Swim England Club FAQs

Below you will find a comprehensive list of FAQs. If your query is not answered, please contact us.


What is the procedure if an accident has occurred?

Firstly is it essential for you to record this in your accident book. We would then refer you to the liability incident recording and notification guidelines.

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What is the procedure if the club needs to make a Liability claim?

Your club insurance documentation included details of the liability incident and Recording guidelines.

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What is the procedure if club member has injured themselves and needs to make a personal accident claim?

Please contact the Claims team at Howden.

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Is a club member insured to teach within the club?

Yes a club member can teach within their club, to their level of teaching/coaching qualification, and will be insured for public liability and professional indemnity sections of the liability insurance.

Only those members with the appropriate teaching qualifications are permitted to teach within the club environment. We would refer you to Swim England for guidance on which qualification is required. E.g. level 1 teacher is only trained/qualified to support not run a teaching session and therefore when teaching should be under supervision of a level 2 or above.

Coach-led sessions must be undertaken by an appropriately qualified coach or teacher.

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Do we need to have a lifeguard present during a club training session?

The insurers will expect you to be following the best practice guidance provided by your governing body.

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Is the club insured to run land training sessions?

Yes – fitness & land training is a permitted activity, although we would ask you to refer to your governing body for a list of permitted land training activities. Please note that if this involves the specialist equipment or techniques it is essential the teacher or coach is appropriately qualified. E.g. Diving and the use of trampolines. Eg Fitness – check the details with Swim England. Details of recognised activities are also subject to suitable qualifications being obtained for the additional land activity.

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Are club members insured whilst participating in triathlon events or training?

Members are insured for their swimming activity whilst participating in such events whilst representing their club.

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Are club members insured for loss or damage to personal items?

The is no property insurance provided within the Swim England member benefits and if cover is required for personal property this can either be obtained from the members home insurance provider or by contacting Howden.

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As a club officer will I be liable for any financial loss that the club may incur?

If the club is unincorporated, the officer (and its members) could be liable for any and all financial losses incurred by the club. The Directors and officers insurance is provided to support you for claims in this area for allegations which may come against the officer whilst undertaking their role.

If the club is Incorporated the directors may still find themselves personally liable and therefore Directors & Officers Insurance is essential.

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Does the insurance cover the clubs equipment?

NO. There is an exclusion within the liability policy for property in your care custody or control. If insurance is required for club property & equipment this is available by contacting Howden who will discuss your insurance needs.

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Are clubs insured for fund raising activities?

Some fund raising activity is insured although there are limitations on the type of activity being undertaken. Raffles, Fetes, BBQs Quiz nights Galas etc would be considered acceptable activities. If you intend to undertake activity more hazardous than the Swimming disiplines please discuss with your governing body and they can discuss with this with Howden for referral to insurers.

Details of Swim England Insured Activities / Excluded Activities can be found here.

In all events it is essential that a risk assessment is undertaken for the proposed activity.

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As a Swim England swimming club are we insured to train and compete in open water?

Yes the aquatic disiplines automatically recognised are swimming (including open water swimming/polo/diving).

Although open water swimming is a recognised activity. Swim England is aware that many clubs which do not traditionally offer open water swimming activities may, from time to time, wish to do so and therefore specific guidelines are available from Swim England for guidance on this activity. Insurer will be expecting you to follow the guidance provided for this activity and this must be appropriately risk assessed.

If this is something you intend to do regularly, you must refer to your Regional Association for guidance and registration.

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Does the club need extra insurance if they are paying staff?

The Insurance provided as part of your club affiliation automatically includes Employers Liability Insurance insuring the Legal Liability of an affiliated club or organisation and its committee following injury to an employee for which it may be legally liable.

The Legal Expenses Insurance automatically provided to clubs also includes advice and support on Employment disputes. If your wageroll exceeds £50,000 please contact Howden to arrange the relevant extension to ensure continuation of cover.

