Ramblers Affiliated Groups / Clubs

Please find below Frequently Asked Questions about the Ramblers Combined Liability scheme:

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If I have any questions regarding Insurance, who should I contact?

You should contact Howden on 0121 698 8050 - click here for the "Contact Us" page.

Please do not contact Ramblers (Association) as they are not qualified to provide insurance advice.

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What criteria do I need to meet to be able to purchase this cover?

You must maintain continuous affiliation to the Ramblers Association and be a constituted club to apply for the insurance cover and preferential rating which has been negotiated.

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What process do I need to follow in order to renew?

If you have previously renewed online please follow the instructions contained in this years renewal email you have received. If you choose to make payment by cheque, an administration charge will apply of £ 30. If you have any queries please contact us on 0121 698 8050.

If you previously renewed off line please follow the instructions in this year’s renewal invitation letter. We would emphasise that a £ 30 administration fee will apply. If you have any queries please contact us on 0121 698 8050.

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Can I pay by cheque?

Yes, either on line or off line. A £30 administration charge will apply.

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What activities does the policy cover me for?

Cover is available for all club members and volunteers whilst undertaking activities sanctioned by the club.

Activities insured are

  • Sports club undertaking setting club rules, ensuring adherence to club rules, disciplining members who fail to adhere to club rules, arranging suitable times and locations for club activities, promotion of club activities, arranging club events for members and fund raising purposes and the provision of instruction, coaching, training, tuition, supervision, advice and assessment in respect of Rambling and participation in Rambling, Walks and rambles as organised and sanctioned by the affiliated club.
  • In addition official club social activities are also covered however those activities considered being of a hazardous nature (e.g. bonfires and firework displays or use of inflatables) are excluded and must be referred to Howden for consideration

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Does the cover only apply in the UK?

Your policy would provide your club with cover for recognised Rambling activities undertaken anywhere in the world with the exception of United States and Canada.

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Some statements in the Statement of Fact don’t apply to me, what should I do?

The Statement of Fact is a generic document provided by insurers and we accept that not all statements will be relevant to you, e.g. you may not own premises in connection with your activities and so the statement relating to this is not applicable. In the case that a statement does not apply, please ignore it.

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The Statement of Fact refers to instructing and coaching but I do neither, does it still apply?


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Are there any age limits?

There are no age restrictions within the policy.

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Does it include Public Liability?

Yes. Unlike standard liability policies, it not only covers public liability (where you are liable for injury or property damage to others, but also includes:

  • Professional Indemnity – Injury following advice (e.g. during navigation)
  • Libel and Slander – Liability following something you might have said or written down (including web sites/emails etc.)
  • Directors and Officers cover – as an incorporated entity, the committee or potentially the members are personally legally liable (with their own assets) in the event of negligent mismanagement of the club. Policy cover provides an indemnity up to £5m in the aggregate in respect of Directors and Officers cover.
  • Abuse / Safeguarding – Policy cover provides a contingency in the event of the club failing in its care of duty to protect children. Policy cover provides an indemnity up to £2.5m in the aggregate

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What is ‘Claims Occurred’?

Simply this means that a claim for Public and Products liability or Employers Liability will be covered if they occur within your policy period.

All other sections of the policy are written on a Claims Made basis, which means that the effective policy is the one in force at the time at which the incident is reported to insurers. Once a policy is cancelled, no cover is provided for Professional indemnity, Libel and Slander, Abuse, or Directors and officers incidents, notified after the date of cancellation.

If you are aware of any incidents that should be reported to insurers you should contact Howden on 0121 698 8050 immediately.

It is particularly important to ensure that policy documents are never thrown away, but held in a place of safekeeping.

All policies will have a retroactive date shown on the policy schedule. This means that any incident that occurred after your existing retroactive date will be subject to policy cover.

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Am I protected if another member of my Ramblers Club brings a civil action against me?

Member to member cover is provided automatically in the policy.

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Why do you insist we have a constitution?

A constitution protects the committee in that it evidences the agreement between the members and the committee regarding powers to run the club. Without a written constitution, the management committee are exposing themselves to legal liability in acting outside of their powers, or even acting unfairly.

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How is Employers’ Liability different to Public Liability?

Employers’ Liability protects the employer in the event of an injury to an employee in circumstances where the employer is legally responsible. Public Liability protects the Club member if another member or a member of the public, sues them for Injury or damage allegedly caused by them.

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Why do I need £5m limit of indemnity as a minimum?

In the event of a claim, your limit of indemnity is the maximum your policy will pay. We are seeing awards in sport that exceed this amount. We would advise that £5m should be taken out as a minimum and recommend that you seriously consider higher limits.

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Why do I need professional indemnity?

Professional Indemnity provides cover in respect of claims that may arise if, as a member, you are legally liable for an incident that results in injury to another party, or damage to third party property. However, a standard Public Liability policy will have a specific exclusion in respect of advice given. To be safe therefore we include Professional Indemnity cover which specifically covers advice for all members.

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Does my cover include any legal expenses?

Yes, but only for:

  • Legal expenses for defence of actions arising and qualifying under the Combined Liability policy
  • Legal expenses for defence of criminal actions brought against you under the Health & Safety at Work and Consumer Protection legislation.

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Why do I need libel and slander cover?

It is possible that comments made on your website or in emails you send could give rise to claims against you if they are taken by a Third Party to be defamatory or derogatory, even if there was no intention to do so on your part. This section of cover will protect you if someone claims damages against you in such circumstances.

