WHAT FTA MEMBERS MIGHT WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THEIR COVERAGE
The Firearms Trainers Association (FTA) is not an insurance company. It is a source of liability coverage for professional firearms trainers that is owned and operated by the same founders who own and operate CCW Safe. Membership benefits are funded through captive insurance and Port Royal reinsurance. The FTA is the insured party and the Member is a covered party. The insurance-backed protection includes Commercial General Liability with a Professional Liability endorsement that includes coverage for general liability claims such as slip and falls, damage to property, etc. The Professional Liability endorsement covers claims of negligence associated with negligent training, violations of standards, injury to students, bystanders, accidental discharges (if the incident is unintentional), and the unintentional use of any other legal weapon or force. Civil liability coverage stemming from an incident or claim is up to $1,000,000 per incident for each claim and $2,000,000 in the aggregate. Litigation fees and expenses (regardless of the amount of those costs and expenses) do not come out of the Member’s $1,000,000 in civil damages protection. Coverage is in the form of a claims-made plan that covers claims made during a time that the Member is an active member.
FTA protection is a member-only benefit that covers the Member only. It will not cover companies or other instructors that the Member is working with. Each trainer within a company must have his or her own FTA membership in order to have FTA coverage. The FTA provides discounts to members that work for the same company. Two to four members from the same company are eligible for a 10% discount, and five or more are eligible for a 15% discount. Prospective members should simply let the FTA know if this is the case prior to enrolling, and each member will be provided with the proper code.
FTA Members must agree to and acknowledge that they are certified firearms trainers and not prohibited from being in possession of a firearm. Membership can be terminated if it is determined that they are currently or have in the past been involved in criminal conduct, unprofessional conduct, unsafe practices as an instructor, or any issues determined to be detrimental to the profession by FTA management. FTA members must be able to provide the FTA with evidence of proper instructor credentials upon request, obtain liability waivers from their students for each class that are acceptable to the FTA (downloadable waivers can be found on the Members FTA account), and provide daily safety briefs to their students.
The FTA frequently posts content that is useful to its members that addresses such topics as safety and risk management standards, recommended business development services, curriculum development, networking through the FTA Members Group on Facebook, downloadable safety briefs and Waivers of Liability, and other business-related forms as well as use of the FTA logo in marketing and training materials. In addition, several of the FTA customer support representatives are experienced firearm trainers who are more than willing to talk to and assist FTA Members who are new to the training community and/or address questions that are firearms training related.
Members can obtain Range endorsements adding classrooms and ranges as an additional covered party by sending email@example.com an email setting out the complete name and address in the body of the email. FTA customer service representatives literally cut-and-paste that information into your certificate of coverage in order to minimize mistakes made on the FTA’s part. The name and address will appear on the certificate exactly as submitted, so it is best to make sure that the spelling,
Both member certificates of coverage and certificate of coverage listing additional covered parties (AKA “range endorsements”) have expiration dates. All certificates expire each time the member renews his or her membership. That means that the Member will need to send firstname.lastname@example.org a request for updated certificates of coverages. Note: if you are a member and did not request an updated certificate you are still covered. The same is not true for range endorsements.
Each FTA member is a part of a training community made up of hundreds of like-minded members ranging from those who are starting to become firearm trainers to those with 30-plus years of training experience. As a FTA Customer Support representative, I work with members who teach a wide range of firearm or firearm-related classes including the following disciplines:
- Competitive shooting
- Street, home, and vehicle defense
- House of Worship security
- Defensive shotgun
- Defensive carbine
- Precision shooting
- Emergency first aid
- Unarmed combatives
- Pepper spray
- State-mandated licenses to carry
- Private security
- Law enforcement
I am a FTA member, as is FTA Account Manager Gary Eastridge. As such, we go to great effort to treat FTA members the same way that we would want to be treated.