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BC Affiliation Insurance

The club is an affiliate of the British Canoe Union and as such benefits from Third Party Insurance (Public Liability Insurance) for the Club and all registered Club members. It does not cover personal accident insurance, boat insurance which may be covered separately. The charge is calculated on the number of Club members who are not BC members plus an annual club affiliation fee. Payment is due on 12th. Aug each year. Failure to return the affiliation form and fee before the expiry date negates the third party insurance policy.

The club is registered in the BC Handbook and on Regional information lists. The Club can enter BC run events, such as tours.

The BC Liability Insurance covers the club against negligence. The policy is exercised where negligence has occurred causing the injury and/or death and/or damage to the property of a third party. It includes world-wide cover for any BC activity or canoeing or social activity of a BC affiliated club is provided to a maximum. The cover includes all legal costs and damages awarded if negligence is proven or accepted by the insurance company. Member to member liability is included, which means that the third party can be another BC member.

The Third Party Liability policy also covers the Club for leased, hired, rented or borrowed premises - such as swimming pools.

There is a requirement that all BC Affiliates comply with BC guidelines. Non compliance means that the Club may be exposed to open liability without cover. (BC defined competence for given activities as the Governing Body). In the event of incident there is a requirement to comply with HSE Guidelines and RIDDOR. The BC insurance covers it affiliated clubs.

The Pirates Canoe Club policy was renewed through the BC affiliation on 12th Aug 2024 and expires 12th Aug 2025. The policy covers:

  • Civil Liability
    • Limit of indemnity £5m any one event or £2.5m any one event in relation to Abuse
    • Includes: Public Liability, Products ;Liability, Professional Indemnity , Libel & Slander, Directors & Officers Liability
  • Excess Liability £5m in excess of the Underlying limit of Indemnity as show above
  • Civil Liability includes extended cover for clubs to give non members up to four introductory sessions without the individuals having to become members. On the fifth session the non-member must join the club in order to be included in the club liability insurance.
  • Clubs should maintain records of those individuals taking part in taster sessions and make available to the insurers in the event of a claim against the club. Any injuries or damage to property occurring during the sessions should be reported to the Canoe England.


  • A register must be held of non members attending club activities to ensure that they do not exceed the maximum non member attendance of four sessions as this would make result in PCC not be covered by insurance if an incident did occur
  • The Club must maintain accurate and up-to-date membership records so that a claimant's membership on the date of an incident can be verified and cover confirmed. The insurers reserve the right to scrutinize the Club records at any time.
  • The Club must register the correct number of members, as detailed in the accounts for the financial year most recent to the BC affiliation renewal date, in order to maintain insurance cover. New members joining the Club during the year are covered providing they are entered correctly on the Club membership records and have paid their subscription in full before the incident.
  • Where an incident occurs the full details of the event are recorded (within accident log)
  • Trips: to ensure the club liability is covered the lead canoeist must be competent working within the scope of their qualifications and experience as well as taking appropriate safety equipment and giving consideration to group sizes etc. Much of which you will no doubt be doing subconsciously but it is important to have written procedures Further information about the Third Party Liability policy can be obtained from the BC or their brokers.


The Pirates Canoe Club does not accept any liability for injuries sustained during activities and emphasizes that the overall safety of personnel wishing to paddle is ultimately their own responsibility. However as a Responsible affiliate of the BC the club shall endeavor to minimize risk to its members and the public by the implementation of reasonable practicable control measures which may be expected from a small non-profit club membership.

"Volenti non fit injuria": Where an adult participates voluntarily in an activity which involves known and obvious hazards, then he or she is unlikely to succeed in a claim for compensation against those leading the activity, if the injury sustained is the result of falling victim to a known and obvious danger e.g. Canoeist pinned against a rock in white water.

This principle may have some bearing for PCC members who take part in activities which are not defined as Club trips or courses; for example a group of friends from the Club paddling together.

While it’s not known how the court might view a given set of circumstances, it would seem unlikely that an adult with personal experience compatible with the type of trip being undertaken would succeed in a claim either against the individual presumed to be the leader, or the Club's Committee, where injury or death results from a "canoeing" accident.

Obviously there would be a case to answer if the accident arose from some other circumstances, but the Third Party Liability policy would still protect the Club's Committee and/or a Club member as long as the member's details are entered correctly on the membership records.

The following disclaimer shall be included in membership applications and signed by the applicants:

“I have read and agree to abide by the Pirate’s Canoe Club Constitution and Rules and I agree to pay the membership fee (pro-rata at the discretion of the committee) and as set at the Pirates Canoe Club annual AGM. I understand that kayaking is a risk sport and that I paddle with the Pirates Canoe Club entirely at my own risk”

Equipment insurance

The insurance for club equipment renewed on 19th May each year and the kit. The equipment to be insured should be checked prior to renewal in conjunction with safety checks and equipment inventory updated by the club Quartermaster or as delegated. PCC may not choose to insure older equipment that has minimum value. The updated equipment list should be submitted to the Insurance Broker by 31st April with the renewal documents.

Points to note:

  • The insurance covers old for new for kit listed up to 5 years old,
  • Equipment older than five years is insured is for replacement value,
  • Important to provide an estimation of the age of kit for correct sum insured.
  • Avoid insuring broken kit
  • Equipment description should be correct including changes and modifications

Employers Liability Insurance

The club is legally bound by the same responsibilities as an Employer thus has a Duty of Care to its members as volunteers. In the event of a breach of Duty of Care volunteers have rights to take legal action against the club. PCC maintain the required Public Liability insurance and the following may be noted:

  • Date commencement 5th March each years
  • £5million liability

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