simple rules that are in place in many nonprofits and have already been in place in the VCA.

A good "rule" does not change much over time.  You should not have to tighten up or relax something as easy to determine and manage as conflicts of interest and / or close dealing.  It's that kind of thinking that has caused some of the issue - "once trust is regained, you can relax the policy?"  really, is that what you just said?

Yep. Good points Janni. And I bet this "relax the rules" is how it started in the 1st friggin place.
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Heisenberg
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« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2013, 01:04:34 PM »

A good "rule" does not change much over time.  You should not have to tighten up or relax something as easy to determine and manage as conflicts of interest and / or close dealing.  It's that kind of thinking that has caused some of the issue - "once trust is regained, you can relax the policy?"  really, is that what you just said?

Not what I intended. It reads awful. My point was eliminate all conflicts of interest be it perceived or real, completely from the officers, board and presidents. Clean slate. Once leaders demonstrate they are truly transparent, truly honest in detailing club business, accountability and regain the trust of the membership, then craft real polices or by-laws that would allow conflicts of interest to handled in a OBJECTIVE not SUBJECTIVE manner.

btw, the board modified the conflict of interest agreement in detroit, they removed this section.

"(k) No person holding a position of Region President or higher shall conduct any commercial
or personal business with the VCA that provides for any direct or indirect compensation or
financial benefit, derived from the VCA or any of its Regions, to them, or any entity they
own or have a financial relationship with, or any member of their immediate family, in
exchange for any goods, or services provided to the VCA, any of its Regions. Such persons
shall not be employed by and receive compensation from the VCA for any goods or services
provided. This prohibition is not applicable to Board-approved and documented costs and
expense reimbursements historically provided to National Officers, National Board members
and Region Presidents, and if authorized by the National Board, members, for authorized
costs related to VCA meetings, business activities relating to representing the VCA at official
events or approved expenses pursuant to Article IV Sections 1(b) and 5. "


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Heisenberg
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« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2013, 01:06:41 PM »

Yep. Good points Janni. And I bet this "relax the rules" is how it started in the 1st friggin place.

I agree with this.
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Janni
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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2013, 01:53:07 PM »

I agree with getting rid of the above policy.

It's far better to MANAGE and DISCLOSE potential conflicts of interest than to try to eliminate any dealings with the club by some of it's most dedicated members.

Let's look at an example:

Printing Services.  Let's pretend that Joe, the Pres of the Louisiana region, owned a printing company.  In the course of the next round of bidding or hte printing and distribution of Viper magazine, Joe was invited to bid.

Joe's bid came in lowest, and Joe also agreed to provide some additional services on layout and design because he is a diehard Viper owner and volunteer and wants to see the club's magazine be the best in the industry.  Joe stated that he's breaking even on this project because he wants to be involved, and it gives his under utilized staff a chance to keep their skills up to date.

Under the above - we'd not only not award to Joe, but he would be ineligible to participate in the bid in the first place (unless he chose to resign).

Recognizing conflicts of interest and managing them is critical, and honestly - not that hard.  Eliminating any opportunity for volunteers who happen to be Presidents of "higher" from participating in commerce with the club may disadvantageous at best, and harmful at worst.

Again - sunshine.

As long as things are declared, announced, and done in the light of day for all to see - THAT brings trust and transparency back to an organization.
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JonB - PartsRack
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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2013, 04:46:20 PM »

In 2002 a certain founding Regional Prez,  a DAL candidate with verbal approval and a full petition submitted, was then asked to RESIGN because he was selling parts full time.  (Had been part-time.} The reason:  The "POTENTIAL FOR CONFLICT of INTEREST."  The whole Viper World knew he was selling parts, full disclosure, and VCA deep discounts were given. Full Sunshine.

That prez was forced to resign by the then-new COI policy.  His club re-elected him unanimnously in a special election, moderated in person by Director Paul Ronald, [as honest as they come.]   Secret ballot.  National (including the insurance salesman) threatened to de-certify the Region and break up the members into 3 other clubs.    The prez simply quit so as not to cause a bigger fuss. Members began a petition to Chrysler, led by a VERY influential local guy.  That resigned prez "pleaded NOT to involve Chrysler and hurt the club" and the petition was dropped. They made the ex-prez "Member of the Year." But that petition advocate sold his Viper and bought (another) Ferrari.  He is Viperless to this day, despite local efforts to bring him back to a G5.   

So, when does Potential = Conflict?   "The Person Matters."

If you doubt my word in the least, just ask that former Director and By-law guru Paul Ronald.    GET WELL PAUL! 
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torontosrt
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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2013, 07:13:09 AM »

Very good point Janni. I agree with you, there is no conflict of interest. This is a loyalty problem. Are you loyal to the members or working for your own profit ? People on the board should take care of VCA business and not selling their merchandise to members. However the club needs people like Chris, Steve, Jon and Maurice. We mutually benefit doing business together. Everybody takes care of his own business. The problem is that these guys are spending their time kick each others ass. We are loosing valuable time on politics. In addition Steve and Marv are messing with VCA's insurance and it doesn't look good. We will soon have a new insurance issue on our hands. We have no idea if the coverage is good or not. Is it intended to provide a generous payment to the two lawyers? You only discover problems when you need the coverage. What VCA Leaks pointed out was a serious loyalty issue. Doing business directly with family members isn't good always. There are too many examples on this. We have seen so many board members going away from the club because they could not do business with Chrysler or the Club !!! We have a chronic loyalty issue on this Board ! And it isn't getting better ! Steve is working for his own business and not the VCA !!!

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