Basically as cavers we could be held liable and sued by anyone for anything we do as part of our caving activity although the only recorded case was one previous claim in 1974 where a family sued for damages relating to a badly injured un-lifelined caver. Further more as officers and members of a caving club we could be held liable and sued for the actions of any of our fellow club members whilst taking part in club or caving activity. Any such case brought to court would at best incur substantial legal costs and at worst see our club, officers and members pursued personally for the cost of damages.
The BCA Insurance scheme is titled as a “Sport Recreation and Leisure Liability Policy” and appears to be an employment insurance policy targeted at sports organisations and including a public liability component.
Basically it covers for costs relating to liability for:
Death or injury
Loss or damage to material property
Accidental obstruction, trespass, nuisance, interference to right of air, water, light or way
Wrongful arrest or imprisonment
That is a simplistic snippet from the policy and there are, of course, a raft of exclusions.
The policy and level of cover are the same regardless of whether it is a Club, Club individual member (caving or non caving) or a Direct Individual Member of the BCA being insured – these distinctions have been created by the BCA as an attempt to more fairly apportion the substantial premium costs.
Non cavers that go caving will not be covered for any liability relating to caving activity although BCA may use its discretion in pursuing a claim depending on circumstances.
Temporary membership is covered for up to 4 club trips after which the full insurance payment (by remaining quarters for the year) will be due. To be covered, the BCA must be informed of name, address, date and location of trips undertaken by the temporary member before the end of the year.
Club insurance covers:
The club and its assets
Principal officers (President, Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary)
All other members that have paid their insurance through the club.
Policy covers all normal activities of insured clubs, cavers and mine explorers including diving and legal use of explosives if a member of the Explosives User Group. Hilti capping is NOT covered.
A £2500 excess applies which may be paid by BCA at their discretion.
Claims up to £5 million + legal costs are included
Cover applies worldwide except USA and Canada, claims will be judged under English law.
About £3 of the premium paid by each member covers the cost to the BCA of administering the scheme.
Landowner indemnity is included
Household schemes that include caving are not considered adequate substitute to the BCA insurance.
Insurance should be renewed by 31st January to provide unbroken cover.
All the detailed information including the actual policy document are available at the link below, the first two documents (Club insurance – why bother? and Frequently Asked Questions) are perfectly readable by ordinary mortals.