Finding insurance for the club

Kelpie

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For those of you involved in running the boat/yacht/sailing club...
I'm struggling to find insurance cover on behalf of the club (my own boat is insured, obviously).
Sports insurance seems to all be about injury and all the questions are about how many teams you have and it doesn't seem terribly applicable... on the other hand other insurers just want to know how big our pavillion is and what our policy is on alcohol consumption.

To fill you in, our club is pretty tiny by most standards and only owns a couple of buoys used to mark out the weekly racing circuit. No clubhouse, no bar, no boats, no policies relating to things that seem completely irrelevant.

Maybe we don't need insurance at all?
 

Bilgediver

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For those of you involved in running the boat/yacht/sailing club...
I'm struggling to find insurance cover on behalf of the club (my own boat is insured, obviously).
Sports insurance seems to all be about injury and all the questions are about how many teams you have and it doesn't seem terribly applicable... on the other hand other insurers just want to know how big our pavillion is and what our policy is on alcohol consumption.

To fill you in, our club is pretty tiny by most standards and only owns a couple of buoys used to mark out the weekly racing circuit. No clubhouse, no bar, no boats, no policies relating to things that seem completely irrelevant.

Maybe we don't need insurance at all?



If affiliated to th RYA then speak to them. Maybe they will help even if not affiliated in hope you might become!
 
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For those of you involved in running the boat/yacht/sailing club...
I'm struggling to find insurance cover on behalf of the club (my own boat is insured, obviously).
Sports insurance seems to all be about injury and all the questions are about how many teams you have and it doesn't seem terribly applicable... on the other hand other insurers just want to know how big our pavillion is and what our policy is on alcohol consumption.

To fill you in, our club is pretty tiny by most standards and only owns a couple of buoys used to mark out the weekly racing circuit. No clubhouse, no bar, no boats, no policies relating to things that seem completely irrelevant.

Maybe we don't need insurance at all?

Possibly not. Think about your risks - you insure against them. You have no property risk, no premises risk, so what you are left with is club funds and the risks involved in organising races. You should be able to get round both of those. But there may be other risks you havent mentioned.
 

st599

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Possibly not. Think about your risks - you insure against them. You have no property risk, no premises risk, so what you are left with is club funds and the risks involved in organising races. You should be able to get round both of those. But there may be other risks you havent mentioned.

Race Officer's liability insurance? Damage caused by your bouys?
 

Kelpie

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Well the obvious biggest risk is that somebody tries to sue the club following some sort of incident, e.g. injury whilst racing, collision, etc. Hard to see how this could be anybody's fault but the skipper of the boat in question, but that won't stop people trying to make a claim.

The only thing I can really see putting the club at risk of liability is if a buoy drags and a yacht tries to round it and puts themselves in danger. We would of course highlight the importance of not relying solely upon the buoyage, but also upon your own sounder and knowledge of the area (which all the participants know like the back of their hands).

Out of curiosity, if a nav mark does drag and you end up sailing into danger, can you sue NLB?
 

st599

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Well the obvious biggest risk is that somebody tries to sue the club following some sort of incident, e.g. injury whilst racing, collision, etc. Hard to see how this could be anybody's fault but the skipper of the boat in question, but that won't stop people trying to make a claim.

The only thing I can really see putting the club at risk of liability is if a buoy drags and a yacht tries to round it and puts themselves in danger. We would of course highlight the importance of not relying solely upon the buoyage, but also upon your own sounder and knowledge of the area (which all the participants know like the back of their hands).

Out of curiosity, if a nav mark does drag and you end up sailing into danger, can you sue NLB?

I'd recommend getting some of your club to do the RYA CRO+ course or higher. I do know that RYA National and International Race Officers get free public liability cover. If the RO starts a race with a poorly laid course or in poor weather, I think they can be held liable.
 

fireball

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I'd recommend getting some of your club to do the RYA CRO+ course or higher. I do know that RYA National and International Race Officers get free public liability cover. If the RO starts a race with a poorly laid course or in poor weather, I think they can be held liable.

Our sign on sheet has a disclaimer at the bottom (for all that is worth!) saying that the decision to launch lies solely with the skipper ... ie don't blame us if you break your boat ...
But as the race and course is always organised by someone from the racing fleet we've never had a problem.

to the OP - Not sure what you are trying to insure - if you have no premises then the only physical thing you're insuring are the buoys - which probably aren't worth insuring - and the other bit is (as previously mentioned) your (the club) liability to others - which if you don't have premises then it can only be an action that a member undertakes on behalf of the club going wrong .... not knowing your set up it's difficult to quantify!
a chat with the RYA will probably help!
 

Quandary

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I do not think you need insurance either, if you are organizing racing you need a clause in your basic sailing instructions that requires the entrants to insure themselves but it is worth looking at a good set of instructions for any sailing event to see what clauses in normal use are relevant. If the RYA will not advise you I am sure that CYCA will. You do not need to be in the Clyde to ask for their help. Their office is manned part time, usually mornings or you could email them.
I will be back with contact details in a minute

website www.cyca-online.org.uk
includes contact details and list of member clubs which extend as far as Skye
If you search 'sailing instructions' you will find a host of templates published by various clubs and classes.
 
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Tidewaiter2

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Glad to hear someone else is having trouble!

For those of you involved in running the boat/yacht/sailing club...
I'm struggling to find insurance cover on behalf of the club (my own boat is insured, obviously).
Sports insurance seems to all be about injury and all the questions are about how many teams you have and it doesn't seem terribly applicable... on the other hand other insurers just want to know how big our pavillion is and what our policy is on alcohol consumption.

To fill you in, our club is pretty tiny by most standards and only owns a couple of buoys used to mark out the weekly racing circuit. No clubhouse, no bar, no boats, no policies relating to things that seem completely irrelevant.

