Club insurance Q&A

Club insurance Q&A

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Below are some of the frequently asked questions we receive about club insurance.

What kind of insurance is provided to clubs?

Third party (public) liability insurance with an indemnity limit of £15m.

What is third party (public) liability insurance?

Third party (public) liability insurance indemnifies the club and its officials against their legal liability for personal injury, death and/or property damage to a third party arising from their negligence.

What does a club need to do to be covered by this insurance?

  1. Cover is provided to all non-profit making clubs, teams and associations in England, Scotland and Wales upon payment of the appropriate affiliation fee. School clubs are also covered if they pay the appropriate fee including insurance.
  2. Clubs and club officials must endeavour to follow best practice guidelines laid down by British Cycling as these form the basis for cover agreed with our insurers.
  3. This includes proactive management of risk such as carrying out risk assessments, see click here.

Is the club required to pay a policy excess?

No, British Cycling will pay the excess on behalf of the Club (currently £2,000).

Where can I find a copy of the third party (public) liability insurance policy?

The full liability insurance policy wording can be downloaded from the ‘Insurance & legal support’ section of our membership web page.

Who is covered by the club insurance?

  • the club;
  • officials of the club who are acting on the club’s specific instructions; and
  • individuals (non-club members) who have been invited to participate in club activities as invitees with a view to joining the club and are not already covered by any other insurance.

Who are classed as ‘club officials’?

Officials are the individuals responsible for the activities of the club. They do not need to hold a formal title (e.g. chairperson, secretary, treasurer, etc.), but to be classed as a ‘club official’ a person must be acting on the club’s instructions and have been appointed beforehand by the club to take responsibility for a club activity or to perform a specific task in relation to the activity. 

For cover to apply the negligent act must arise out of the activity which the club official has been designated to carry out.  For example, a Club Secretary would not be covered as an individual whilst taking part in a club ride simply by virtue of their title.  However, if the Club Secretary is tasked with taking an official club run and a third party was injured as a result of the Club Secretary doing something negligent whilst taking the club ride then this would be covered.

Do club officials have to be club members?

It is not necessary for a club official to be a member of the club to benefit from the club’s insurance cover.  Therefore, parents and members of other clubs would be covered as club officials (for example, as the person organising a club run or who is appointed to supervise minors) if they are acting on the club’s instructions and appointed by the club.

Are clubs/club officials covered against claims brought by club members?

Yes, the club/club officials are covered if a club member pursues a claim against them for personal injury and/or property damage.  Whether the claim is successful will depend upon whether the club/club official has been negligent.

Are individuals participating in club activities insured by the club’s insurance?

No. All individual participants are strongly advised to become a Race Gold, Race Silver or Ride member of British Cycling which provides the benefit of individual third party (public) liability insurance. Contingent insurance cover is, however, provided to invitees who have been invited to participate in club activities with a genuine view to joining the club and are not already covered by any other insurance.

Which British Cycling Memberships provide individual club members with legal and insurance benefits?

Race Gold, Race Silver and Ride memberships all have the benefit of legal advice and assistance and third party cover.

Club members do not receive legal or insurance benefits by virtue of being members of an affiliated club – they must have one of the above memberships.

Race Bronze and Fan members of British Cycling do not receive any legal or insurance benefits.

For further details please see our website click here.

Our club has several people who regularly go on our club run but have not joined our club.  Are they covered by the club insurance as invitees?

No. Only those who are invited to take part in club activities with a genuine view to joining the club and who are not already covered by any other insurance are covered by the club’s insurance. A ‘genuine view to joining’ means they may attend one or two club activities before joining the club.

Are adults who are supervising minors during club activities covered by the club insurance?

An individual Ride, Silver or Gold British Cycling member (as opposed to a club official) would not be covered irrespective of whether they were riding or wheeling their bike at the time.  The insurance cover provided is for riding or wheeling a bike only and for negligence in respect of ‘handling’ of the bike, not for taking responsibility for someone else.  So, for example, if a British Cycling member took a minor on a club ride, swerved and collided with the minor then the member would be covered third party subject to liability.  If a member took a minor on a club ride and didn’t notice that the minor had got dropped and the minor subsequently came to some harm because of this, then the British Cycling member would not be covered.

With regard to the club insurance, as long as the individual tasked by the club with supervising a minor is acting as a club official (ie, is doing so under the club’s instruction and the individual is considered to be suitable) they will be covered by the club insurance.  The individual can be a parent or other appointed adult.  The club must be satisfied of the experience of the individual and that the individual is known to them. 

It is not necessary for a club official to be a member of the club to benefit from the club’s insurance cover.  Therefore, parents and members of other clubs would be covered as club officials (for example, as the person organising a club run or who is appointed to supervise minors) if they are acting on the club’s instructions and appointed by the club.

