I want to confirm what djwolf said about companies not being able to cover independent shooters through their insurance policies.
I can't speak for other companies but for the first time ever this year I was unable to find a policy that offers this coverage. Lloyds syndicates are no longer in the fireworks insurance market in Canada and there are very few options left to buy fireworks insurance.
I am referring all the independent shooters that buy from my company to the Fireworks Institute for coverage. You need to act now as they need more shooters in their program to keep it going by tomorrow April 30th
If you have been getting coverage through the company you buy your fireworks from I suggest you check to see if it is still available. it might not be.
To be clear I have no financial interest in the Fireworks Institute and do use their insurance program as it would not cover my company. The insurance is only for shooters not importers, distributors or retailers.
I really wish they had a little bit more info on their website. It may be worth it just for the insurance to be honest, especially if djwolf and bigtop say is true about supplier provided insurance. But the website really does need some work. Member benefits - discount on conference registration - do they hold one yearly? Where has it been held in the past? What do they have as a part of the conference? (shows, discussion panels, product or equipment demos?) Member benefits - Access to Software - what software? What does access mean? Who is the company, people or board behind the Institure? There isn't a single name of person or company on the webpage to help a person judge reputation. Are they trying to hide something? To be honest the webpage is part of my hesitation to join. I would expect something a little more polished and open if they want people to join up and pay. But then again, as I said, perhaps the insurance thing makes it all worth it no matter what.
I agree the fireworks Institute website is not updated and lacks some information. I think this is more about the people running the institute do not do it full time and are behind on website upkeep. As for the lack of names I think this is more about privacy than anything else. You can always contact them for specific information.
If you search the Fireworks Institute threads on this forum you will find quite a bit of info about them.
The Fireworks institute was created with the help of Jim Cammert the owner of the Fireworks Factory but he is no longer involved. The administrator of the Fireworks Institute was the office administrator for Fireworks Factory but no longer works there. I see nothing other than an organization run by people passionate about fireworks trying to provide a way for the independent shooter in Canada to get insurance at a reasonable price.
I have spoken with the administrator of the Fireworks Institute. I can assure you there is simply not enough money in this operation that anyone other than someone with good intents to support fireworks in Canada is running it. In fact it is to some degree a financial burden on the administrator to keep it running.
The software is mentioned on the website and it refers to finale software which is a show design software.
As for the insurance it is supplied by a licensed broker in Canada so there is no doubt as to it's validity.
As for conventions and conferences I don't think any have been held. Right now there is just enough support to keep the institute alive. More membership is probably required before conventions or conferences could be supported.
Fireworks Insurance in Canada is becoming an increasingly rare thing with very few companies supplying it. Money has left the insurance market in general with more major natural disasters to pay for and better profits to be made in the stock market. It is not specifically about fireworks insurance. It is about all kinds of higher risk insurance known in the market as specialty risk insurance no longer being able to find financial backing.
If you are an independent shooter who needs insurance coverage it is in your best interests to support the Fireworks Institute as there are no other opportunities to get insurance anywhere near the pricing you can get through the Fireworks Institute. They achieve their good pricing on insurance by being a group insurance plan. No one else is doing this in Canada.
Also once again if you are a shooter that has in the past got insurance through your fireworks supplier you need to check if you can still get it.