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Does the Policy cover anyone who is not defined as UK Resident?


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There has been an incident. What do I do if...?

...I am involved in an incident involving a fatal accident, an injury involving either referral to or actual hospital treatment, any allegations of libel/slander, any allegations of professional negligence, i.e. arising out of tuition, coaching or advice given, any investigation under any child protection legislation or any circumstance involving damage to third party property?

Report the incident to Howden immediately/or as soon as is practical after the incident occurred. Tel 0121 698 8140.

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If I am injured, can I claim from my own policy?

If you are injured you should seek legal advice on how to pursue a claim against the person responsible. You may also wish to consider purchasing a Personal Accident policy.

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Is any indemnity provided under the policy for members’ guests or persons taking part in taster sessions?

If a person is taking part in an official ‘Taster Session’ with a view to deciding whether the activity is for them and they want to become a member of the affiliated club, then the policy will extend to provide an indemnity to that person, up to a maximum of 3 walks. A register of persons attending taster sessions, the number of sessions they attend and their contact details should be maintained.

This should not, however, be confused with a situation where a relative or friend is visiting a member and decides to take part in a walk. This situation is more likely to arise at club level than national/regional level. In such instances, the individual is unlikely to be taking part with a view to becoming a member of the club and in consequence, no indemnity is provided to that person. i.e. If they injure someone or damage third party property, the policy will not provide them with an indemnity. If, however, the person were injured as a result of an act of negligence by an insured person or walk leader and pursued a claim for their injury, then their claim would be dealt with as any other third party claim would be.

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Are dogs or other pets allowed on walks?

Club members are allowed to take dogs on walks organised by the club; however they should remain under the control of the owner at all times. Importantly, dogs should be on a lead when in the vicinity of farm animals.

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Who or what constitutes a third party?

A third party can come in various guises:

  1. another walker (the policy includes member to member liability)
  2. a member of the public who isn’t in anyway related to the walk
  3. a landowner whose property or stock are damaged/injured
  4. a property owner whose premises are damaged during a meeting.

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Is it necessary to take a register of attendees at a walk?

Walk Leaders are encouraged to take a register of all attendees & in respect of non-members, their address/contact phone number as well. The main reason for this is that if a claim is made at a later date, either against that person or by that person, it is important to be able to provide evidence that the person was on the walk in question.

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What is the position with regards to ‘working parties’?

Working parties involved with Path Maintenance are included under the club policy providing they are not engaged in the major construction, maintenance and repair of complex footbridges, stiles or the like.

Guidance for Best Practice when the Clubs/Groups are undertaking working parties is available within the Ramblers Insurance Guidance documents located here.

Recognised Path Maintenance would include:

  • vegetation clearance from the line of the path
  • vegetation clearance immediately to the side of the path where the rights are likely to be impeded by the growth of vegetation
  • stile building and repair
  • simple bridge construction, as defined by the Local Authority
  • boardwalk construction and repair
  • simple work on steps, gates, path surface or drainage
  • erection of signposts and waymarks

Any other activities are excluded from the policy.

The relevant Local Authority (sometimes the National Park Authority) and Landowner should always be aware the work is taking place and correct permissions gained before work commences.

In addition, if the maintenance work involves the use of small power tools such as:

  • Brush cutters and clearing saws
  • Strimmers
  • Lawnmowers
  • Power secateurs
  • Hedge trimmers
  • Hand held drills

...it is essential that the club ensure that the members know how to use these small power tools.

Members/Volunteers holding a current qualification may use chainsaws and the appropriate protective clothing must be worn

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Should a Walk Leader personally walk an intended route prior to an organised walk?

Whilst not compulsory it is strongly recommended and considered good practice, that a walk leader should carry out a recce for a walk beforehand and should have noted, (if relevant) in writing, any potential hazards. I.e. broken or unsafe stiles, roads, fallen trees etc. We recommend recces so that a walk leader can feel confident about the route they are going on and its another way of avoiding risk when leading group walks.

A written risk assessment should be completed by the walk leader or another suitable official. It is accepted however that regular walks of the same route will be sufficiently covered if a generic risk assessment is produced. The key here is to ensure that the risk assessment is adhered to and a register maintained.

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Does the policy cover us to go climbing?

No. The policy only covers those activities recognised by the Ramblers. Typically this is interpreted as general walking/rambling at both low and high level but without the use of Climbing Equipment, Ropes, Traversing Equipment, Crampons or other like artificial aids.

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Does the policy carry an excess?

The policy doesn’t carry a third party excess of any kind.

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Does the policy extend to include social events?

The policy does extend to include social activities such as Barbeques, Quiz Nights, Seminars/Talks etc.as organised by the club. Firework and Bonfire parties can be included, however, reference needs to be made to Howden as there are various points that need to be adhered to and an additional premium is also required.

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Does the presence of guests invalidate the insurance?

No. The question of guests has previously arisen in question i). Guests (unless those being classified as being on an official taster session) do not receive an individual indemnity themselves, however, the cover afforded to RA members is not affected in any way.

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Does the duty of care alter if I am a member?

No, the duty of care is the same for members & guests alike. Everyone has a duty of care to their neighbour. The advantage of being a member, however, is that you receive invaluable individual indemnity.

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Do I have cover if I am travelling in a motor vehicle to an event?

No, the policy carries a very specific exclusion relating to motorised vehicles. Such cover is provided by a motor policy & the claim should be referred to the appropriate motor insurers.

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