Public Liability for Club organisers and personal kit

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Public Liability for Club organisers and personal kit

Postby SJB » Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:41 am

Several of us are looking at the needs of public liability for running a club in relation to:-
1. Use of the Club supplied kit.
2. If you use your own kit at the club.

I am thinking that for kit the club provide then the club should take out public liability? But if a member takes their own kit then does the club cover that kit or does the member need to take out their own insurance.

Finally can the club simply state in their membership that people use kit at their own risk?

If anyone has a definitive document / information on this it would be helpful.
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Re: Public Liability for Club organisers and personal kit

Postby Garystrat » Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:04 pm

Hi Stuart

This is a tricky question, I ran Shadows Club for about 6 years and the venues insurance did not cover our particular activities, The Musicians Union weren’t interested in providing cover as a group of club members at that time.

If your membership are prepared to join the Musicians Union as individuals they will benefit from that cover, but many of our membership were unwilling to meet the cost, so in the end I managed to agree an arrangement based on on a policy I wrote myself and the underwriters signed off on it, which satisfied the venue and their insurers.

It’s something worth considering as we had a visitor trip over a guitar case and it seemed bad enough to get paramedics to check him out (he went down into some chairs and seemed to suffer heart problems), in this instance the person who’s guitar case tripped him up was pro musician and a member of the Musicians Union, so i suspect was covered. As it turns out he was OK, but I was just about to take over the club that time and I insisted that we had the appropriate cover, it’s always the way with these things that everything OK until it’s not!

If you do have an accident it’s always best to have a written safety policy/practice which is formally acknowledged and signed by club members, you can ask people to sign disclaimers, but this can be very tricky if the club has not exercised due diligence. In any case all people using their equipment in a public venue should have their equipment regularly PAT tested and the club should maintain a record of this.

Hope that helps!

Gary
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Re: Public Liability for Club organisers and personal kit

Postby SJB » Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:37 am

Thanks for the reply Gary.
I have just been in discussion on Zoom with some friends - we discussed this as a result of my post.
It seems the people that are gigging have personal Liability insurance - some via the Musicians Union.

My take on it now is that the best option would be for individuals to take out their own insurance - if they take their own kit - - and to cover any activity they carry out which affects someone else or the damage to the venue.

The Musicians Union route is expensive unless your being paid and that covers it.
The main problem here is that people probably won't want to carry cost and if a club makes it mandatory for personal insurance this will mean less people coming to the club.

I wonder how difficult it would be to write a policy and get underwriters to approve it - and the cost.

I was hoping by posting this that someone would come up with the magic solution and point to a group/club cover which would be quite reasonable.

If I have stirred up a can of worms here I do apologise.
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Re: Public Liability for Club organisers and personal kit

Postby bazmusicman » Thu Oct 14, 2021 11:15 am

Sadly I don't have a solution to what you are asking Stuart.
But with the 'claim for anything' way of thinking nowadays I don't think you are 'opening a can of worms', just a valid look at a difficult situation.

Regards,
Baz.
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Re: Public Liability for Club organisers and personal kit

Postby Iain Purdon » Thu Oct 14, 2021 11:51 am

Opinions will vary about the expense of the MU. Your annual membership not only gives you public liability insurance but also covers your gear against damage or theft. That alone makes it worth having in my book. If you go out and do paid gigs, the MU gives a whole load more guidance and protection. I would read up on it before deciding it’s not for you :). It currently has a “Join for £1” offer which gives you 6 months membership, long enough to decide whether its benefits are worth having. The MU website is full of stuff that will interest you - here’s the URL https://musiciansunion.org.uk
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Re: Public Liability for Club organisers and personal kit

Postby Garystrat » Thu Oct 14, 2021 11:57 am

Hi Stuart

Firstly, the policy cost nothing to write because I did it myself as they didn’t have anything to use as a template. I expected them to come back on one or two points, but the underwriters accepted it on the first pass!

