Monthly Archives: June 2017

Motorcycle Clubs Successfully Pressure State Farm to Change Policy?

By David “Double D” Devereaux

The MPP is pleased to report that the National Council of Clubs (NCOC) has successfully pressured State Farm Insurance to clarify that, as of June 19, 2017, it is no longer State Farm policy to deny coverage to “businesses engaged with motorcycle clubs.” Although decisions to insure any business, including motorcycle clubs, are made on a case by case basis, State Farm says it has no general policy to deny coverage to businesses engaged with motorcycle clubs.

The NCOC approached State Farm because of a letter dated February 27, 2017 from State Farm denying coverage to a Veteran’s motorcycle club because “we don’t provide coverage for businesses engaged with motorcycle clubs.” State Farm’s original response was vague and avoided the explicit questions being asked by the NCOC, so the NCOC continued to press State Farm for clarification on its policy concerning motorcycle clubs.

The June 19, 2017 response from State Farm is, with one exception, clear and concise. There is still one question that has not been clarified. The original letter dated February 27, 2017 explicitly states that “we do not provide coverage to businesses engaged with motorcycle clubs.” This statement in the February 27, 2017 letter is plainly stated and incontrovertible.

Clearly, according to the June 19th response, this is not State Farm policy any longer.

Did State Farm change this policy after the February 27th letter or was the February 27th letter an inaccurate statement of State Farm policy?

Regardless, State Farm is now explicitly embracing the MPP’s fight against profiling and discrimination as evidenced by the following:

June 19, 2017

The National Council of Clubs,

Thank you for reaching out to us regarding business insurance coverage. While we are not able to discuss the specifics of any particular application or customer’s policy information, due to our customer privacy policy, we would like to clear up any misunderstandings.

To be clear, it is not State Farm’s policy to deny coverage to businesses engaged with motorcycle clubs. We offer a variety of business insurance options to help small businesses succeed. However, as previously stated, for clubs and organizations seeking business insurance, including motorcycle clubs, we review each applicant’s eligibility individually. Some organizations may or may not be eligible for coverage. Again, we are not able to discuss the specifics of any particular application, however, we can tell you that it is not State Farm’s policy to deny coverage to businesses engaged with motorcycle clubs.

Additionally, State Farm supports the motorcycle community, and offers individual motorcycle coverage for eligible vehicles licensed for use on public roads. For more information, please see our website.

We appreciate all you do along with other projects that aim to address profiling and discrimination. At State Farm, we’re committed to an inclusive environment where all our associates and customers are treated with respect and dignity, and differences are valued.

Sincerely,

Executive Customer Service Public Affairs

State Farm Insurance Companies

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Motorcycle Clubs Successfully Pressure State Farm to Change Policy?

By David “Double D” Devereaux

The MPP is pleased to report that the National Council of Clubs (NCOC) has successfully pressured State Farm Insurance to clarify that, as of June 19, 2017, it is no longer State Farm policy to deny coverage to “businesses engaged with motorcycle clubs.” Although decisions to insure any business, including motorcycle clubs, are made on a case by case basis, State Farm says it has no general policy to deny coverage to businesses engaged with motorcycle clubs.

The NCOC approached State Farm because of a letter dated February 27, 2017 from State Farm denying coverage to a Veteran’s motorcycle club because “we don’t provide coverage for businesses engaged with motorcycle clubs.” State Farm’s original response was vague and avoided the explicit questions being asked by the NCOC, so the NCOC continued to press State Farm for clarification on its policy concerning motorcycle clubs.

The June 19, 2017 response from State Farm is, with one exception, clear and concise. There is still one question that has not been clarified. The original letter dated February 27, 2017 explicitly states that “we do not provide coverage to businesses engaged with motorcycle clubs.” This statement in the February 27, 2017 letter is plainly stated and incontrovertible.

Clearly, according to the June 19th response, this is not State Farm policy any longer.

Did State Farm change this policy after the February 27th letter or was the February 27th letter an inaccurate statement of State Farm policy?

Regardless, State Farm is now explicitly embracing the MPP’s fight against profiling and discrimination as evidenced by the following:

June 19, 2017

The National Council of Clubs,

Thank you for reaching out to us regarding business insurance coverage. While we are not able to discuss the specifics of any particular application or customer’s policy information, due to our customer privacy policy, we would like to clear up any misunderstandings.

