Public Liability Insurance for Scouts

Public Liability Insurance for the Scouts

The Scouts Public Liability insurance cover

Public Liability insurance (also referred to as Legal Liability insurance) covers the cost of compensation to third parties for injury to people or loss or damage to property caused by the negligence of your staff, volunteers or members.

Who's covered

The cover protects commissioners, leaders and other individuals authorised to lead or assist with Scout activities.

It extends to all those authorised to be in charge of Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers or members of Scout Network, while they’re engaged in a properly organised and authorised activity abroad. It also includes British Scout leaders who assume temporary responsibility for parties of foreign Scouts visiting the British Isles to participate in Scout activities organised by a British Scout group, district or county.

As a member of the Scouts, you’re already insured for Public Liability.

What’s covered

The Scouts Public Liability policy provides security against claims made by members, their parents, guardians or by third parties, alleging legal liability arising out of accidents occurring during any authorised Scout activity.

Property Owners' Liability

The Scouts Public Liability policy also covers the property owner’s liability which rests upon any Scout authority which owns, or is responsible for the upkeep of land or buildings (except for liability accepted under any agreement). This cover would apply if the incident occurred at a Scout run event, or while another organisation was using your Scout premises.

Example A member of the public trips over in the Scout hut and breaks their arm.  The individual alleges negligence and this claim would fall within Public Liability insurance to investigate.

Product Liability

The Scouts Public Liability policy also covers the Products Liability which covers your liability for products you make available to the public.

Example:  A group is holding a fundraising BBQ and serving food to members of the public.  The meat is not cooked properly and people are ill as a result.  The individuals who suffered food poisoning may wish to pursue compensation.

 

    Hirer’s Liability Cover

    With effect from 1 January 2020 the Scout Public Liability policy now extends to cover Hirer’s Liability up to £1m, with an excess of £1,000 for each and every claim.

    These claims could be for accidental damage to a third party’s property or accidental injury caused by the hirer.  This means that Scout groups who hire out their building to third party individuals to generate an extra income stream (i.e for a birthday party), no longer need to ask to see proof of third party liability insurance, which an individual may not have.  

    This only applies to individuals, who hire your Scout premises on an ad-hoc basis, such as a parent organising a birthday party, not businesses or other organisations.  Organisations who regularly hire your premises, such as weekly mother and toddler groups, should have their own Public Liability cover in place.  You should ask to see Public Liability certificates from organisations hiring your premises. 

    The Scouts Public Liability policy now also covers Scout groups for claims made against individuals who hire the Group's premises, provided that:

    1. the person does not have indemnity cover under any other insurance policy (i.e their own household insurance policy)
    2. the claim isn’t caused by any participant or member of the hiring group or organisation to any other participant or member of that group or organisation;
    3. the hirer is not using the group’s premises for bonfires, fireworks, or organised sports activities.

    Regardless of whether the hirer is an individual or an organisation the Scout group shall ensure that:

    1. the hirer is over the age of 18;
    2. the hirer signs and dates a copy of the contract or agreement including the terms and conditions of hire and that a record of this and of the activity undertaken is retained by the group;
    3. the hirer is made aware of the safety and security systems of the premises as well as the exits and escape routes;
    4. a list of the hirer’s responsibilities is provided to the hirer before the contract or agreement is signed, which includes but is not limited to:
    • the need for adequate supervision during the hire of the premises;
    • the use of electrical equipment brought onto the premises;
    • the need for any additional licences required (if required);
    • the number of people allowed on the premises;
    • restriction of the use of additional heating
       

    How the Scouts Public Liability works when a Scout group hires out its Scout hall

    When a group hires out its premises, any outside organisations, such a bouncy castle owners, pet zoo or discos, need to provide their own Public Liability insurance certificate. Unity would suggest groups request sight of their public liability certificate and keep a record of this.

    The group cannot be responsible for the maintenance of a bouncy castle or how a DJ would set up disco equipment. The Scouts and entertainment providers will both hold Public Liability insurance to cover any alleged negligence.


