Liability Insurance – NZFWDA
To all clubs and delegates forwarded from NZFWDA
Russell and I participated in an insurance review session with Tina May (broker) and Judith (insurance underwriter) last week. In terms of the big picture stuff, our collective agreement is for the insurance to be renewed. Judith mentioned some maximum liability cover amounts / excesses may be able to be beneficially reviewed for no or very minor cost; we have requested she provides recommendations for appropriate extensions of cover and particularly pertaining to legal defence and NZFWDA’s General Liability limits;
We sought clarification of continuing cover in respect to the following:
- Quad bike members: There are now a number of Clubs that accept quad bike members. Our cover is silent on specific cover for these vehicles and we had a brief discussion around clarifying activity limits. The insurer has concerns around the high numbers of reported adverse events involving quad bikes. Russell and my understanding is that quad bike members are required to conform to all usual Club and Association safety protocols (safety briefings etc), and all riders are required to wear head protection (certified helmets). Cover has been confirmed for quad bike members subject to participation in usual club 4wd trip activities, no competitive events ( use of quads by officials at competition events agreed), riders to wear appropriate personal safety equipment (certified helmets being minimum) and no passengers.
- Activities covered: Historical 4WD activities continue to be covered. These include Club or Association sanctioned events such as competitive trials, winch challenges, safari-type trips, jamborees, and usual track-type activities including manual track maintenance such as vegetative pruning, minor chainsaw use (fallen trees), and track remediation ie minor works. Our cover does not extend to track building / maintenance requiring heavy equipment or specialised design / tree felling. For those activities that require higher level track maintenance / remedial type works Judith suggested the Association needed to be aware of vicarious liability being assumed by the Association / Zone / Club / Member(s) and the need for appropriate agreements to be in place before such work was agreed to or undertaken and the need to ensure contracted parties had appropriate type and level of liability cover to fully protect NZFWDA from being ensnared in any liability claim(s). To provide some control over these types of activities (both present and future) Judith suggested the Association requests disclosure of any and all agreements presently being administered by Clubs or Zones, set up a register of these agreements, and then obtain annual certificates of insurance for any third party contractors engaged to undertake such works.
- Judith has reviewed the King Country Club’s manager insures DOC agreement and is comfortable the Club’s minor works track maintenance activities are covered by NZFWDA insurance. However, she also confirmed the Club is at risk of having no liability cover in event they engage contractors to undertake heavy equipment activities so the imperative is for the Club to ensure that any contractors engaged by the Club can produce certificate of currency of adequate amount to cover any liability that might be assumed. Similarly the newly documented manager insures agreement for Maratoto is covered by NZFWDA insurance for low level, vegetative – type track clearing / maintenance but no cover for heavy equipment use. My understanding is the Maratoto agreement requires prior approval of DOC to any use of heavy equipment and chainsaw use on woody vegetation above a specified diameter and the presumption is that any contractors engaged for these works would already have appropriate liability insurance. The underlying message from Judith is the Association / Clubs / Members need to be aware of the limits of currently available cover. This doesn’t mean we cannot request extension of cover but we must first get a clear understanding of what might be required in order to make any request(s) for extension and for those requests to be appropriately priced in terms of premium.
- Both Judith and Tina emphasised the need for NZFWDA to have an operative H&S Policy Statement / Plan. Russell and I both reaffirmed the H&S Policy work the Executive is currently engaged in which I sensed was good news for our insurers. We do need to finish this work though so pressure is still on!
We can discuss the above in more detail during our next meeting by which time I am hopeful we will have written recommendations re insurance limits from Judith.
Bobbie, please add insurance to the agenda.
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