To be clear, it is not State Farm’s policy to deny coverage to businesses engaged with motorcycle clubs. We offer a variety of business insurance options to help small businesses succeed. However, as previously stated, for clubs and organizations seeking business insurance, including motorcycle clubs, we review each applicant’s eligibility individually. Some organizations may or may not be eligible for coverage. Again, we are not able to discuss the specifics of any particular application, however, we can tell you that it is not State Farm’s policy to deny coverage to businesses engaged with motorcycle clubs.

Additionally, State Farm supports the motorcycle community, and offers individual motorcycle coverage for eligible vehicles licensed for use on public roads. For more information, please see our website.

We appreciate all you do along with other projects that aim to address profiling and discrimination. At State Farm, we’re committed to an inclusive environment where all our associates and customers are treated with respect and dignity, and differences are valued.

Sincerely,

Executive Customer Service Public Affairs

State Farm Insurance Companies

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State Farm Responds to Outrage After Denying Coverage to Motorcycle Clubs

By David “Double D” Devereaux

The MPP recently reported that the National Council of Clubs (NCOC), a national rights organization representing the interests of motorcyclists and motorcycle clubs nationwide, recently obtained a copy of a letter from the State Farm Insurance Operations Center notifying a chapter of a Veterans motorcycle club that the insurance coverage on their property was being cancelled. The stated explanation for the policy cancellation was “we don’t provide coverage for businesses engaged in motorcycle clubs.

Although the NCOC received no direct response, the Arizona State Representative for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, Dale “Animal” Dedrick, took initiative and contacted State Farm Insurance requesting an explanation. “What is the State Farm Insurance company policy relating to motorcycle clubs and their property?” Dedrick received the following response from State Farm on May 25th:

State Farm’s response is vague and never directly responds to the clearly stated policy made clear by State Farm’s original cancellation letter.

On May 25th the NCOC responded to the above letter which included the following:

“The May 25th response does not directly address the original question and core issues sufficiently.

The May 25th response says coverage for clubs is considered on an individual basis, but it is not clear if the statement of policy in the original letter dated February 27, 2017 is now being rejected by State Farm. Does State Farm have a policy “that denies coverage to businesses engaged with motorcycle clubs”?

If the blanket denial of coverage to businesses engaged with motorcycle clubs is no longer State Farm policy, what activities would disqualify an individual motorcycle club or motorcycle organization from receiving coverage from State Farm?”

The MPP will continue to follow and report on any information relating to State Farm’s policies related to motorcycle clubs.

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New Louisiana Law Exempts Motorcyclists From Anti-Masking Arrests

By David “Double D” Devereaux

Motorcyclists in Louisiana score a big win! Efforts of motorcycle rights advocates paid off when the Louisiana legislature approved a law exempting “persons driving or riding a motorcycle” from the state’s anti-masking statute. (See Louisiana State Legislature-HB161)

The Louisiana House passed HB 161 on a vote of 95-0 on June 5th, 2017 following a mass majority approval by the state Senate on May 30th, 2017. The legislation is on its way to the Governor’s desk.

The MPP reported in November of 2016, (See “Bikers Arrested for Wearing Bandanas”, November 29, 2016) following a trip to Louisiana as a guest speaker at a Louisiana

Confederation of Clubs and Independents (LCOC&I) meeting, that motorcyclists wearing legal helmets were being arrested for violating a state “Anti-Masking Law” originally intended to deter public acts of terror being committed by the KKK.

This obvious abuse of Louisiana statute was being used as a tool to profile and target motorcyclists, particularly in the Shreveport area.

The MPP provided a legislative proposal to Louisiana ABATE and the LCOC&I advocating an amendment to Louisiana’s anti-masking law exempting individuals wearing state approved safety gear while riding their motorcycles for the 2017 session.

Louisiana motorcyclists followed through and successfully lobbied their legislators proving that grassroots political rights movements can be effective and achieve results very quickly when mobilized and organized. The MPP congratulates and commends these efforts because they serve as an example and a model for other states attempting to combat motorcycle profiling and discrimination in all of its various forms.

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