Some facts about our insurance claims experience
Another of those Scouting myths is that there is a great risk of being sued if you are a Leader or Youth Worker. As is so often the case, reality is somewhat different.
I mentioned earlier in December that I had attended a meeting with the man who manages insurance claims on behalf of the Association through a firm of solicitors called Kennedys.
In briefing us on recent claims experience and trends, Andrew noted that a rising number of ‘no win, no fee’ legal practices and direct marketing of potential claimants, whilst not particularly increasing the number of claims the Association has been experiencing, has led to a significant increase in claimants costs being sought.
Although the general level of claims from young people in particular has been on the decline we have noticed an increase in claims from adults. This is often from adults trying to participate in activities as well as a noticeable increase in claims resulting from falling on slippery outside areas for example.
The Association treads a very careful line between ensuring that genuine claimants are quickly reimbursed for costs incurred following an incident as well as properly compensated for any subsequent impact this may have on them whilst at the same time ensuring that we are not seen as a ‘soft touch’ from those individuals that sadly may seek to make claims that are not genuine or seen to be justified.
It is a tribute to our staff at Unity (Scout Insurance Services) and partners such as Kennedys and Willis that we seem to have done so well in treading this line.
Of course, we could avoid some of the increasing claims through better risk management (of adults!), not particularly in activities although we must always remain vigilant in that respect, but through simple housekeeping.
In this respect, we are currently working on some additional guidance and a review of letting conditions for example on local Scout buildings to help reduce the number and impact of such claims.
Continued vigilance will ensure that not only is Scouting seen to be a safe but adventurous activity but that adults learn to look after themselves just a little bit better perhaps!
Don't forget that Unity have a unique understanding of the insurance needs of groups and members, especially when it comes to those risks that general insurers or brokers do not fully understand and may not be so ready to pay for. Do give them a call when your insurance next falls due.