The club should make suitable checks and carry out risk assessments on all club activities (including the appointment of club officials) and implement the findings.  

Our Best Practice Guidelines for clubs can be found at click here.

Further information regarding safeguarding can be found at click here.

Does the club insurance cover property?

No. Any property or equipment owned by the club or borrowed, loaned or hired and/or in the care, custody or control of the club is not insured. This includes but is not limited to, for example, bikes, marquees, tents, barriers, portable toilets and any other event or maintenance equipment.

Clubs are strongly advised to arrange their own insurance cover for property and equipment that is either owned, borrowed, hired and/or in their care, custody and control.

Is our Club covered for damage caused by a Gazebo which has blown over?

If the gazebo has been erected on an official club event by a designated official(s) then if the gazebo is, for example, blown over and damages property belonging to someone else this would be covered third party as long as there has been negligence on the part of the club/a club official.

It should be noted that the gazebo itself is not covered as the club insurance provides third party cover only and does not extend to covering damage to property which is owned by the club or borrowed, loaned or hired and/or in the care, custody or control of the club (see ‘Is the club’s own property or equipment covered?’).

As with all club activities a risk assessment should be carried out, to include amongst other things, weather conditions (for example, check the weather forecast and keep an eye on the weather especially if it is windy or if there are gusts of wind), where the gazebo is sited (for example, where it cannot cause injury to others or damage to cars or other property if it is taken by the wind), correct use (for example, to ensure it is put up properly, secured properly by pegs and/or weights, etc, - clubs should refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines), manual handling (ie, safety of those putting up the gazebo).  This list is not exhaustive.

What happens if the club are unaware of (or do not accept) a claim of negligence that is alleged to have caused third party injury or property damage?

If a claim is received by a club and they do not consider themselves to have been negligent, the claim must still be passed to British Cycling’s insurers who will arrange for the incident to be investigated and, if necessary, the claim will be defended on behalf of the club.

Whilst the club may consider themselves to be absolved of any negligence, legal costs can still be incurred in forming a defence on your behalf which is why it is important to engage insurers who may be able to stop such costs mounting

It is important to be aware that failure to report an incident or a claim, or delaying doing so, can harm the defence of a claim and may give insurers cause to withdraw support and cover.  

What should the club do if there is an incident involving personal injury, death and/or property damage to a third party?

All such incidents should be reported to British Cycling (for how to report an incident see the question below). 

It is important to note that the club and/or its officials must not admit liability, disclose documentation or respond directly to a third party or their representatives/insurers.  By doing so, this could entitle the insurers to refuse to support the claim.

If assistance is required, please contact the Incident Helpline on 0161 274 2015.

Should the club report incidents to British Cycling?

Yes.  Where an incident has occurred during a club activity which involves injury, death, illness or property damage sustained by any party, or where there was potential for injury, illness or damage, an Incident Report Form should be completed and returned to British Cycling.

The Incident Report can be found here and should be sent to incident@britishcycling.org.uk.

Only the official British Cycling Incident Report will be accepted – clubs should not make their own alterations or additions to it.

Insurers could refuse cover if they are in receipt of a claim where the incident has not been reported to British Cycling.

Individual British Cycling members who are involved in an incident and wish to rely upon their individual legal and insurance benefits should report their incident online or via the Incident Helpline click here.

What type of club activities are covered by the club insurance?

The club and its officials are insured to organise and manage the club’s normal activities and this includes club rides, coaching (but see below and ‘Is the delivery of formal coaching, leadership or cycle training activity covered by the club’s insurance?’) and training sessions and any other activities designed to develop the sport and those participating in it and also activities designed to attract new members which includes, for example, fundraising, club promotional activities and club socials. Only official club activities are covered by club insurance. 

Cycle sport competition, races, time trials and other open cycle events are not included in the club’s insurance cover and must be separately insured.  An event would be deemed to be a race if it gives results in order of time and/or declares a winner (or Club Champion) and/or awards prizes (other than tokens).  The only exception to this being where the racing is coach led with a view to having a rider development outcome (see below) – results, standings and major prizes should not be given for these mock races.

What is coach led racing and is it covered by the club insurance?

Coach led racing that forms part of a coaching session is an activity which is covered by the club insurance subject to the above (ie, the club is covered to make arrangements/facilitate these activities, but the coach is not covered by the club insurance and must have their own cover).  With regard to racing in the context of a club led coaching session the purpose and the outcome is a developmental one.  A rider will be able to implement techniques and activities practiced during the coaching session and receive feedback from the coach.  The racing activity should not be the sole purpose a participant has attended and signed up for the session, there is no publishing of results, no awarding of major prizes such as cumulative series prize, trophies or cash (although token prizes such as sweets, fruit, simple certificates or ribbons is allowed).   

