Do we need insurance if we run together as a group?
Hi I wonder if anyone can help?We have a running club in South Manchester (as yet unaffiliated but this is around the corner) We regularly have 20-30 people turn up to our weekly runs. We do not charge anything. I know public liability is not a legal requirement. Since we do not charge would it be possible for anyone to ever sue us if they had an accident whilst running with us. it is difficult to determine when we become an 'organised group' as opposed to a bunch of friends out running.
Does the club have a name, is there someone who organises runs, or keeps records of members (even if they don't pay)?
Those things might make you a 'club' or 'organisation', I guess, but whether that's enough I don't know.
It's always a risk that someone will take action against you if they had an accident. Our ambulance-chasing culture, I'm afraid - if it wasn't your fault, it must be someone else's and you can get compensation!
Even if they didn't succeed, defending it could cost you a lot of time and money.
Bear in mind if you ask an Insurer, Lawyer, Solicitor or H&S person there is an inevitable answer, which is not always in the best interest of the person asking the question. Make your members understand and sign to acknowledge that if they require insurance they provide their own and that they accept the very minor additional risk that running in a club environment presents over running individually. Then keep your money for the club.
I took part in an event that was mainly public roads and pavements where the police turned up. They clearly had the feeling that somehow this gathering was wrong but were stumped when the organiser pointed out that," its not a race, its just a group of individuals who have by coincidence all turned up in the same place and have all decided to set off for a run at the same time and going in the same direction. Not a race mate, see, no numbers either".
Clearly we disagree, I would do it as many events now do this, Hellrunner, etc etc, it's not something that would be required so I personally would avoid the jobsworth mentality and go ahead
From what I understand though, no club insurance provides personal injury cover which is what the OP alludes to? If people wish to take out personal injury cover then that is down to them.
If I sign a waiver I sign to acknowledge that I understand the miniscule additional risks over and above the norm associated with the activity I am choosing to do IE running with a group as opposed to the known risks of running alone.
By signing I am agreeing to run in the knowledge that (for example) I might trip over tree roots in a dark forest and break my legs to name one random incident.
Having said that it would not stop a law suit if something negligent happens such as their office roof caving in on my head, but the point is a running club, taking to the streets will not have the issues, as such negligent possible events will not exist. I suggest this type of scaremongering is responsible for some of our more ridiculous H&S stories that appear in the press.
Understand your risk and understand what you ahve to do, don't be persuaded to do the unnecessary.
Sad state of affairs when people can't organize an informal running club without fear of being sued ... ffs.
I said earlier we agree to disagree - my advice is to avoid the need to go to insurance, and it always will be
If you're just a bunch of friends with no legal status and you cause/are involved in an accident, who would they try to sue? You have no leader or committee and in most cases you could all say you weren't there.
You cannot exclude liability for personal injury/death arising from negligence.
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