You may wish to consider additional employee benefits e.g. Personal Accident, Cash Plans and Pensions. If you need support in this area Howden can assist you or direct you to one of their partners.

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Is the club covered if the pool is closed for a period of time?

No. The Automatic insurances do not provide this protection. If your income is reliant on access to a pool please contact Howden Ltd to discuss business interruption cover and we will establish your individual demands and needs.

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What information do I need to record when an accident occurs?

Incident Recording Guidelines >

We would recommend that a designated person within your organisation is made responsible to record any reportable accident/incident. Records must be kept for at least 6 years, and longer where it involves a person under the age of 18 years. Names and addresses of any possible witnesses should also be recorded.

Since 31 December 2003 businesses/clubs must have an accident book which is compliant with data protection legislation. Swim England provide accident books to clubs, replacement books can be obtained from Swim England Customer Services on 01509 640 340 or by emailing customerservices@swimming.org

The register must contain the following information relating to all reportable accidents or dangerous occurrences:

• Date and time of accident
• As regards a person at work – full name; occupation; nature of injury; age
• As regards a person not at work – full name; status (e.g. customer); nature of injury; age
• Place where accident occurred
• A brief description of the circumstances
• Method by which the event was reported

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Do we need extra insurance to cover our swim / tuck shop?

The liability insurance includes the sale of food to club members and their families and is a recognised fund raising activity. However there is no insurance provided on the stock or other property owned by the club should this be lost, damaged or stolen. Please contact Howden to discuss you needs in this area.

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Are club members covered whilst training / competing abroad?

Both the Liability and Personal Accident insurances recognise that club members may represent their clubs in competition or whilst training when temporarily outside the UK. Please be aware that there are limitations in the coverage for liability claims brought in the USA or Canada.

You will need to apply to Swim England for an International Permit at least 28 days prior to leaving the country. Click here to find out more.

This does not replace the need for the members to obtain appropriate travel insurance for their additional travel insurance needs such as medical expenses, loss of passport, cancellation etc. Travel insurance for club trips can be obtained from PS Sports Travel or by contacting Howden. The product we offer recognises the sporting activity being undertaken and also competition which is often excluded from standard travel insurances.

To get a Sport Travel Insurance quote, please click here >

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Does the club need extra insurance to cover training camps / competitions either at home or abroad?

Organisation of and participation in club training camps and competitions is a recognised activity within the Swim England affiliated insurances. Please be aware that there are limitations in the coverage for liability claims brought in the USA or Canada.

You will need to apply to Swim England for an International Permit at least 28 days prior to leaving the country. Click here to find out more.

If travelling outside the UK there is also an additional need for Travel insurance medical expenses, loss of passport, cancellation etc. Travel insurance for club trips can be obtained from PS Sports Travel or by contacting Howden. The product we offer recognises the sporting activity being underkaen and also the involvent in competition which is often excluded from standard travel insurnaces. 

To get a Sport Travel Insurance quote, please click here >

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Are we required to complete risk assessments for all club activities?

Yes. It is essential that you undertake risk assessments for the activities of your club to support you in your risk management. You and your club owe a duty of care to those around you: If an allegation for negligence is made against you or your club the risk assessments will be needed to evidence what you have reasonably been able to do to prevent an incident occurring.

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Are spectators at events / training sessions covered for loss or injury?

The Liability Policy protects the club and its registered members for allegations of negligence should they injure other members or members of the public. If the spectators are injured as a result of your clubs or its members negligence they have the right to bring a liability claim against you. If a spectator injures themselves at an event and there is no negligence attaching to the club or its members there is no automatic payment to the spectator.

Only registered members are insured under the personal accident insurance.

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Are we able to make a claim if a registered club member injures a non-club member?

The club and its members owe a duty of care to those around them. If the club or its members are held responsible and are negligent for causing injury to someone else or damage to someone's property whilst undertaking swimming and diving activities recognised by Swim England your member will have access to defence within the liability policy.

