Author Topic: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?  (Read 17397 times)

Offline Ian Adams

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Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« on: January 28, 2015, 05:32:30 pm »
The issue of non-insured cavers  (tagging along with an insured group) has arisen locally and  I would be very grateful for opinions as to the policies of other clubs (and the “realism” of those policies)

For instance;

A)   I understand that a “new” caver can come along with the club as a “taster” and the BCA insurance policy extends cover to that (please correct if wrong) ?
B)   What if that same person wants to come along outside of the permitted BCA insurance timeframe?  Would “your club” disallow such a request ?
C)   If the request was allowed, is there any detriment to the insured members or would it just be the uninsured member who has accepted a “risk” ?
D)   What if it is a member who didn’t renew their subs – would “your club” treat that person any differently ?
E)   What if it were the son or daughter of a member who was under 18 – would “your club” treat that person any differently ?
F)   Is the “risk” for an under 18 different to “C” above (ie. will it fall to their parent who is also on the trip and insured ?) ?

Basically, what I am asking is “how does your club handle non-insured visitors on your trips” ?

All opinions (and any facts) very welcome please.

Thanks

Ian Adams
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Offline ogofmole

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2015, 06:12:14 pm »
Interesting questions, and ones that we have asked ourselves many times , so will look forward to reading reply s.

But our club welcomes new people caving, but after a couple of trips, we insist on them having BCA insurance.

As we were under the impression, that if anyone caves with us who is not under the initial try caving, or a member who has not renewed there BCA insurance, then the rest of us will not be covered as a club.

We would also like to know if this is correct.

Offline bograt

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2015, 06:23:47 pm »
Yup! very interesting questions, maybe its time for the BCA to offer guidelines on this?
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Offline Cookie

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2015, 06:34:42 pm »
Some guidelines here:

BCA Public Liability Insurance - FAQ

See Q55, Q56, Q57, Q86 & Q92 in particular.
Dave Cooke. BCA: IT Working Party Convenor, Web Services

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2015, 06:44:42 pm »
What if an individual with a genuine interest in being taken into a particular site approaches an insured club, to be shown the site. This happens from time to time. Someone is visiting our area and is free on a particular evening to join us on a trip. If he is from another insured club and has "active" status then I can see there is no problem. But it is not unknown for a non-club caver to do this, and they will have no intention to join our club, and we have no expectation that they will. They may or may not be a DIM. Should we really be bothered?I personally would not want to turn someone away simply because they were were not personally insured, and would never follow the pretense that they were "prospective members". Oft times, said people might simply be non-cavers who are curious to see a particular site or feature, and just want to be taken safely to see them with experienced people. If we don't do it, can we be surprised if they decide to go and take a look for themselves, with attendant risks, and possibly unlawful entry involved?

Offline nickwilliams

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2015, 06:47:18 pm »
I will address these questions in due course, but I need to deal with some work and family matters this evening so I'm afraid it's unlikely to be tonight.

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Offline owd git

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2015, 11:19:25 pm »
The issue of non-insured cavers  (tagging along with an insured group) has arisen locally and  I would be very grateful for opinions as to the policies of other clubs (and the “realism” of those policies)

For instance;

A)   I understand that a “new” caver can come along with the club as a “taster” and the BCA insurance policy extends cover to that (please correct if wrong) ?
B)   What if that same person wants to come along outside of the permitted BCA insurance timeframe?  Would “your club” disallow such a request ?
C)   If the request was allowed, is there any detriment to the insured members or would it just be the uninsured member who has accepted a “risk” ?
D)   What if it is a member who didn’t renew their subs – would “your club” treat that person any differently ?
E)   What if it were the son or daughter of a member who was under 18 – would “your club” treat that person any differently ?
F)   Is the “risk” for an under 18 different to “C” above (ie. will it fall to their parent who is also on the trip and insured ?) ?

Basically, what I am asking is “how does your club handle non-insured visitors on your trips” ?

All opinions (and any facts) very welcome please.

Thanks

Ian Adams


For caver. read 'Drinker' would this alter your answer?






Seriously though I wouldn't drink with an un-insured drinker.
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Offline owd git

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2015, 11:29:14 pm »
If  I am not yet banned ;
there are so many well travelled and safe mines and 'easy' caves locally. I have, and shall waive the insurance issue to ' In a well controlled and measured manner' encourage sensible, and aware adults to look underground, and hen decide how they feel about furthering their experience with regard 'caving / mine exploration.
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Offline Ian Adams

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2015, 11:50:43 am »
Cookie,

Thank you for your clarification - that is very helpful (and to Nick who I think is "in progress")

As well as the "hard facts", how (question aimed at anyone and everyone) does your club handle the initial scenarios ?

I do understand the rules laid down in the link provided by Cookie but the practicalities are often very different - for instance, we have all (presumably) just renewed our insurance through the BCA but what if an unpaid member wants to come on the club trip "tonight" ?

.... Would you really turn them down ?

