3 Myths And Misconceptions About Student Insurance & Licensing

We are constantly helping instructors and clubs that come to us from other, governing bodies and associations. Many of these clubs come with misconceptions surrounding student insurance and it’s function at club level. These myths and misconceptions can cost their club and members hundreds – if not thousands – of pounds a year.


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BMABA offer market-leading martial arts student memberships, which are all inclusive of student insurance and licensing as standard. Access leading cover and membership from as little as £0.89 per student, per year and enjoy the widest range of features and flexibility to help you register and insure your members.

Please remember that the guidance offered here is only relevant to BMABA student provisions. It’s possible our position may align with other organisations, but as a charity we take a very strong stance on being fair, open and transparent with our members on what is and isn’t necessarily required. If this guidance differs from your current organisation, you should double check their policy first. You can explore our student insurance from here.


You must have student insurance in place by law to take part in martial arts.

This is very specific, and there’s absolutely no legislation in UK law that specifies this for martial arts. There are very few mandatory insurances. These include things like car insurance if you drive or employer’s liability insurance if you hire employees. The truth is anyone can take part in martial arts without needing some sort of compulsory insurance (as there’s no regulator to enforce or oversee this). The true statement should be ‘Everybody should have insurance in place’ but that’s another matter altogether!


It’s called member to member and provides cover for injury to students

We hear this all the time and it drives us a bit loopy. To start with, ‘member to member is incorrect and a bit of a misleading statement in itself. The cover isn’t specifically for one member in relation to their conduct with another member. It’s specific to the individual themselves (the student or participant) and their legal liability arising from their own activities – be that with a student, parent or instructor.

Second of all, to use the term ‘injury to students’ is again just far too general and non-specific. Is this somebody’s Public Liability for injury to a third party or somebody’s Personal Accident for an incident in which there is no third party at fault? It’s impossible to tell. If your association is using terms as general as ‘it covers you for students getting injured’ or if they make a habit of always referring to ‘member to member’ it may be worth considering whether or not your governing body really understands what they’re providing to you.


It’s illegal to practice martial arts as a student without a student license (book)

Let’s just discount the term ‘illegal’ for a moment. It’s not illegal, clearly. A student license is only worth the weight of the club, organisation ro NGB that issues it. In effect a student license is simply an endorsement by a named organisation for the individual student to participate under their brand. This is usually pursuant to the organisation’s insurances, policies, regulations and other structure. Again, there’s no need for this to be a specific ‘license book’ either. A license slip – or just a written confirmation of a license being in effect should be enough. This is more a matter of value for money and branding, so we would recommend you make sure any package you opt for has some decent certification and comes from a worthy name to help your students see the instilled value that comes with a student license.

As a final thought, it’s always worth double checking a student license is also inclusive of membership and/or insurance. We always tie the three together under the term ‘student membership’ but some organisations strip these down and charge you for all three separately – so always best to double check!


If you need to find a reliable, affordable and credible provider of student licensing (which is, from us, membership, insurance and licensing combined) you’ll find the specific link below;


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As with all of the guidance and articles shared throughout our website, this information should not be considered professional advice and is for informational and discussion basis only. You must always take your time to ensure any provisions made at club level are correct and accurate to their intended needs. Only you can do this. We’re available to talk if you’d like to learn more.