We are about to attempt something radical on Cricket Yorkshire. We will take a subject, cricket insurance, that is ostensibly dull and dazzle you all with practical and ingenious considerations that will kickstart your day. We hope.
This insurance-related tale starts with my local cricket club, Bingley Congs CC, who ply their trade in the Craven League, being broken into and completely trashed.
‘Trashed’ might be not a recognised, insurance term but whoever did it – you sad, deplorable numpties – spent a considerable time at the Beckfoot Lane ground using an angle-grinder to break in before ripping out copper piping, stealing sinks, destroying kitchen units and spoiling cricket kit before stealing two mowers locked in an outbuilding.
They had a crack at ripping off the roof for good measure but Yorkshire craftsmanship got the better of them – the seventies concrete block which we’ll loosely term a pavilion or clubhouse, was originally built by Bingley Congs members.
As part of the assessment and starting the rebuilding process – which ties neatly into NatWest CricketForce and the ensuing months – the Club got in touch with their insurance broker, Leeds-based Marshall Wooldridge who are the exclusive brokers for the England & Wales Cricket Board.
To cut a long story short, the Club’s mowers which were housed in a wooden hut down by the river Aire, were not insured. This came as a shock because the assumption had been that buildings and contents cover included these.
A fair assumption perhaps but an assumption all the same and one that was ultimately wrong. We will be looking at advice to cricket clubs with their insurance considerations but the golden rules of this – and any insurance – is to read the fine print, ask questions and never assume.
Standard practice would be to rail against the insurance company and there was a degree of wanting to understand the parameters of insurance cover in club cricket but then that switched to sharing the experience so clubs and teams are better informed.
In the case of Marshall Wooldridge, they can point to a heritage that dates back to 1973 and since then, they’ve operated various sports insurance schemes.
In the realm of cricket, they dominate the landscape both as the insurance broker for the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) ExtraCover Insurance scheme but also with facilities to insure Umpires Associations against their risks and liabilities. They are there to help.
So, let’s walk you through some of the considerations for proper insurance for cricket clubs and hopefully offer some practical advice that will be of benefit.
Now, insurance may not be a thrill-a-minute subject but the more people read this and share it with cricket committees and decision makers at your own club the better.
Re-assess: don’t just renew
March isn’t just the time of year when the daffodils emerge triumphant, it’s renewal time in the world of cricket insurance. Many clubs will have got the reminder, perhaps considered a cursory look at the existing policy and then renewed for another year without much thought.
It’s just another job, after all for the admirable volunteers across the country whom manage our cricket clubs.
Whether you’ve recently renewed or have yet to commit, and frankly whomever you’re insured with, unearth your insurance documents and go over them with a fine toothcomb.
Spoiler alert. This will not be the most rewarding time you’ve ever spent but it’s essential so you don’t get caught out.
What’s the risk?
Why? Even the circumstances of a small cricket club with limited facilities might change when it comes to insurance. Equally, your insurer might change its own parameters as to what it covers, how much the excess is or the value it sets on areas of specific cover.
Insurance might seem like the proverbial ball of string when it comes to options for what to cover – they’re all businesses after all – but it’s common sense-led and not dissimilar to areas we’re all comfortable with like house insurance.
Let’s take a specific example relating to security. How secure is the cricket clubhouse, what locks do you use and what’s the structure made of? If it’s a thatch roof, that might make an insurance company more twitchy than a roof made of solid kryptonite with state-of-the-art surveillance and a laser forcefield.
It’s not rocket science but it is detail-focussed and to absolutely ensure you are confident you have the cover you think you have, someone (and they have my sympathy) will need to take responsibility for knowing, if they don’t already, the fine detail of everything you can possibly think of on-site at a club.
The types of insurance associated with cricket is boundless. The ExtraCover policy insures against a wide range of risks including:
- Public Liability with Employers Liability automatically included
- Accidents to players and members
- Club bags, cups and trophies, non-turf pitches, netting and poles, sightscreens and pitch covers, bowling machinery
- Club buildings
- Contents/ground machinery, money, glass
- Legal expenses
- Directors & Officers
- Loss of Revenue
As a starting point, this is excellent, broad cover but with no two cricket clubs the same in location and risk, don’t buy an off-the-shelf policy without checking it does everything you want it to do.
The England & Wales Cricket Board has a range of resources relating to insurance which are highly recommended. As the governing body for the game, they have a responsibility to help safeguard cricket clubs but they can’t do all the research and contractual sleuthing for your club.
Perils of Under Insurance
The costs of insuring a cricket club can spiral and it’s a balancing act between having the right cover and not paying for what you don’t need and can’t afford. Those costs will be entirely dependent on your circumstances but there are certain areas where the ECB advises you absolutely don’t cut corners.
