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Sports Club Liability Insurance

Public Liability Insurance for a Sports Club

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Public Liability Insurance for a Sports Club

If you manage a sports club, it would be worth investing in sports club liability insurance, which could protect you and your club against the risk of a liability claim if a member of the public is ever injured while visiting your club.  

Whether it’s a cricket club or a rugby club, a football club or a hockey club, a mountaineering club or a running club, this type of insurance policy could prove invaluable if an accident ever occurs and your club is sued for damages. 

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Is this type of insurance policy designed for amateur sports clubs or professional sports clubs? 

It’s suitable for both amateur and professional sports clubs, as well as semi-pro clubs. 

Does my sports club have to have public liability insurance? 

Well, this type of insurance policy isn’t a legal requirement in the UK, but it’s possible it might be a contractual requirement. 

For instance, if your sports club leases a building from a landlord or property company to use as its clubhouse it’s possible your rental agreement might stipulate that you have to take out public liability insurance, and if you hire a building on an ad-hoc basis (for a one-day event, for instance) then public liability insurance will often be a requirement. 

What level of coverage will my sports club need? 

In most cases, public liability insurance providers will offer four levels of coverage to choose from: 

  • £1 million of coverage 
  • £2 million of coverage 
  • £5 million of coverage 
  • £10 million of coverage 

If you’re contractually obliged to take out this type of policy you’ll usually find that that contract stipulates either £2 million or £5 million of coverage.  

Of course, if you don’t have this contractual obligation but still want to insure your sports club you’ll have the option to choose between all four levels of coverage. 

What sort of things does sports club liability insurance actually cover us for? 

Sports club public liability insurance will cover your club against a number of different “insurable events”, which are accidents or incidents that might result in a public liability claim and for which your club might be held liable. These can include things like: 

  • A visitor to the club suffered a physical injury 
  • A visitor to the club suffering damage to their vehicle or other property 
  • A visitor to the club getting their personal belongings damaged or stolen.  

Generally speaking, these incidents will only be covered if your sports club is actually held liable for the accident or incident. 

Do members of the club count as “members of the public”? 

Yes, while public liability insurance is only intended to insure your sports club against liability claims from members of the public, in most cases club members will fall under this classification. 

Do the club’s employees count as “members of the public”? 

No, if your sports club employs staff then any liability claims they bring won’t be covered, and that’s true whether they’re full-time employees, part-time employees or temps. 

You’ll need a separate employers’ liability insurance policy to cover you against these types of claims. 

Does sports club liability insurance cover legal fees? 

Yes, in most cases your legal costs should be covered if you’re ever sued by a member of the public.  

One or two public liability insurance companies might charge an extra fee for this “legal cover”, so it’s worth double checking that, but with many policies, it will be included as standard. 

How much does public liability insurance for a sports club usually to cost? 

That will depend on a host of different variables, each of which will be used to assess the risk of a liability claim arising. For instance, the sports club’s location, the crime rate in that area, the types of activities the club engages in and the number of visitors the club welcomes can all influence the cost of your sports club liability insurance. 

In addition, the level of public liability coverage you opt for will also influence the cost of that policy.  

With that in mind, the best approach is to compare quotes from a wide range of different providers, and then go with the one that offers the best policy at the best price. 

Do I have to take out a policy for a whole year? 

No, if you only require short-term public liability insurance for your sports club then that will be an option, and a short-term policy is sometimes a little bit cheaper than an annual policy. 

However, if there’s any possibility your club might require liability cover again within the next 12 months then it is usually better to opt for annual cover because annual insurance is likely to be cheaper than two short-term policies. 

Are there any policy exclusions I should be aware of? 

Besides liability claims from employees, which as we’ve already mentioned would require a separate employers’ liability insurance policy, there are a few policy exclusions you should be aware of when you’re taking out public liability insurance for a sports club. 

  • Physical injuries or damage to vehicles or buildings that are caused deliberately rather than accidentally won’t be covered by this type of insurance 
  • Accidents that occur due to the consumption of alcohol or drugs are unlikely to be covered 
  • Theft from members of the public also won’t be covered if the thief in question was an employee of the club.  

Do I need to get my sport’s club’s members to sign a waiver? 

If your sports club engages in relatively high-risk activities, such as mountain climbing, abseiling or paragliding, then it would be sensible to get members to sign a waiver before they engage in these activities.  

You will still need public liability insurance because there is still the risk of an accident occurring outside these higher-risk activities, but this type of liability waiver will reduce your club’s overall risk.