Protection for your club and its members
Clubs who are members of the BMC are provided cover for all their club activities.
Incidents happen. That's why all sports organisations have full and appropriate insurance protection. Without it, clubs can be held financially liable to compensate for losses for which you do not hold valid insurance.
Combined Liability cover
Combined Liability provides protection from the consequences of claims against a BMC club for injury, financial loss or damage to property, where negligence occurs. It provides a breadth of cover that is rarely available through non-specialist brokers, providing cover for legal liability under civil law to the general public for personal injury or damage to third party property.
All BMC clubs have a responsibility to ensure that anything they do does not cause injury or financial loss to others or damage to property. If they do, and negligence is proved, they could become legally liable to pay compensation.
For terms and conditions, download your policy documents
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Here are some frequently asked questions about cover for clubs
Combined Liability Insurance provides for legal liability following negligence, nuisance or trespass. Unlike other liability insurances, it not only covers Public Liability (where you are liable for injury or damage to other persons or their property), but also includes cover for the following, which are excluded from other providers standard covers:
- Professional Indemnity – injury following advice by an individual or club member (not an instructor)
- Directors and Officers cover – for decisions made by club committees
- Libel & Slander – liability following something you might have said or written down (including website, emails etc.)
- Abuse – liability incurred by a club as a failure of their duty of care
Cover includes recognised activities, which include:
- Climbing indoor and outdoor
- Winter and summer mountaineering
- Rock climbing
- Hill walking
- Low-level walking
- Guided walks
- Fell and mountain running
- Slack lining (not high lining)
- Tyrolean traverse
- Route setting
- Emergency first aid in the outdoor
- Ski touring
Secondary activities including mountain biking and canoeing/kayaking when used to access a route in order to take part in an activity stated above.
Representation on any management committee or acting as a trustee with respect to the operation of mountaineering huts
Combined Liability is designed specifically to meet the needs of the organisation and its affiliated individual members, club members and Associations.
This includes the following:
- Individual Members and Club Members
- Club Volunteers
- Club Wardens Clubs
- Trustees of clubs
- Committee Members
- Officers, Trustees and Volunteers
Combined Liability cover for clubs does not have an age limit.
Insurance cover is only available to fully paid up members who have a permanent UK address. Such members are covered for mountaineering activities in both the UK and overseas (but excluding USA and Canada). Members with a permanent UK address who are working on a temporary contract or serving with the armed forces abroad are included within the cover, for mountaineering activities in both the UK and overseas (but excluding USA and Canada).
Any member permanently living abroad is not covered because the policy is subject to UK jurisdiction and the underwriters will not extend cover to permanent overseas residents. However, members of clubs normally resident overseas are covered if they participate in club meets held in the UK. This provision does not apply to individual members.
Combined Liability will provide protection for your potential legal Liabilities, however; if you are going abroad you should take out specialist travel cover. You can arrange this through the BMC on their website.
Exclusions or limitations include:
- Risks that require more specific insurance, i.e. Motor, marine
- Injury to any person employed (including volunteers)
- Loss of or damage to property in your custody or control
- Pollution unless caused by a sudden identifiable unintended and unexpected incident
- Any legal action brought against the insured in a court of law within the United States of America or Canada other than where a member is in USA or Canada
- Fines, penalties or punitive damages
- Damage to products supplied and work and the repair, replacement or recall of same work
- Claims arising out of or in connection with asbestos
- Repair of defects in premises disposed of
- Claims arising out of or in connection with damage to any data
- Nuclear risks
- War risks
- Deliberate, dishonest or foreseeable acts
- Infringement of trademark name registered design copyright or patent right
- Medical negligence
- Abuse - the person accused of abuse / alleged to be the abuser. Charges of abuse against an individual are brought under criminal law and as such are not covered by this policy.
- Claims arising from loss happening prior to the retroactive date stated in the schedule, which would be the date that your continuous membership first commenced.
- Incidents / claims known to you but not reported to the insurers immediately
In the event of a claim your limit of indemnity is the maximum your policy will pay. As awards in sport approach £10m, Howden consider that £15m is an appropriate amount of cover as a minimum for both the Council and its Members.
Yes, but only for:
- Legal expenses for defence of actions
- Legal Defence Costs are included for the defence of criminal actions brought in respect of a breach of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and Section II of the Consumer Protection Act 1987. The Limit of Indemnity if £250,000.
You should immediately record relevant information concerning incidents involving a fatal accident, an injury involving either referral to or actual hospital treatment, any allegations of libel / slander, any allegations of professional negligence, i.e. arising out of advice given, any investigation under any child protection legislation or any circumstance involving damage to third party property. You must report every claim and any incident that is likely to give rise to a claim in the future.
Incident Notification Guidelines are included elsewhere on the site. Do not admit liability; do not make an offer or promise to pay. Please see separate instructions and Incident Report Forms on this site.
As a committee member, you may not realise it, but the constitution of your club almost certainly makes you personally liable for the liability of the organisation. Combined Liability provides Directors and Officers cover in order to protect you in the event of you being sued for negligent decisions.
Activities involving members of clubs ‘sharing knowledge and experience’ is within the scope of our policy. Members of clubs who hold mountaineering awards appropriate for a given activity may lead or instruct fellow members of their own club, without charge, and enjoy cover through the policy without the need for personal professional indemnity insurance.
The policy does not provide cover for members who are providing advice or instruction for a fee. Specific instructors insurance should be obtained in this case.
Where clubs undertake activities or events involving unaccompanied children or young people under the age of 18, it is a mandatory requirement of Howden that the club has an appropriate Child Protection Policy in place. This will ensure that the officers and members of that club are covered by the Policy in the event of a claim against them made following injury to a child. In the event of such a claim being made, the insurance policy may be invalidated if no Child Protection Policy is in operation.
Assuming that the Club constitution allows their membership, children (under 18 years old) may join a club and participate in its activities and the club will be indemnified against liability. Although children legally cannot be held responsible for their actions, the insurance charge is still applicable because when liabilities are incurred by a child in respect of third party personal injury or property damage, the duty of care will ultimately lie with the club.
Insurance cover is provided for a club if a claim is made against it for civil damages following an allegation of abuse against a child. No cover is provided should such a claim be made against an individual accused of abuse because such cases are brought under criminal rather than civil law. The insurance policy responds to civil claims only and would not respond to any criminal allegation.
Employers Liability protects the employer in the event of an injury to an employee, for which the Employer is liable for, i.e. when the employee sues the employer. The club could be construed as an employer where they use cleaners, or ask a volunteer to carry out “work” for them. Public Liability protects the Club / Association/Governing Body / Instructor / Member / Employee if a member or public sue them for injury /damage caused by the club etc.
Employers Liability can be provided via application to Howden.