SeaLionScuba - 7/01/2013 8:30 AM
Lol. You guys are good fun. Let us not neglect to consider;
An insurance co is a FOR PROFIT business, keeping statistics on risk factor & profitability.
Dive shops are generally given preferred treatment because they generate students who buy courses & gear - retail. It is with the power of numbers (business volume) that dive shops survive & negotiate better pricing for themselves & their staff. Dive shops that also incorporate dive schools also generate new instructors to pay more membership dues & insurance policies.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a dive shop nor do I have any desire to have one. I have studied that business math many times. It is frighteningly poor, unless the shop has a very popular dive area at hand and then I promise there will be numerous competitors there eager to cut your profits.

But getting back to topic, we -the independent (or rogue if you wish) instructors- could actually be viewed more as the commodity than the customer. The certifying agencies keep generating more & more "to replace those that retire" (hogwash). It’s to generate more dues & insurance commissions. Most dive shops see this as opportunity to abuse instructors down to negligible pay rate.

In any Group Policy the Group Organization would also bear liability with each & every member (Greg) and signed liability releases are meaningless to a hungry attorney. Win or lose, legal fees will be frightening AND the stress factor intolerable.

So as another independent instructor I offer this, my humble opinion. We chose to become teachers for the love & occasional perks of diving. Clearly NOT for the retirement plan. lol. For my part I try to generate enough students to neutralize the cost of my diving addiction. I write all this off against my real-life income as my "secondary business".

I accept the dues, insurance premiums, equipment costs, etc. as part of my recreation budget because without going diving I would lose my mind surely.

Ultimately I hope to retire to someplace tropical with fabulous shore diving (cheap) at hand. Until then I, like others sacrifice the procedes of 2-4 students annually to cost of doing business. C’est la vie!

Good diving to all!