As from the 1st April 2000, the activities of the Welsh Canoeing Association and Canolfan Tryweryn have been insured by Perkins Slade, who also insure the British Canoe Union, Scottish Canoeing Association and Canoe Association of Northern Ireland.
In this age all those who take part in sport must be aware of their responsibilities and have full and appropriate insurance cover. Many insurance policies cannot provide "appropriate cover". Many sports organisations are underinsured. The WCA has attempted to address the needs of those involved in the sport of canoeing - the following section outlines the cover provided by Perkins Slade Insurers.
All those who take part in sport and recreation, either as administrators, officials, coaches or participants, have a duty to ensure that anything they do does not cause injury or financial loss to other people or damage to property. If their actions do cause injury, loss or damage and "negligence" can be proved, they become "legally liable" to pay compensation. Allegations of injury, loss and damage are increasing at an alarming rate, particularly in sport, so are the amounts of compensation being paid.
Consequently all those who take part, at whatever level of involvement, must be aware of their responsibilities and in the event things go wrong - as they inevitably will from time to time - be confident they have the appropriate insurance protection to support them. Indeed, the whole purpose of having insurance is to provide funds to defend or settle claims for compensation as imposed by a court of law. In the United Kingdom Liability Insurance is a statutory requirement in two areas where injury or damage is most likely, namely on the road and in the work place. All those who drive cars must at the very least, have Third Party insurance; all businesses must carry Employers Liability.
Other Liability Insurances embrace further areas where injury or damage of various types, including financial loss, may occur, although none of these are compulsory.
These could be for example:
Any accidental injury to an individual (third party) or damage to property caused in a single, clearly identifiable occurrence - Public (or third party) Liability. In sport for example this may be a case where a cricket ball, hit out of the ground, strikes a member of the public or damages a parked car. This clearly demonstrates an incident which can be isolated to a specific time and place.
Injury or financial loss which arises when an individual has given wrongful advice or instruction -"Professional Indemnity". The most commonly occurring cases in sport extend to coaches who cause injury to athletes through over-training them or by applying incorrect techniques or treatment.
Injury caused to a person's name or reputation through false statement - "Libel and slander". It could also extend to newspaper or magazine articles written by one athlete about another or to allegations of child abuse, where Governing bodies or clubs are required to keep records which could give rise to claims for defamation.
Losses, financial or otherwise, caused by the Directors and Officers of an organisation in the carrying out of their executive responsibilities or business management - "Directors and Officers" liability.
Damage or injury caused through the sale or supply of a product - "Product liability". This may extend to sandwiches or refreshments sold at a sports event which subsequently cause food poisoning or other illnesses.
The above examples are relevant, in varying degrees, to all Sports Governing and Representative Bodies, Clubs (both voluntary and professional), as well as administrators, officials, coaches and of course the participants themselves. However the list is not exclusive and insurance policy wording is such that the protection provided and the exclusions vary considerably from policy to policy. For professional and voluntary administrators alike this is an entirely unsatisfactory situation. All those who take part in sport need to be confident, providing they act reasonably and stay within the law, that they have the appropriate insurance to protect them fully.
1. Professional Indemnity Cover
This embraces errors and omissions, not just by professional administrators, committee members and volunteers, but by coaches, leaders and helpers whose advice or guidance may cause injury or damage or other financial losses.
2. Gradually Developing Injury
Standard Public or Third Party Liability Insurance is principally confined to a single, clearly defined, accident. Injuries in sport may well meet that definition, however injuries can also occur over an extended period of time, to which the Perkins Slade policy would respond.
3. Libel and slander
In sport and recreation, Libel and Slander may occur in relation to comments made by an official about a player or words written in a magazine or newspaper article which are considered to be defamatory.
4. Officers and Officials Liability
This extends not only to full time professional staff but also to honorary members and other volunteers who may comprise the Board of Directors and executive committees and protects them from liability arising from their executive and management responsibilities.
5. Product Liability
In sport this could extend for example to refreshments sold at an event, causing food poisoning, the sale of clothing causing dermatitis, the sale of equipment which fails causing damage or injury.
6. Member to Member cover
A member of a club or Governing Body may make a claim for compensation against another member. This might be for example player to player, player to official, official to player and so on.
7. Worldwide cover
This provides protection to participants, officials and administrators taking part in events in any country throughout the world.
8. Leased / Rented Facilities
A governing body or club borrows, rents or leases a premises for training or competition purposes and is held liable for damages to these facilities.
9. Interests of principals
A governing body or club enters into an agreement with another party, for example a land owner where an event is taking place and the owner requires insurance protection under the governing body or club policy.
10. Sporting and Social Activities
This policy covers any governing body or club activity either in relation to the sport or to social and associated events.
PERKINS SLADE Ltd, Elizabeth House, 3 Broadway, Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1BQ.
Tel: 0121 698 8000