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Insurance Issues for Clubs and Societies

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 20 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Insurance Issues For Clubs And Societies

Insurance and liability has suddenly become a big issue for all sorts of clubs and societies as everyone getting involved is now worried about being sued for some reason or another, even though it doesn't actually happen a great deal in the UK as yet. Stories of traditional events, pancake races for example, being cancelled because councils cannot get adequate insurance or guarantee safety, are legion.

This means insurance is a major concern for people who run clubs and societies and finding the necessary cover can sometimes be very difficult. It is first necessary to decide on the different types of risk that you think you need to protect the members against. Then check to see if you are already covered for that risk and if not, find insurance to match it.

What Activities Does Your Club Or Society Need Insurance For?

Of course, much of this depends on the sort of society or club that you run and the activities that the group gets up to. The insurance requirements for an extreme sports club are likely to be very different to those of a local stamp collecting society. But they might both need travel insurance if they go out on trips, for example, and trips are one area where insurance makes complete sense.

It pays to check the certificates and policies of any travel companies or coach companies that you use to make sure your members are covered.

Events are another big area. Any event where you will be inviting members of the public will need third party liability insurance to protect against any damage to the property where you are holding the event. You should also check that the insurance you get covers accidental injury or death of people attending.

Insurance From Umbrella Organisations

Fortunately many umbrella associations for clubs and societies have connected with insurance companies to create and promote insurance policies that cover the specific activities that their member societies enter into. So, for example, if you are running an amateur dramatic society, you will find that suitable insurance is available though the National Operatic and Dramatic Association.

Check Certificates And Policies For Meeting Places

Insurance protection at meeting places is likely to be under an insurance policy that the owners or lessors of the building have taken out. Places such as church halls and village halls are likely to have insurance that covers damage by fire and other dangerous events, but it is worth checking that it is still valid if the hall is occupied by a club or society. Look for any exemptions that might catch out your members too.

It's worth taking a look at the certificate and policy of the insurance for a place where you meet. The person responsible for arranging the insurance may well say that it is all alright, but if there is an accident when you are running a children's group and you find out later that the insurance doesn't cover people under a certain age, then you are likely to be in trouble.

Checking Everything Is Now A Necessary Evil

Although this sort of checking feeds the atmosphere of paranoia that we now seem to be experiencing in the United Kingdom with regard to liability, unfortunately you have to do it. There is a significant risk that you might be sued yourself, should something go wrong and the insurance turn out to be invalid, simply for not making those checks.

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