    How the Scouts Public Liability works when a Scout group uses other premises, such a school or church hall for its meetings

    There are different areas of responsibility for groups who don’t own their premises.

    The Scout Public Liability protects all members of the group, and compensates the public in relation to scouting activities.  The landlord’s Public Liability insurance will compensate the public in relation to claims relating to their property and land.
      
    Example: There is a cooking activity within the school hall.  No Leader supervision or protective equipment is available and a child burns themselves. If the individual could prove there was inadequate safety equipment and lack of supervision, the child’s family may look towards the group for compensation.

    Example: There is an activity with water in the school hall.  A large quantity of water is on the floor all evening, resulting in a person slipping over. If the individual could prove there was no intention to mop the floor or make it safe, they may look towards the group for compensation.

    Example:  A tile from the roof of the church hall falls on a car in the car park damaging the vehicle.  Whilst it may have happened during a Scout evening the maintenance of the church roof lies with the church. The issue would be handled by the church not The Scout Association.

    Example:  A door falls off its hinges and lands on a parent collecting their child from group.  Whilst it may have happened during a Scout evening the maintenance of the church lies with the church. The incident would be handled by the church not The Scout Association.

    What isn't covered under the Scouts Public Liability policy

    The Scouts Public Liability policy does not cover legal liability in respect of

    • motor vehicles licenced for road use or for which compulsory insurance is required under the Road Traffic Act, or 
    • the ownership, driving or piloting of aircraft and gliders.

    Nor does it fully cover liability for injuries to third parties and/or damage to third party property arising out of ownership or operation of boats.

    We can arrange motor insurance and marine insurance to cover theses liabilities.

    Indemnity Agreements

    If your Scout group is arranging to use for an event or activity, land, premises or any other facility belonging to another authority, organisation or individual, and you're required to sign an agreement or indemnity, you must contact Unity.

    The acceptability of the agreement or indemnity terms, and the adequacy of the Association’s Public Liability Policy in relation to them, need to be confirmed by Unity before you can proceed with the arrangements, or you can sign an agreement or indemnity.

     

    Public Liability Certificates

    To get a copy of the Scout Association’s Public Liability Certificate, contact us on 0345 040 7703 or email scouts@unityins.co.uk.

    'Unity know Scouting and that gives Leaders comfort that our activities are supported by an insurance broker who knows what we are doing for young people.'

    1st North Cray Scout Group

    Public Liability support we provided to the Scouts

    To find out what to do If a liability claim against your Scout group for injury, loss or damage, please see our Public Liability support for the Scouts page.

    Talk to our team of professionals

    Talk to our team of professionals

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    FAQ

    Does a Scout group need to take out a Public Liability policy?

    No, there is no need for a Scout group to take out insurance for Public Liability. The Scouts purchase this policy annually on behalf of all the groups.

    Who is covered under The Scout Association’s Public Liability policy?

    Public Liability is an insurance policy which covers all Scout members and members of the public.  

    Group leaders and instructors are expected to operate activities within Policy, Organisation and Rules (POR). Groups who own their property are also expected to ensure it is maintained to a safe standard fit for use.  This is a pre-requisite for the Public Liability policy.

    What does The Scout Association’s Public Liability policy cover?

    The Scout Public Liability policy provides cover in the event of a claim made from any group member or member of the public.  The policy investigates the allegations and covers any legal costs and financial compensation, should the group to be found negligent. 

    Is administering First Aid covered within the Scout Public Liability policy?

    First Aid Insurance
    The Scouts Public Liability policy arranged by The Scout Association (as referenced in POR chapter 8) does include cover for the provision of first aid provided by members during Scouts activities.
    Members using items such as defibrillators are covered as these are publically available and designed to be used by anyone in order to provide the emergency assistance required to an individual. 
    It does not cover the provision of first aid at non Scout events or wider medical treatment.

    What is Property Owners’ Liability insurance?

    Property Owners’ Liability insurance covers claims by members of the public for injury or financial loss alleging the property owner was negligent.  For example, a member of the public trips over at a Scout premises and breaks an arm alleging the Scout Group was negligent.  It would cover the cost to defend and meet the claim.

