Do sports clubs need to insure players?

All sports clubs will need to have adequate insurance for their players. However, the level of cover required is dependent on the risks associated with each individual sport.

Are injured players covered by public liability insurance?

For “low risk” sports such as cricket, tennis or bowls, your insurance broker will be able to secure adequate public liability insurance to cover you for injured players who choose to make a claim.

Significant injury is less likely to arise from a non-contact sport, so the level of risk for an insurer is much lower. This means a wider variety of insurers are happy to offer cover to cricket clubs, for example. And Club Insure can certainly work with you to make sure you’re adequately covered should a player become injured.

For more dangerous sports such as rugby and football, clubs and teams will need to seek the help of a specialist insurer. Don’t just rely on societies and associations without fully researching exactly what your policy covers.

How do rugby and football clubs insure players?

There are specialist insurance schemes that can provide comprehensive cover for amateur and professional players. Personal Accident and Public Liability is essential to cover potential costs of injury.

Some societies arrange cover for its members which ensures affiliated clubs and sports players are protected.

  • The Rugby Football Union arrange Liability insurance and Personal Accident insurance cover for all players participating in the sport with an RFU affiliated club.
  • Rugby League have also arranged specific insurance for rugby league teams and clubs. New teams are covered free of charge, with established teams/clubs paying a full premium for the required cover. 
  • The FA rules state all players must have Public Liability insurance and Personal Accident insurance. Groups or clubs affiliated to the Amateur Football Alliance can opt in to the National Game Insurance Scheme to ensure they are adequately covered.
  • England Hockey has negotiated a policy for affiliated clubs.

Will enough cover be provided?

It’s worth noting that some of these insurance policies provide basic cover, with more extensive cover costing an additional premium. And just sticking with an affiliation’s recommended policy isn’t always mandatory – additional cover is available from a variety of insurers. As a club or group, you should make sure your players are aware of the terms of the policy and what they are entitled to in the event of an injury. They may wish to purchase individual Personal Accident insurance.

If your rugby, football or hockey club is not affiliated with a society, association or official organisation then it’s essential to speak with a specialist insurer to insure players.

A recent case involving Ossett Town saw the semi-professional club become liable for damages and prosecution costs. The payout was not covered by their insurance. This highlights the importance of knowing your policy inside out and ensuring you’re covered for all the ‘what ifs’ you could come up against. Simply buying cover through the FA approved scheme or similar might not provide enough cover for the worst case scenario.

Should I have a separate insurance policy for sports players?

Each club has individual needs and requirements. Are you adequately covered for every eventuality? Make sure you’re never underinsured. By speaking to an independent insurance broker, you can have peace of mind that you’re getting impartial, confidential expert advice on the exact cover you need to insure players at your club.

Contact the Club Insure team for more advice on insuring your club.

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Sophie Joelle

Sophie Joelle