Double Check Your Statement Of Fact For Accuracy
Whenever you take out any insurances, you should be given a statement of fact. This is effectively a summary sheet that details the information you’ve provided to the insurer such as your name, details, risk (insurance) requirements and any declarations. When membership is combined with insurance, some of this information could be bundled into your membership details as well as any insurances. The first thing to do is check, check and double check again.
It’s your obligation to ensure everything is ‘squeaky’ clean. Check for typos in names or any wrongly entered information. Check what cover you have in place and any conditions or limitations. Check what you’ve agreed you can do, have checked or don’t do at club level.
Failing to do so, or leaving incorrect information present on any insurance records could invalidate your cover. This is basic stuff, but you would be surprised how often it’s neglected by even seasoned instructors!
Check Your Insurer’s Claims Requirements
This is so, so important but again, so few clubs do it at all. Most insurers will have a set of claims questions they ask of clients in the event of a claim. They will also set prerequisites for cover to be active in the first place, so you must make sure you have checked you’re ‘on-side’ well in advance of teaching under the premise of cover.
What are the sort of questions or requirements you’re dealing with?
PRE-CLAIM – Insurer’s often set requirements such as you must hold a DBS check or a First Aid Qualification. It can even be a bit more spurious. We’ve seen requirements like ‘holding the nationally recognised qualification’ (which of course makes no sense as there is no minimum standard) so take the time to check what is being asked of you. If you don’t understand the questions / requirements or if they seem flawed speak with the association or insurer and challenge it!
POST-CLAIM – Whilst it’s rarely provided ‘up-front’ for clubs to consider when taking out cover, there’s almost always a series of checks and balances asked of a claimee when raising a claim with the insurer. These can vary from complex to simple, but a few examples include providing proof of grades or first aid qualifications, providing written statements surrounding the incident with witness notes or copies of risk assessments and incident book logs. We make a point of providing all of our instructors with access to the claim assessor’s checklist when they join us, so you can make sure you know exactly what will be asked of you. This helps you teach around your cover, which ties in neatly with the next point.
Build Your Insurance Cover Into Your Costs, Procedures & Teaching Style
This might sound over the top, but your insurance being effective in the event of a serious claim could be the difference between a £1,000,000 claim and compensation charge being supported or not! Your insurance needs to be considered at all times – in your costings (i.e: overheads, charges to members etc), your procedures and your teaching. By being completely aware of what is required of you to support a successful claim, you’ll be able to teach freely whilst making specific references to key defensive statements. For example, it may be your insurer needs you to make sure everyone wears a gumshield. Aside from your duty to actually check this, if you know it’s needed to support a claim you can ensure you’re constantly re-enforcing the requirement to students and parents, thus ensuring if somebody does spar without this important piece of PPE, you’ll be able to demonstrate your due diligence in making them aware of the necessity.
Make your own note of the renewal date!
Too many clubs and instructors fall ‘off-risk’ by not checking renewal dates. Whilst many insurers will automatically remind you of renewal dates, some associations still don’t have basic reminders set up for membership expiry points. If you miss the expiry point of the policy – regardless of who’s fault it is – you’re likely to be the one being turned away from a claims assessor when you need it most.
Whilst you should expect a reminder from your insurer or association, take the time to punch in a reminder on your phone, pc or wall calendar as soon as you’ve purchased cover. If you’re really smart, you’ll do this 30 days before renewal too so you can shop around and ensure you’re getting value for money. That’s exactly what we do for our members, even if they’re using us as their insurance provider!