Not least that ALL clubs take out Employer’s Liability Insurance. Employer’s Liability Insurance enables your club to meet the cost of compensation and legal fees from employees, volunteers and committee members who are injured or made ill through the fault of the club.
Obviously, the hardships to potentially befall a cricket club range from the everyday to the freak occurrences not least the scourge that has been extensive flooding.
Vandalism and the issue of security at cricket clubs is something we’ve noticed shows no signs of abating. Anecdotal evidence would suggest it’s on the increase even but the reality might be just that more instances are being reported.
One Yorkshire club, Kirkstall Educational in Leeds, have suffered no less than TEN break-ins and this proud club – who are older even than Yorkshire County Cricket Club – face an uncertain future after losses and damages amounting to £10,000.
The message here is don’t under-insure. Ever. And no, we’re not on commission. That’s just cast-iron, common sense that we stand behind like a stoic, forward defence.
Before clubs buy smart clubwear or splash out on expensive professional players. Before they do pre-season tours or any of the peripheries that bring colour and life to grassroots cricket, make sure the day-to-day operations like insurance is nailed down.
Of course, there are restraints for club of all sizes around what they can reasonably pay for. But the compromise, if there is to be one, should be around elements of the insurance cover that are least likely to come back to bite you.
A point of note on valuations too. It is very important that the figures you insure your club property (buildings, contents and ground machinery) for sensible and realistic.
An experienced broker like Marshall Wooldridge has doubtless seen the full range when it comes to dubious claims and painting an inaccurate situation for insurance purposes is taking an unnecessary risk that some or all of the cover could be void at a later date.
The sum insured is the maximum amount your insurer will pay providing any loss or damage can be shown to have occurred by one of the insured perils like fire, flood or theft). A sum insured too low can also lead to a reduced claim settlement due to something called ‘Average.’
There can be a perception that insurance companies are out to get us. Perhaps even if we’re open to being paranoid, they want to deceive and not to pay out.
But that’s to duck the issue like the proverbial bouncer. If you’re sufficiently covered and have exhaustively gone through the requirements of your club and crucially, what’s included then there’s no cause for alarm.
The line that you’ll often read on this website is that the greatest strength of any cricket club has is its its people and safeguarding them should be a consideration. When all said and done, cricket is an amateur pastime played by professionals, whatever the battles and rivalries on the pitch.
By that we mean, ordinary folk who have jobs, lives and their own commitments away from cricket. Therefore, personal accident cover to protect club members is worth careful thought so accidents whilst playing don’t have longer consequences away from the cricket club through loss of work.
According to the ECB, there looks to be an increasing trend of large arson, theft and weather-related claims which makes it more important than ever to check your sums insured are adequate.
At the risk of labouring a point, under-insurance will lead to the total sum insured being insufficient to meet the costs of rebuilding and replacing contents/ground machinery.
In the case of Marshall Wooldridge, they send out the ECB Extra Cover Newsletter with updates and practical advice. The 2014 issue looks at:
- Changes to Sums Insured
- Personal Accident Cover – The Value of Weekly Benefits
- Electrical Safety
- Marine Cargo Containers
- The 2014 Prize Draw. Win tickets to England vs India.
Take advantage of the information out there – and there’s a lot of it which is a good thing – then pick up the phone and give them a call to talk through any worries. You can contact them on their freephone number – 0800 289301.
To bring it back to my local team, Bingley Congs Cricket Club, we are a resilient bunch who will bounce back from the shock of being broken into but would welcome any offers of assistance around sponsorship or in-kind from the cricket community. Just get in touch with Cricket Yorkshire directly via [email protected] if you think you can help.
We’re now several mowers light and the only saving grace was that the idiots who so comprehensively damaged the club chose not to wreak any havoc on the actual cricket wickets. It seems even in the realm of mindless vandalism, sometimes some things are sacrosanct. Or so I’d like to believe.
Best of luck for the coming season in all you do, on and off the field, and finally a note about this sponsored article.
Cricket Yorkshire will donate the money earnt from this sponsored article to Bingley Congs Cricket Club to kickstart the rebuilding process. As one Yorkshire-based supermarket brand is so fond of saying, every little helps.
For expert advice and assistance concerning quotations or arranging cover, please contact the ExtraCover team on FREEPHONE 0800 289301 or e-mail [email protected].
Full information about the cricket insurance scheme from Marshall Wooldridge is available here:
Are you adequately insured? (ECB): http://static.ecb.co.uk/files/are-you-adequately-insured-10323.pdf
ECB Extra Cover brochure 2014 – http://www.marshallwooldridge.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ECB-ExtraCover-Brochure-2014.pdf