Ham Radio Insurance Claim

Some insurance companies charge more for health insurance for Amateur Radio Operators. At times this practice is questioned.  Here is one example of why this practice continues.  The following letter was received by a large health insurance company:

"I am writing in response to your request for additional information for block number three on the enclosed accident report form. I listed POOR PLANING as the cause of the accident.  The following elaboration is provided at your request.

"I am an Amateur Radio Operator. On the day of the accident, I was alone working on the top section of my new 80 foot tower.  When I completed my work, I discovered that I had, over the course of several trips up the tower, brought about 300 pounds of tools and spare hardware to the top of the tower. Rather than carry the unneeded tools and material down individually, I decided to lower them in a small barrel using a pulley which was already in place on the tower.

"After securing the rope at the ground level, I went to the top of the tower and loaded the tools into the barrel.  Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding tightly to insure a slow decent of the 300 pounds in the barrel.  Your attention is directed to block number eleven of the accident report form which lists my weight as 155 pounds.

"Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I forgot to let go of the rope.  I proceeded up the side of the tower at a blinding rate.  At the 40 foot level, I met the barrel coming down.  This encounter was probably responsible for the fractured skull and broken collarbone.  Slowed only slightly, the barrel continued its descent and I continued my assent. The assent stopped when my hands were two knuckles deep into the pulley.

"Despite the pain, I held on to the rope.  However, the impact with the ground knocked the bottom out of the barrel. The remaining pieces weighed about 20 pounds. I refer you to block eleven on your form again.  I still weighed 155 pounds.  As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the tower. At that same 40 foot level, I encountered the barrel on its meteoric rise.  This encounter is responsible for the fractured ankles and lacerations of the legs and lower body.

"The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I hit the pile of tools, so that only three vertebrae were cracked.  However, the pain was so intense by this time that, lying on the ground and staring at the barrel 80 feet above me, I let go of the rope. But you are way ahead of me, aren't you?"


© Bruce Petrarca 2014