Is the delivery of formal coaching, leadership or cycle training activity covered by the club’s insurance?

No. A club and its officials are covered to make suitable arrangements to facilitate these activities.  Only appropriately qualified coaches, leaders and cycle training instructors should formally coach, lead or train club members.

Note: Coaches, leaders and cycle training instructors are not covered by the club insurance and, therefore, must rely on their own individual insurance cover (such as that provided through their membership of British Cycling and their formal qualification to deliver the activity).

Are formally organised events covered by the club’s insurance? 

No. A formally organised event such as a race, time trial or other timed personal or team challenge event must be separately insured by registering the event with British Cycling and paying the appropriate fees.

The following cycling events are not included in the club’s insurance cover and require separate and additional insurance cover:

Competitive cycling events:

Formally organised road races; circuit races; time trials; track meetings; mountain bike downhill; mountain bike cross country; mountain bike four cross; bike trials; BMX; cycle speedway; cyclo-cross events and timed personal and team challenge events in any of the above disciplines. 

Non-competitive cycling events:

Formally organised social, charity and fundraising type events; reliability rides; personal challenge endurance type events (e.g. sportives); and mountain bike downhill practice events with ‘uplift’ transportation.

If you are uncertain about whether or not your event should be registered and insured separately you should email clubs@britishcycling.org.uk for clarification. Queries about event insurance should be directed to our events team by email to events@britishcycling.org.uk or by telephone on 0161 274 2020.

Is the club run an insured activity?

Yes. The club and/or its officials are covered for the organisation and management of a ‘club ride’. Individual participants are not covered by the club insurance and so are advised to become a Race Gold, Race Silver or Ride member of British Cycling to ensure they have the benefit of individual third party (public) liability insurance.  Qualified ride leaders are not covered by the club insurance.  Therefore, in the case of a formally led ride which is being led by a qualified ride leader, the ride leader must rely upon their own individual insurance cover (such as that provided through their membership of British Cycling and their formal qualification to deliver the activity).

Are participants on a club ride covered if they ride an electrically assisted pushbike?

Individuals who have a Race Gold, Race Silver or Ride membership with British Cycling are covered third party whilst riding an electrically assisted pushbike on a club ride as long as the bike meets the following requirements:

a. the bike must have pedals that can be used to propel it;

b. the electric motor should not be able to propel the bike when it is travelling more than 15.5mph; and

c. the motor should not have a maximum power output of more than 250 watts.

It must also display one item from each of the following:

a. the power output or manufacturer of the motor; and

b. the battery’s voltage or maximum speed of the bike.

It is for the individual to ascertain via the manufacturer/place of purchase whether their electrically assisted pushbike meets these criteria.

Where participants in a club ride are riding electrically assisted pushbikes, the club should carry out a risk assessment as with all other club activities.

My road club organises an off-road ride once a fortnight - is this covered by the club’s insurance?

Yes, the club and/or its officials are insured for the organisation and management of a 'club ride'. Individual participants are not covered by the club insurance and so are advised to become a Race Gold, Race Silver or Ride member of British Cycling to ensure that they have the benefit of individual third party (public) liability insurance.  See also ‘Is the club run an insured activity?’.

Are Indoor Turbo/Spin sessions covered by the club insurance?

Turbo sessions in a club environment are covered but only where the club can demonstrate that there is someone who knows what they are doing either coordinating or instructing (not coaching unless they are suitably qualified and have their own insurance for this type of coaching activity).  As with all club activities, the club would be expected to carry out a risk assessment and implement the findings. 

Cover is third party and covers the club and club officials against their negligent acts.  It would not therefore extend to general wear and tear of buildings/facilities where the turbo/spin sessions take place, nor does it provide buildings/contents cover in respect of the same.  Damage to any property or equipment owned by the club or borrowed, loaned or hired and/or in the care, custody or control of the club is not insured.

Our club is planning to organise a time trial - will our club insurance cover this?

No. All formally organised competitive cycle sport events must be separately insured by registering the event with the appropriate governing body and paying the required fees. For further information please contact our events team on 0161 274 2020.

What disciplines of cycle sport are formally endorsed and regulated by British Cycling?

Activities endorsed and regulated by British Cycling are road cycling, track cycling, mountain bike downhill, mountain bike cross country, mountain bike four cross, BMX (including BMX Freestyle), cycle speedway, cyclo-cross and para-cycling. 

Are there any other activities which are excluded from cover?