The important thing is to identify the risk potential, I stated the average number of club members, the type of venue, number of possible outside events and provide a separate list of club equipment (they didn’t seem too interested in that). South West Shadows is run as a formal membership club, so we had a mandate and safety policy and they could see it was pretty well run, at the time Warwick club showed quite a bit of interest and copied quite a few of the documents, but I’m not sure if they adopted anything.

The PAT testing is quite important for both club equipment and anybody using their own, we setup a deal with a local electrical company to do the testing and members could bring their own equipment along for nominal fee. This would come under normal due diligence, if you were unfortunate enough to have an accident its best that only designated people assess and deal with it.

The venue we used didn’t cover performing musicians/equipment, so their insurers required us to have cover, but I think some venues that do it on a regular basis may do so. If you are in situation where it could be open to the public, you may need a Public Performance Licence (our venue did cover this, which I believe is normal if there is entertainment), it’s well to check though!

I resigned about 6 years ago, but I see on their website they still have the the same Performers Liability Policy, if you Contact Adrian he may well be able to help you if that is of interest:

https://www.southwestshadows.org.uk/membership

My view is that if your members are happy to take out a Musicians Union membership that’s the easiest solution, I think there is a still what they call a student level, it’s based on how much you’re likely to earn performing.

Regards

Gary
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Re: Public Liability for Club organisers and personal kit

Postby SJB » Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:19 pm

Thanks to all of you for your responses. Taking the advise on board.
One of our other club members is looking into this - but I decided to check to see how to cover me and hopefully advice from others about options.
This has now transpired - Thanks.

I have circulated this post web address so hopefully they are following it.

This morning I had a Zoom chat with some of my music friends from the south of England (I used to live there until 3 years ago approx). They saw my post and a full 40 mins of discussion was the result - and I did not start it.

With regard to PAT testing - it seems that I can carry this out providing I get hold of the right kit. It's confusing as when you look on the internet for details - so many sites offer training etc it looks like you have to have a PAT qualification. But its a competent person. So I am a fully indentured Electrical and Electronic Engineer (retired) so it seems I could do it.

The club is in a bit of readjustment at this time - we have lost a few members over the Covid Period (other medical conditions not Covid) so we need to see how we rebuild - and then the costs etc.
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Re: Public Liability for Club organisers and personal kit

Postby Iain Purdon » Fri Oct 15, 2021 2:09 am

I’ve been thinking about this. It struck me that all clubs, whatever they do, face a range of risks from equipment damage/theft to accidents/injuries to individuals. I did some Googling and found plenty of material: it’s clear that many insurance companies will provide clubs with affordable cover.

This is just one example I found. I have no commercial interest in it, I just liked the way it wrote up the issues. Have a look, it might give you ideas? https://www.policybee.co.uk/charity-insurance/club-insurance
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Re: Public Liability for Club organisers and personal kit

Postby Garystrat » Fri Oct 15, 2021 11:16 am

If a club is well run with due diligence the risks are probably not that great, but insurers tend to perceive them as being higher risk and many will either decline or charge high premiums that make them non starters, the MU may well be a better way to go. I had to do a lot of convincing and write a bespoke policy that specified what our activities may be, including the type and nature of outside events to get an affordable policy. The one I negotiated for SWSC only covers third part risks, specific equipment cover was not part of the agreement unless in it specifically caused something like fire and/or third party damage. There were other exclusions like using smoke machines and being on stages above a certain height, but I don’t have copy and as it was over 12 years ago and I simply can’t remember all the detail.

The challenge was to run the club at a level of regular membership, with a nominal cost to members that wasn’t off putting. SWSC adopted a scheme of an annual membership charge and pay per session play fees, the annual membership fees covered the insurance costs providing you maintain a optimal number of members, once you go above that number it helps offset other costs, say have a quiet month and still have venue hire to pay for. The general financing also provided a progressive path to keeping the clubs equipment in repair/updated, for practical reasons we had to downscale the size of equipment to suit vehicles transporting it, but at the same time the replacement kit purchased was of higher quality which provided a lot of benefits to the group as a whole.

Regards

Gary
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