 :)

Ian
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Offline bograt

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2015, 11:55:21 am »
If  I am not yet banned ;
there are so many well travelled and safe mines and 'easy' caves locally. I have, and shall waive the insurance issue to ' In a well controlled and measured manner' encourage sensible, and aware adults to look underground, and hen decide how they feel about furthering their experience with regard 'caving / mine exploration.
Shoot me now!
O. G.

Nowt wrong with that OG, providing the access agreement doesn't stipulate that insurance is required.
Also be careful of your interpretation of 'safe', we used to use Hopping/Tear Britches a lot for novice trips, then a 'rock bopper' tried for a nice crystal and got terminally squashed!. (not on one of my trips BTW)
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Offline damo8604

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2015, 11:59:30 am »
Does the mere fact that an insured club bringing along non members who aren't insured through the BCA scheme void the club's PL insurance?

In this scenario, if someone decided to sue the club, would the members insured through the CIM scheme would have to pay out of their own pockets?

Offline Bottlebank

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2015, 12:46:42 pm »
There is no legal requirement to have insurance to cave, you either have it or you don't. Obviously there are some local agreements/sites where insurance is specified as a condition of access.

Insurance provides cover in the event you are charged or sued - if you don't have it you pay the bill out of your own pocket.

If a club were sued because some of it's members were on a trip where a non member caused damage I think that would be the defence i.e. you are suing the wrong person - it wasn't "us".
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Offline bograt

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2015, 01:21:54 pm »
I really think this should be answered by the specialists, Nick has offered to clarify, I think most regional bodies have an insurance rep., these are the folks to respond to this enquiry.
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Offline jasonbirder

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2015, 03:55:07 pm »
Has anyone ever been sued under the BCA insurance scheme?

Offline bograt

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2015, 04:36:52 pm »
Has anyone ever been sued under the BCA insurance scheme?

Not yet -----

That is why the premium is so low !!!---
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Offline royfellows

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2015, 04:39:28 pm »
There has never been a claim on BCA insurance.
There is never likely to be either
Anyone who goes underground deliberately wouldn't stand a cat in hell chance of successfully suing anyone for anything.
Check out "Tomlinson v Congleton BC"
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Offline Bottlebank

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2015, 04:47:21 pm »
There has never been a claim on BCA insurance.
There is never likely to be either
Anyone who goes underground deliberately wouldn't stand a cat in hell chance of successfully suing anyone for anything.
Check out "Tomlinson v Congleton BC"


An good decision but a claim doesn't have to come from someone underground so I'd rather not bank on that. You're free to :-)

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Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2015, 04:56:56 pm »
Has anyone ever been sued under the BCA insurance scheme?
I recall that there were two claims settled out of court in NCA days.  The first very clearly reinforced the principle that since most clubs are unincorporated, then cover for the 'club' and hence members could only be acquired by insuring all members.

I think Bottlebank is disastrously wrong.  The claim I refer to did not just focus on those on the trip but also named club officials for (in simple terms) letting the trip 'go ahead'.  The first basic principle of suing someone is to look where the money is and then construct some link between those in the money and the accident.  Also his response mixes criminal and civil legal matters which is usually rather doggy.

Only DCA have an officer covering insurance.  Nick is BCA's Insurance Manager so an authoritative comment on what the current policy does and does not do is best left to him.  Cookie's helpful reference to the FAQs unfortunately did not point out that they were based on the old policy.  Nick announced at the January Council meeting that the new broker is producing an update so there could be some changes.

Unfortunately Tomlinson v Conglton BC (see http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKHL/2003/47.html ) only covers where the guy is being stupid.  If the guy is lead into being stupid whether deliberate or not, then who knows what might succeed.  The principle of ‘volenti non fit injuria’ (literally a willing man cannot be injured) appears to have been seriously eroded by lawyers exploiting 'well you never mentioned that hazard'. 

The only certainty in this area is there is no certainty.

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2015, 05:19:30 pm »
If you have someone who is not intending to join the club but simply wants to be taken to a particular cave which requires that all cavers are covered by a BCA insurance, then taking out a "temporary" insurance through BCA would seem to cover it. 

The system which has worked in my club for the last few years is to request a payment of £5.00 for a "BCA temporary insurance" (which only covers 17 days, i.e. will cover 3 weekends) and you take all the necessary details from the person insured.  If the person then decides to join the club, the £5.00 is deducted from the probationary membership subscription and they go on to become a full member in due course, with the club passing on their details to BCA as soon as they sign up as a Probationary Member.  If they decide they do not want to do any further caving, the details of any temporary memberships taken out just need to be passed to BCA at the end of each year.

I hope that something similar will operate with the new insurance arrangements because this "temporary membership" arrangement is extremely useful.

In fact, whether or not the owner of the cave requires cavers to be covered by BCA insurance, it is still wise to ensure that everyone who goes caving with the club is covered by the BCA insurance in case of other unforeseen incidents involving club members, the landowner or even members of the public. 

Anyone caving with the club but not covered by the BCA insurance will not, as I understand it, have the "member to member" cover.  So if the non-club person is hurt he may decide to sue the club or the landowner, or if a club member is hurt because of his actions, they will not have their member to member cover.  In either case it could be tricky and expensive.