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If a level 2 teacher is unexpectedly not available (e.g. due to illness) are we able to hold our Learn to Swim Session with a level 1 teacher in attendance?

Emergency situations do occur and insurers do recognise this however a swimming lesson should not be planned with the expectation that only the level 1 teacher will be in attendance.

For teaching activity a Swim England level 1 teacher is only trained to support not to run a session. As per Swim England qualification guidance we always advise that a level 1 teacher must not teach in isolation and must be supervised by a level 2 or above as necessary. We are aware however in unexpected circumstances you may need to continue the lesson if the Level 2 teacher is taken ill or unexpectedly delayed/not available. We would stress however this is exceptional circumstances only and would not be insured if sessions are planned for a level 1 teacher to be operating without supervision.

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Do we need to ensure the club has an accident book available at all times or are we ok to use the facilities accident book and request a copy of the incident report?

Since 31 December 2003 businesses and therefore clubs must have an accident book which is compliant with data protection legislation. Swim England provide accident books to clubs, replacement books can be obtained from Swim England Customer Services on 01509 640 340 or by emailing customerservices@swimming.org

Although you may be expected to record the accident in the facilities accident book it is essential that you retain a copy of the information so that it is available to you should a claim occur.

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Are members covered if injured by a member of the public whilst carrying out club duties?

There is no insurance in place within the club/member affiliation to support you with legal costs to pursue a claim against a third party or another member of the club.

The Personal Accident insurance will only provide a benefit if the accident is whilst undertaking the swimming discipline activity.

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Why do we need Employers Liability cover if all our coaches are volunteers or self employed?

Under British Law, you can still be called an “employee” even if you are not paid. Our advice would always be to take out Employers' Liability insurance. The type of contract in place with the coach may also mean you have employee employer relationship. In general, you may need employers' liability insurance for someone who works for you if any of the following apply:

  • You have the right to control where and when they work and how they do it
  • You supply most materials and equipment
  • You have a right to any profit your workers make although you may choose to share this with them through commission, performance pay or shares in the company. Similarly, you will be responsible for any losses
  • You deduct national insurance and income tax from the money you pay them
  • You require that person only to deliver the service and they cannot employ a substitute if they are unable to do the work
  • They are treated in the same way as other employees, for example if they do the same work under the same conditions as someone you employ.

It is essential that when you use Self Employed Coaches you check

  • The terms of contract for their services to establish if you will be classed as their employer
  • That they have their own Public and professional Indemnity insurance in place.

Employers’ liability provides protection to your club, as the employer, in the event any of the volunteers or employees becoming injured themselves and suing you for negligence.

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Why do we need Abuse cover?

Although physical abuse is often considered a criminal matter which would not be insured by your liability insurance, there are cases where civil actions are brought against a club committee for failing to provide adequate safeguarding within the club environment.

The Committee of the club may be brought into and named in a civil claim for not protecting other members as a result of the actions of one of their teachers, coaches or members. The abuse section of the policy will aim to defend the club for allegations of negligence e.g. accidently missing or failing to undertake timely DBS checks. Failing to protect children or vulnerable adults within the club by accidently not following the welfare, safeguarding policies. The cost of such defence can be considerable.

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Is there a time limit to make a Liability claim?

There is a statues of limitations for an injured party has to bring a claim for injury against you. Usually 3 years or if they are a child up to 3 years from their 18th birthday. This however can be reviewed by the courts dependant on the circumstances. It is imperative however that you notify any circumstance which may give rise toa claim as soon as you are aware of it.

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Is there a time limit to make a Personal Accident claim?

The insured must provide written notification within 90 days of the occurring of any accident event or circumstance which may give rise to a claim under the personal accident policy.

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As a club member can I make a claim directly with Howden?

Yes. For Liability and Personal Accident claims please contact the Howden Claims team on 0121 698 8046. The details of your claim will be discussed and you will be asked for the relevant information.

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