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Types of insurance activity instructors need, what they cover and their importance when claims arise

Updated: Mar 14, 2019

If you are an outdoor instructor, whether freelance or operating on a self-employed basis, it is important that you have insurance in place in case a claim is made against you for a negligent act. Below we will discuss the insurance that activity instructors should have in place, why they need the cover and what situations could give rise to a claim, hence the reason for the cover.

outdoor activity instructor insurance

Having public liability cover is the most import aspect to cover first. This will protect you against claims made against you for bodily injury and third party property damage. It’s vital that you get this insurance in place as this is one of the main risks that can affect an outdoor instructor’s business. You will be instructing clients on how to perform outdoor activities – which can lead to accidental injuries that you as the instructor could be held accountable for. Usually, £5,000,000 worth of cover will be satisfactory, although some contractual agreements require a £10,000,000 indemnity limit. It’s important that you decide which limit of indemnity you require when conversing with your broker.

If you employ other instructors to help you (depending on what basis), you may need employers liability too. If you only use bona-fide sub-contractors (individuals/companies who you may hire to carry out services on your behalf who are fully insured, have their own risk assessments, equipment etc.) you generally do not need to purchase employers liability. This can be a grey area, so it is vital that you discuss with your broker how you employ others and they’ll be able to advise you which is the best way to proceed. It’s an important topic to discuss as many outdoor instructors will use sub contractors to provide a service if they’re over-booked on that particular day, for example. If you employ someone directly and they become injured while under your control, you could be held accountable for that injury. If you did not have EL in this situation you would not have the protection of an insurance policy.

Equipment cover is also another package element to a policy which needs to be mentioned here. If you instruct activities such as climbing, coasteering, kayaking or bushcraft, it’s likely that you have the equipment to go along with it. Generally outdoor activity instructors insure their equipment alongside the liabilities which gives them a complete package. The equipment would be insured against risks of theft, fire, flood etc.

activity equipment insurance

Another element of cover that may be of interest to instructors is professional indemnity. If you ‘train trainers’ or provide some qualifications to your clients so that they can then take their own clients out doing activities, there could be some element of a financial loss risk – which the professional indemnity insurance will cover you for. A good limit of indemnity to start with would be from £100,000 to £250,000 worth of cover for a small business. If you’re a larger organisation then a higher limit would be more suitable.

When applying for an insurance quote, insurers are generally happy to cover you if you have all of the relevant national governing body qualifications, risk assessments and have had some related training. If you have not got all of the NGB tickets, do not think this is the end of the line in your insurance application as underwriters can generally come to an agreement depending on what other training/experience you may have.

Overall, having discussed numerous insurance products above which are applicable to outdoor activity instructors, it’s clear to summaries that having no cover in place at all would be highly detrimental to your business, especially in this litigious world we live in. Not having the assistance of an insurer to help you with a claim and pay the defence costs can often leave people in financial difficulty.

If you are an outdoor instructor and need help with your insurance requirements, please click the following link: to fill in a proposal form or give us a call. We’re experienced in dealing with clients from outdoor industry and can help you obtain a quote at a competitive price.

outdoor instructor insurance

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