Sporting summer focuses minds on sporting insurance cover

Gareth McAuley celebrates scoring for Northern Ireland against Ukraine
Michael Blaney

WITH the Euros fading into distant memory and the Rio Olympic Games quickly bearing down upon us, we’re still only halfway through what’s turning out to be a highly enjoyable summer of sport.

Leaving aside the irony that great sporting moments usually turn us into temporary couch potatoes who do little more than consume potatoes of the fried and heavily salted variety, these global sporting exhibitions are great occasions to encourage sporting participation.

How many budding Gareth McAuleys or Robbie Bradys will spend the rest of the summer practicing their skills in the back garden thanks to the heroics witnessed in France? Which future stars of track and field will point to Brazil 2016 as the starting point for their Olympic dreams?

While media attention is quite rightly focused on the efforts of those on the pitch, at Autoline we get the opportunity (and the privilege) to work with those who make sport work – the administrators, the club chairmen and financial directors who are the bedrock of our amateur and professional clubs.

Much of this work takes place on a voluntary basis and behind every great sporting moment there stands a long (and often forgotten) line of people whose dedication and love of sport made it happen.

In our modern world we expect sport clubs to be run to the highest standards and that includes making provision for all manner of eventualities. As is true for virtually every sector of life there are a plethora of relevant insurance policies to make sure that happens.

But given the diversity of sport and the wide range in scale between local or national clubs there is no one-size-fits-all insurance policy. Each club needs to assess its own requirements in conjunction with an insurance broker who will spend time developing a policy that is ‘match ready’.

Although we sadly can’t provide you with a policy that will make up for an infuriating loss against your local rivals, there is scope to provide cover for almost everything else.

Do you own buildings, fields, training grounds or offices? Property cover is required. Do you have employees or volunteers? Employers’ liability cover will be essential. What about claims made against your club due to any accusations of negligence? Professional indemnity cover is invaluable. Or what about fans or guests who may be injured at your ground or an event organised by the club? Public liability insurance is designed exactly for that purpose.

There’s also the question of insurance for sporting events and what can happen in the event of cancellation, be that lost ticket sales or the cost of rescheduling and re-marketing the event.

Another common consideration is sports travel cover which will indemnify your organisation and any person acting in an official capacity on behalf of your organisation while travelling.

Although this may look daunting, ensuring that you have the right cover in place needn’t be the impossible challenge – there is a ‘magic sponge’ and it comes in the form of a professional insurance adviser who will systematically work through all your insurance needs, identifying what needs to come into play and what can be left on the ‘subs bench’.

To maintain the sporting parlance, while the players may need the ‘12th man in the stands’, having a good insurance adviser can be the equivalent for those tasked with running the club.

:: Michael Blaney is managing director of Autoline Insurance Group


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