It just does seem worthwhile to ensure that everyone is covered by the same insurance when it's only a matter of the price of a few pints.

Offline Bottlebank

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2015, 05:39:24 pm »
Has anyone ever been sued under the BCA insurance scheme?

I think Bottlebank is disastrously wrong.  The claim I refer to did not just focus on those on the trip but also named club officials for (in simple terms) letting the trip 'go ahead'.  The first basic principle of suing someone is to look where the money is and then construct some link between those in the money and the accident.  Also his response mixes criminal and civil legal matters which is usually rather doggy.

The only certainty in this area is there is no certainty.


Wrong perhaps, but "disastrously"  :-\

I think you misunderstood my use of the term "charged" - I meant financially - as in the DCC paying for the Bull, not criminally.

I'd stand by the first two sentences of my statement, and I think the third is broadly correct.  If three cavers go caving, two insured and one not and the uninsured one causes damage, I acknowledged you could be sued, but I think you have a defence. That said, yes, I suppose there is still room for a claim especially for legal costs so I was wrong :-)
 
I was also assuming that all attendees on "club" trips were covered, but should have made that clear.

Then again I do tend to agree with your last sentence :-)

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Offline damian

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2015, 09:00:44 pm »
The system which has worked in my club for the last few years is to request a payment of £5.00 for a "BCA temporary insurance" (which only covers 17 days, i.e. will cover 3 weekends) and you take all the necessary details from the person insured.
Jenny, of course, means "BCA temporary MEMBERSHIP" which includes insurance as a benefit. And, for further avoidance of doubt, BCA temporary membership arranged through a Member Club that itself contributes to the insurance scheme, is free from BCA's point of view. Some Clubs charge their own fee, but it would be appreciated if this weren't explained as the fee for temporary BCA membership.
It just does seem worthwhile to ensure that everyone is covered by the same insurance when it's only a matter of the price of a few pints.
As above, temporary BCA membership is free (designed to encourage people to try out caving).

Offline nickwilliams

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2015, 01:18:01 pm »
One of the reasons for the delay in responding to this thread has been that I have been awaiting a conversation with our new insurer in order to agree how it should be handled.

I managed to have that conversation earlier today and I'm pleased to report that, rather than you having to take my word for it, Sven Edwards from Perkins Slade, the BCA's broker, will respond to the questions in this thread next week. He will also answer follow up questions although please remember he's not a caver or mine explorer so be gentle with him!

We are also updating the Frequently Asked Questions document to reflect changes in the policy since the FAQ was last issued in 2008, and the document will be hosted by Perkins Slade so it can be easily updated in future.

Following the conversation with Sven, it looks like we are going to change the arrangements for temporary membership for prospective club members so that cover will be provided for up to four taster trips over the course of a year rather than there being a specific time limit. This means that prospective members will be able to attend up to four club meets, after which they will be expected to join the scheme in order to continue to be insured. Comments on this proposal would be welcome.

Finally, I'm delighted to be able to announce that Badlad has agreed to create a new section of the forum specifically for insurance threads. This will cover the BCA PL scheme, travel insurance and hut insurance, among other topics, and hopefully will become a useful resource to deal with questions such as those above in future. The new section will become live in a few weeks time.

Regards to all,

Nick Williams
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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2015, 01:36:06 pm »
These useful ideas and comments are very welcome. The time we waste every year at meetings and at the AGM trying to answer insurance questions is significant!

Offline crickleymal

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2015, 03:06:01 pm »

Following the conversation with Sven, it looks like we are going to change the arrangements for temporary membership for prospective club members so that cover will be provided for up to four taster trips over the course of a year rather than there being a specific time limit. This means that prospective members will be able to attend up to four club meets, after which they will be expected to join the scheme in order to continue to be insured. Comments on this proposal would be welcome.

That seems like a very sensible move to me. I have seen people come along to try caving and couldn't do the three trips within three weeks (or whatever the time period was) due to other commitments. I'm not too sure about extending the period to a whole year, maybe 6 or even 3 months but it is a definite improvement.
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Offline cavermark

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Re: Caving insurance - club opinion/policy ?
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2015, 03:14:29 pm »

Following the conversation with Sven, it looks like we are going to change the arrangements for temporary membership for prospective club members so that cover will be provided for up to four taster trips over the course of a year rather than there being a specific time limit. This means that prospective members will be able to attend up to four club meets, after which they will be expected to join the scheme in order to continue to be insured. Comments on this proposal would be welcome.

Finally, I'm delighted to be able to announce that Badlad has agreed to create a new section of the forum specifically for insurance threads. This will cover the BCA PL scheme, travel insurance and hut insurance, among other topics, and hopefully will become a useful resource to deal with questions such as those above in future. The new section will become live in a few weeks time.

Regards to all,

Nick Williams
BCA PL Scheme Manager

The 4 trips sounds much handier than a time limit.

Forum section for all matters insurance sounds really useful.

Thanks