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Tower Ratings - Stupid Question

To: <>
Subject: Tower Ratings - Stupid Question
From: (
Date: Fri, 3 Jan 1997 11:27:24 -0500
In a message dated 97-01-03 10:04:09 EST, you write:

>>       Your insurance company won't know anything about it unless you tell
>>them; all they want is an estimate for repair from a reputable company so
>>they can pay the claim and close the file.  
>Huh? Perhaps you misunderstand. Say the tower falls and damages my 
>neighbor's house. Who pays? His insurance? Mine? What if my insurance 
>company decides that the tower isn't covered by my homeowner's insurance, 
>because a) it isn't the house and b) the tower was underrated for the 
>If the tower falls on my house, no problem.

Hi, Bill --

     As far as tower/antenna insurance claims, it is almost always covered
either as a 'structure' or 'personal property'.  I've never seen an insurance
company reject a tower/antenna claim, even for yagis installed in trees.
 BTW, I'm currently working on three claims from our recent exciting weather.

    The insurance company has probably never seen a tower/antenna claim
before and their adjusters are certainly not qualified to determine whether
it was exceeding its capacity or any other engineering subtlety.  They really
don't care.  They just want to pay you for getting it fixed and close the
file on your claim.  

    As far as the liability if the tower falls on your neighbor's house, I'm
really not qualified to comment on that situation.

    Your comments in regard to manufacturers providing tower wind loading
engineering data at higher wind speeds doesn't address 1) the additional cost
that the manufacturer's aren't really willing to incur and 2) the increased
liability exposure if they actually go out into the market and advertise the
higher wind speed capacities.  Look at it like this, the number one problem
with hams and towers is that the owners tend to overload them.  What would
happen if the manufacturers raised their tower wind speeds from 50 MPH to 70
MPH?  Even at decreased load ratings, hams would STILL overload them but the
manufacturer's potential for liability exposure has also increased.  At this
time they can say "well, our towers are only rated for 50 MPH and the
customer installed it knowing that and erected an installation that we didn't
recommend; therefore it's not our problem".  

     Neither you nor the tower manufacturer wants to have an accident with
your/their products.  Therefore, they are conservative in their statements
and ratings.  Look at the Rohn ads in the magazines, they're about tower
installation safety and never talk about the towers themselves.  That's also
why the tower Prime Directive is to "do what the manufacturer says".  If you
do, you can sleep nights and everybody's happy.  

    That's not to say that you can't make an intelligent decision about a
particular tower installation PROVIDING you have examined and calculated the
necessary engineering data.  In fact, feel free to do just that.   Just keep
in mind that the liability is now YOURS and your PE's if you used one and not
the manufacturer's.

73,  Steve  K7LXC

    TOWER TECH -- professional tower supplies and services for amateurs      

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