Insurance Programmes and Return to Sport – Liability Insurance and potential policy Exclusions

Insurance Cover and Return to Sport – Liability Insurance & potential policy Exclusions  

As focus shifts from the recent firebreak in Wales, to the resumption of some organised physical activity, WSA’s official insurance partners Watkin Davies are providing further information relating to the cover under Insurance policies.

Although Watkin Davies may not act as Brokers to all WSA members, they are providing an overview of what they have seen in the market in response to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic; for example in recent WSA sector Business Continuity Webinars, Watkin Davies referred to Wimbledon as not being able to obtain Pandemic coverage for Event Cancellation, reinforcing the current market reaction and therefore signifying the need to ensure that policies are checked in full.

Watkin Davies deal with a very broad range of Insurers and the majority are providing an exclusion relating to COVID-19, although this is not the case for all, however an exclusion is more common than not. 

Principally, Watkin Davies have seen exclusions relating to Public Liability, either by way of an Absolute Coronavirus Exclusion, including SARS and mutations thereof or a similar exclusion extending to include all Communicable Diseases and this then has extended into other classes of insurance, such as Business Interruption, Group Annual Travel and Directors & Officers Liability where for example, an absolute exclusion is applied relating to any direct or indirect loss, damage, claim, cost or expense.     

As Insurance Brokers, Watkin Davies cannot provide a categorical and definitive statement on the entire market, however they have highlighted that it is important for all Leisure Operators, NGBs and other Sporting Organisations to note that such exclusions relate to Third Parties and not Employees, therefore any persons other than Employees would be excluded.  In respect of the potential exposure on Leisure Operators, NGBs and wider Sporting Organisations, it is important to note that for a claim to be successful, usually it would need to be proven that the illness was caused as a result of negligence on behalf of that Leisure Operator, NGBs or Sporting Organisation. 

As mentioned in the recent WSA sector Business Continuity webinars, at present, such an instance has not been tested in courts and based on members having carried out full and thorough risk assessments and documenting its procedures along with having clearly displayed signs highlighting the COVID-19 risks, it may be difficult to prove negligence and therefore hold the Leisure Operators, NGBs or wider Sporting Organisations solely accountable, particularly if players / members etc are asked to sign and/or confirm acceptance of the procedures, and that they agree to abide by the rules that are set.    

Watkin Davies are offering our members a FREE independent insurance report, so if you’d like to review and discuss the cover under your existing Insurance policies, please contact the Watkin Davies Insurance team, via the WSA Watkin Davies Partner page.

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