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 £10m.

This insurance cover is provided automatically, upon affiliation to British Cycling, to all non-profit making clubs, teams and associations in England other than school clubs. Clubs in Scotland and Wales and school clubs are provided with the same cover upon payment of the appropriate fee.

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.

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.

Is the club’s own property or equipment covered?

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, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 we 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 the Incident Helpline on 0161 274 2015. It is important to note that the club and/or its officials must not admit liability or respond directly to a third party or their representative and that doing so could, under the terms of the policy, entitle the insurer to refuse to support the claim.

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

The club and its officials are insured to organise and manage the club’s normal activities and this includes club rides, coaching (but not the delivery of coaching – see ‘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.

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. 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).

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).

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 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.

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, 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 freestyle, 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?

Generally, a club and/or its officials must be 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

Go-Ride Clubs apply specific rules relating to risk assessments.  For further information on the risk assessments which must be carried out by Go-Ride Clubs please contact our development team by email on go-ride@britishcycling.org.uk or by telephone on 0161 274 2070.

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. 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 and up to an indemnity of £10 million. 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.

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

For Go-Ride Club queries, please contact our development team 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 2114.