    Does The Scout Association’s Public Liability policy include Property Owners’ Liability?

    Yes, Property Owners' Liability insurance is included as part of The Scout Association Public Liability insurance policy.  It protects groups in respect of incidents made against them in respect of their legal liability for personal injury or property damage suffered by third parties and arising from the policyholder's ownership of the property.

    What is Product Liability insurance?

    Product Liability provides cover for products the group make available to the public.

    Does The Scout Association’s Public Liability policy include Product Liability?

    Product Liability insurance is included within The Scout Association Public Liability insurance policy.

    What liability cover may a Scout group need to arrange for itself?

    Scout groups may need to arrange for the following:

    • Employers Liability.  A legal requirement if the group employs staff
    • Professional Indemnity Liability.   For groups who provide and charge for training to people outside of Scouting

    Do we need extra Campsite liability cover for climbing and abseiling activities for the public?

    No additional cover is required.  Climbing and abseiling activities for the public is covered by The Scout Association Public Liability policy.

    What activities are covered by the Scouts Public Liability policy?

    If an activity is not excluded under the Scouts Policy, Organisation and Rules (POR), it would be covered under the Scouts Public Liability policy.

    We hire out our Scout Hall for parties. Is this covered under the Scouts Public Liability policy?

    Yes, ad hoc hiring out of your building falls within the Public Liability policy.  Any outside party organisations such as a bouncy castle, pet zoo or disco need to provide their own Public Liability insurance certificate.  A group cannot be responsible for the maintenance of a bouncy castle or how a DJ would set up disco equipment.  The Scouts and entertainment providers will both hold Public Liability insurance to cover any acts of negligence.

    We hire out our Scout Hall for a weekly exercise class. Is this covered under the Scouts Public Liability policy?

    Anyone using the premises regularly and charging a monetary fee for a service needs to have their own Public Liability insurance for their business. In this instance the Scouts and exercise instructor will both hold Public Liability insurance to cover any negligence.

    It is always good practice to request sight of the outside organisation Public Liability certificate and not assume there is insurance cover in place. Similarly, if they request a copy of your Public Liability certificate this is not an unreasonable request and should be shared.
     

    If a public footpath runs through a Scout property, who is responsible?

    A public footpath is usually the responsibly of the Highway Authority.  Any maintenance issues or queries should be directed to the local authority.  

    It's worth noting as the landowner, the group is responsible for keeping footpaths clear of obstructions, cutting back vegetation and maintaining gates and stiles.

    If we organise a summer fate or Christmas fayre, does the Scouts Public Liability cover this fundraiser?

    Yes.  The group has to do a risk assessment of the event and follow Policy, Organisation and Rules (POR) guidance.

    Our Scout group rents a hall from a Third Party (school, church etc..). How does Public Liability work in this instance and who was covered for what?

    The Scout Association Public Liability protects all members of the group plus the public in relation to scouting activities.

    The Third Party you are hiring the property from will have their own Public Liability Insurance.  This is solely for their property and land.

    The Third Party property owners should have Public Liability for the same reasons as The Scout Association to protect people.  There are different areas of responsibility and Groups who do not own the premises the Public Liability lies with you to ensure all the activities and fun things you do is risk assessed, within Policy, Organisation and Rules (POR).  

    This will always mitigate risks to individuals, the group and The Scout Association.
     

    How do I obtain a copy of the Scouts Public Liability Certificate?

    Contact Unity, send us a message via the Unity website or alternatively call the office on 0345 040 7703.
     

    What is the difference between a £5m and £10m Public Liability Certificate?

    It’s monetary values only.  Unity’s standard practice is to send out a £5m certificate upon request of a Public Liability certificate. This generally suffices but in the event of an organisation asking for higher cover, we can provide a £10m certificate.
     

    Does Unity arrange Public Liability cover for Girlguiding?

    No. Public Liability Insurance for Girlguiding is not handled by Unity.  Please contact Girlguiding direct for details of the Public Liability insurance and a certificate.