Yes. The following activities are not covered under British Cycling’s insurance:

Activities not regulated by British Cycling.

A club and its officials and event promoters are not covered for cycling activities that involve any variant or discipline of cycle sport that is not formally endorsed and regulated by British Cycling such as BMX with sidehacks, trials riding, bicycle polo and unicycling.

Activities using facilities that have not been risk assessed.

An appropriate risk assessment must be carried out for all facilities and the recommendations from that assessment must be implemented.

Activities on artificial structures.

Any off road activity that takes place on or around artificially constructed timber structures, (such as ‘North Shore’ type mountain bike structures) are excluded from cover with the exception of pre-existing bridges, causeways, ramps and the like which exist to span natural features or obstructions, and which exist as part of trails, paths or roadways.

What risk assessments must a club and/or its officials carry out?

In arranging this insurance British Cycling have explained the work, resources and guidance available to clubs in managing risk.  To avoid invalidating this insurance is essential that a club and/or its officials is able to demonstrate that safety considerations have been taken into account and risk assessments carried out before and during any organised club activity. 

It is important to note that under the general terms and conditions of insurance, cover is excluded in respect of club activities that utilise facilities where an appropriate risk assessment has not been carried out and/or the findings and recommendations of a risk assessment have not been implemented. 

Best practice guidelines are available for download.

BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES

RISK ASSESSMENT GUIDANCE

RISK ASSESSMENT TEMPLATE

Does the club’s insurance cover the management of a facility?

Yes. Cover is provided with respect to the normal activities of the club and its legal responsibility for the maintenance and safety of the facility. Clubs operating a facility must provide British Cycling with a copy of any applicable lease or land use agreement that they have entered in to with a land owner or local authority.  

It is important to note that the insurance cover provided is third party (public) liability insurance only and does not provide any property or building insurance cover for the facility itself and does not cover the club to operate a facility where members of the public pay to use the facility.

Is the hire or loan of bikes by the club covered by the club’s insurance?

Yes, but only where the hire or loan of bikes is designed to promote and develop the sport and grow participation such as the loan of bikes during club sessions or the longer-term hire or loan of a bike to a new club member who does not own a bike. The club insurance may cover a scenario where injury or property damage has been caused as a result of the club’s failure to properly maintain the bikes. 

It should be noted that the club insurance does not cover wear and tear, accidental damage or theft of the bikes themselves.

It is recommended that when a bike is loaned or hired the person loaning / hiring is required to sign a formal loan / hire agreement. A sample agreement can be found here.

It is important to note that the club is not insured if the hire / loan of bikes form part of a commercial venture or is the club’s principal activity.

Our club is planning a club trip abroad, what is the club insured for?

The club and its officials are covered by third party (public) liability insurance for their role in organising a club activity outside the UK. 

It is important to note that:

  • it has to be an ‘official’ club trip, not simply a group of club members that choose to go on a cycling holiday or similar.
  • risk assessments should be carried out and all recommendations implemented.
  • the cover provided is not a substitute for travel insurance and those travelling are strongly advised to take out appropriate travel insurance to meet all of their insurance needs

Is cover provided for the creation and/or maintenance of cycling trails?

Yes, the club insurance covers the club and club officials in respect of the maintenance and repair of trails and also the creation of trails and the immediate surrounding areas. The creation of trails is covered if the work is on a small-scale basis, i.e. being carried out using small plant and equipment.  Cover is in respect of work carried out on land owned or leased by the club and in respect of trails to be used by the club – it does not cover the club for participating in trail building schemes run by other organisations.

Larger scale trail building using heavy plant and equipment would not be covered and would be deemed to be work which should be subcontracted to contractors who have their own insurance cover.

It should be noted that the insurance is third party only.  Clubs are advised to work closely with the landowners, for example, to ensure that they do not breach any Lease conditions. They are also advised to carry out a risk assessment, the findings of which are implemented and documented.

Do British Cycling affiliated clubs have directors and officers insurance cover?

Yes.  Clubs which are affiliated to British Cycling have the benefit of directors and officers insurance up to £250,000 (this limit of indemnity applies per club not per claim).  This covers any person in a managerial or supervisory capacity of an affiliated cycling club holding a current affiliation with British Cycling.  The directors and officers insurance covers the wrongdoing of the directors and officers themselves.  For example, where a club member accuses the club secretary of miss-running the club and causing a financial loss to the club.

Who should I contact for further information/queries about clubs and/or club insurance?

For HSBC UK Go-Ride Club queries, please contact us by email on go-ride@britishcycling.org.uk or by telephone on 0161 274 2070. For other club queries, please contact us by email on clubs@britishcycling.org.uk or by telephone on 0161 274 2010.