Maybe we don't need insurance at all?

Funnily enough, our Club is reviewing our insurance cover at the moment, similar situation, no infrastructure, we don't race, just sail and meet in hired venues in winter and the premium is 20% of our annual income.
After you've had a chat with the RYA,and have some idea of your legal needs,
I would recommend a chat with Hannah Gunner, at Bishop Skinner's Bluefin,
Kingfisher House, Hoffmans Way, Chelmsford, CM1 1GU
t: 01245 291167
and
'Max' at the Commercial Dept of Navigators & General in Brighton, 01243 863418
-their Marine Combined Policy can be adjusted.

I've had good advice service from both of them in the last week, in looking at alternatives to our current Club policy.
Hope this helps, and saves you a bit of time,
Dick
 
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Bear in mind that a member of a non incorporated members only club cant sue the club as such because the club is legally just a group of people including himself and he cant sue himself. So if you avoid letting any non members sail in your races and have the usual disclaimers in addition, its difficult to see what claims you could have.

Problem is to get real solid legal advice would cost you more than the premium, and you cant expect any advice from someone like the RYA who want to sell you a policy. So I'd go for getting the insurance since finding out what you are potentially liable for is likely more expensive
 

st599

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Our sign on sheet has a disclaimer at the bottom (for all that is worth!) saying that the decision to launch lies solely with the skipper ... ie don't blame us if you break your boat ...

Not worth the paper it's written on. You cannot legally absolve yourself of any responsibility of duty of care.
 

fireball

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Not worth the paper it's written on. You cannot legally absolve yourself of any responsibility of duty of care.

Yes - I know - but it does get around the occasional problem of some saying it's too windy to sail whilst others want to go - RO can put a race "on" and if 3 turn up to the start line there is a race ...
The RO cannot possibly know the ability of each skipper and the limitation of their boat. So - it may be fine for most to race in a F6 - but should the racing be canned just because there are a few newbies?
Should the RO tell the newbies they cannot race ? We cannot do that as we don't control access to the water.

Also by telling someone when they cannot race/sail you are also in danger of saying when they can - and if you do that and they have an accident then you may be partially liable ...
 

st599

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Yes - I know - but it does get around the occasional problem of some saying it's too windy to sail whilst others want to go - RO can put a race "on" and if 3 turn up to the start line there is a race ...
The RO cannot possibly know the ability of each skipper and the limitation of their boat. So - it may be fine for most to race in a F6 - but should the racing be canned just because there are a few newbies?
Should the RO tell the newbies they cannot race ? We cannot do that as we don't control access to the water.

Also by telling someone when they cannot race/sail you are also in danger of saying when they can - and if you do that and they have an accident then you may be partially liable ...

If you hunt through the RYA racing site, you'll find some SI amendments to use to cover this.

Basically tou ammend the Racing Rules so that Flag Y means wear personal bouyancy at all times whilst afloat (rather than when racing) and make a change to allow the Race Officer to order any boat they feel unfit off the water.

At the end of the day though, it's up to the RO to make a judgement call on weather, if he doesn't feel he can run a safe race for the competitors involved, then he should postpone the start.
 

fireball

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If you hunt through the RYA racing site, you'll find some SI amendments to use to cover this.

Basically tou ammend the Racing Rules so that Flag Y means wear personal bouyancy at all times whilst afloat (rather than when racing) and make a change to allow the Race Officer to order any boat they feel unfit off the water.
Personal buoyancy is to be worn at all times anyway ...
I wouldn't be happy with an RO having the power to order a boat off the water - as if they don't it implies they thought he was fit to race ...

At the end of the day though, it's up to the RO to make a judgement call on weather, if he doesn't feel he can run a safe race for the competitors involved, then he should postpone the start.
In the marginal races we usually just gather around the clubhouse and decide if we can be arsed to race or not ... RO will put a race on if there are 3 willing to go out - I think there has only been a couple of times when the most experienced have pulled out and RO has cancelled when some less experienced were still willing to go ...
 

maxi77

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I think those who say you don't need insurance are mistaken, because even if you can in the end prove in court you have no liability you will still need legal assistance to get to that point. No insurance and those fees come out of members pockets. Simple insurance cover should not be over expensive because clubs do not regularly get sued but in my opinion it is still a good idea. You do of course need to ensure you are not paying for cover you don't need
 

Quandary

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I spoke to the one of the officers of the local sailing club with your query today. ( He sends his regards, he used to sail at Stornaway, and is impressed to hear you are running racing) They pay an annual premium of circa £1000. They have public liability cover for their little boat yard and small boat gear shed, there is no clubhouse.
However, they own four Picos and borrow another and have a new Avon 5m. rib with a 60hp. outboard.
Because they are mainly teaching small children to sail in the clubs boats rather than organizing racing for adult boat owners the risk is perceived to be much greater. If they did not have any club boats or do any training they should not have a liability other than if someone tripped in their boatyard, and even then they would need to show it was the clubs fault.
If you are just running races for locals in their own boats you have to try to envisage any event for which the club could be held liable and then insure against it. I am not sure what that could be once they are afloat, though in dinghy racing a rescue boat might pose such a risk, if it was responsible for injury or damage. For that reason the local club is very concerned about training and qualifications for all rescue boat crew.
Once racing on the sea, navigation, tactics etc are clearly not something for which the club is responsible unless you set a mark over a wreck or rock which you know about and they do not. Even then I am fairly sure the club is not liable, (when the Scottish Series feeder used to run to Campbeltown they once set the Arranman Barrels buoy in Sanda Sound as a turning mark, it was close to springs, light winds and some yachts finished up high on the rocks, there was a lot of whinging about it but each skipper was held responsible for what happened to their boat.)
 
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