How to arrange the right insurance for your Scout group

How to arrange the right insurance for your Scout group

How to arrange the right insurance for your Scout group

Running a Scout group is both exciting and rewarding. But besides all the planned activities, you must be prepared for the unexpected, and potentially more serious, challenges that can arise from circumstances beyond your control. As such, every group must have appropriate insurance in place so that we can safeguard the Scouting adventure for years to come. 

Before you purchase a policy, you’ll be pleased to know we’ve already got a few things covered. The following are provided by the Scout Association for all its members, groups, and Trustees:

  • Personal Accident and Medical Expenses - for members injured or taken ill as a result of authorised Scout activities. 
  • Public Liability insurance - for claims of negligence by people who suffer injury or illness, damage or loss of property resulting from Scouting activities. This includes Property Owner’s Liability to cover claims for accidents on Scouting premises.
  • Trustee Indemnity insurance - for financial losses caused by the actions or negligence of your group’s trustees.

While this certainly takes a few things off your mind, there is still much to consider, including insurances that are required by the law, insurance required by Scouts Policy Organisation and Rules (POR), and additional insurance for property, equipment, travel and events. This step-by-step guide introduces the cover individual Scout groups should take out to protect themselves, their property, and their members.

Step One: Stay within the law

Under certain circumstances, you must have the right insurance in place or you risk facing hefty fines and/or prosecution.

  • If your  group owns or borrows any motorised vehicles, you must have Third-party Motor insurance to cover the costs of accidents caused by you or your volunteers behind the wheel.
  • If your group employs anyone, even temporarily, you must have a minimum of £5m Employers’ Liability insurance. Failure to obtain appropriate cover can result in a fine of £2,500 for every day you are not insured.

Step Two: Follow the Scout rules

In accordance with Scouting Policy Organisation and Rules (POR), every Scout group must maintain insurance cover, to be reviewed annually, in respect of the following risks::

Insurance cover must be taken out in respect of 

Step Three: Protect your property

While you are already covered for accidents on your premises, you will also need buildings insurance for the property itself. Your Scout hut and any other buildings you own are likely amongst your group’s most valuable assets, and should be insured accordingly. Here are some things to consider:

  • Get your property valued regularly and review your insurance annually to ensure you are fully covered for if you were to need it rebuilt. We can provide a free buildings estimation service to help with the valuation of your buildings.
  • Arrange additional cover if you hire your building out to external organisations.
  • Cover both your property and possessions against damage by the tenants.
  • Prepare a contingency plan in case your property becomes unusable, for example after a flood or fire, this would include:
    • Cover for loss of income if you can no longer rent out your premises.
    • Calculate how much you would need to rent temporary alternative premises.

Step Four: Insure your equipment

Unless your group is very new, you have probably already acquired a lot of Scouting essentials, from compasses to camping stoves. A carefully considered contents or equipment policy will protect you from the potentially high costs of repairing or replacing these items if they are lost, stolen or damaged. Before talking to an insurance broker:

  • Make a list of everything you own, from large items such as minibuses and canoes to small items such as tent pegs and cutlery.
  • Note when and where items are used, as some items will need to be covered when loaned out to others, for example Scout groups or Girlguiding units.
  • Consider specialist items such as audio visual equipment and computers which may need additional All Risks cover. 
  • Consider whether it would be more cost effective to arrange short period cover for items you borrow on a temporary basis. 
  • If you own boats vessels or other craft and marine equipment, these items may need specialist marine cover.

Step Five: Minibus and motor vehicle insurance

As mentioned above, third party motor insurance is a legal requirement in the UK and driving without it on roads and in public places is an offence. However, as it only covers injury, loss or damage to third parties, it does not protect the driver, nor the vehicle itself from accidental damage, vandalism or theft. Scout groups often own or use a range of vehicles, from minibuses to campsite vehicles, and these can all be covered against accidents, damage or theft under a comprehensive policy, or added for a short period only. 

Step Six: Take cover before travelling 

If your group has any trips planned, whether that is camping in the UK or a residential stay abroad, the Scouts POR requires you to have travel insurance to cover the extra risks. This should include emergency medical expenses and repatriation costs if you are overseas, as well as reimbursement for any cancellations or delays and any related expenses. Most travel insurance covers personal injury, lost or stolen belongings, lost passports, money and credit card fraud, but you can also be covered for all recognised Scouting activities with a specifically tailored Scout Travel Insurance policy.

Step Seven: Add insurance for events

If your group hosts any organised events, such as fundraisers or fetes, you’ll need to consider insurance to cover the costs of an unavoidable cancellation. Event Cancellation insurance will reimburse equipment and venue hire, ticket sales and other advance purchases, such as perishable food and drink. However, be aware that many insurers require the policy to be bought more than two weeks ahead, and it may be no coincidence that weather is often forecast within this time frame.

We can arrange free insurance cover for your Scout events in the UK, if your group is already insured with our Scout Property and Equipment policy.

Step Eight: Protect other people

Non-members such as parents, helpers, and other children that occasionally take part in your meetings or events are unfortunately not covered by the Scouts Personal Accident insurance. You can protect these people to the same level as members by arranging separate Personal Accident and Medical Expenses policy or higher levels of benefits with a Personal Injury Plan. 

Step Nine: Look out for other liabilities

Besides the main insurances mentioned above, you may need to consider other circumstances where you could be held liable.

For example, if you provide advice or training, and the recipient suffers an injury or financial loss as a result, Professional Indemnity insurance will protect you and provide cover for the costs incurred.

And as previously mentioned, if you do employ anyone, for example an accountant or cleaner, you must have Employer’s Liability insurance to protect them at work.

Step Ten: Get the right level of cover and review regularly

Now you know the types of insurance your group needs, you will need to make sure you get the right level of cover so as to avoid underinsurance and unsuccessful claims. 

You should also regularly review your insurance cover, as your circumstances and risks will change over time.

How Unity Insurance Services can help

As the official insurance broker for the Scouts for more than 90 years, we understand how the organisation operates and the risks groups face. We're here to help you get the right cover, and will read the small print and explain the jargon so you can focus on your next Scouting adventure. 

call our Scout insurance experts - Alex

For more information and to discuss your Scout group’s insurance needs, call our friendly team of experts.


Call me:

0345 040 7731