Club insurance and volunteering

Advice from Gallagher

Many Clubs consider utilising the services of volunteers – usually involving members and, on occasions, also including non-members.

RYA insurance partner, Gallagher, arranges cover for 85%¹ of RYA Affiliated Clubs and RYA insurance scheme expert Ben Bennett advises that clubs should be aware of the conditions/requirements of their respective insurance policy when considering using non-members for volunteer duties at the club.

Ben has the following answers and recommends that all Clubs take time to fully evaluate the implications, from an insurance perspective, of using non-members for volunteer duties and consider all potential alternative solutions.

Q. If non-members volunteer at a Gallagher insured club, are their actions covered by the club insurance policy?


A. At Gallagher, we receive frequent contact from Clubs on the subject of use of non-member volunteers from an operational perspective. Our request will always be that, whilst we are naturally keen not to preclude individuals from assisting with duties in and around the Club, non-members should be made at least ‘temporary’ members for the duration. We appreciate that Clubs may wish to perhaps bring in a ‘volunteer member’ category perhaps and that would also satisfy insurers – who are keen to ensure that Clubs maintain a degree of control over operations and ensure that a duty of care is applied at all times. Any non-Gallagher insured Clubs should of course contact their provider for guidance/support


Q. Would non-member volunteers be potentially covered by any other insurance – take household insurance for example?


A. Whilst we can only pass comment on the Gallagher policy with any degree of certainty, it is very unlikely that liability insurance provided as part of a home insurance policy will extend to cover the risks associated to volunteering at a Sailing/Yachting Club


Q. Is there any activity that won’t be covered by the Gallagher policy, if, as you say, non-members are made members of some sort?


A. No. On the basis that all activities undertaken are being appropriately risk assessed and controlled by the Club, with only those persons who are deemed suitably competent and/or qualified undertaking these duties, then all activities – from Safety Boat duties to operating the Galley will all be covered from a liability perspective. Again, any Club not currently insured with Gallagher should of course contact their provider for guidance and support 




For further questions or advice regarding insurance, contact the Gallagher Team.

T: 0800 062 2309



or the RYA Legal Team by emailing


¹Based on live policies between 1 September 20 – 31 August 21


These are brief product descriptions only. Please refer to the policy documentation paying particular attention to the terms and conditions, exclusions, warranties, subjectivities, excesses and any endorsements.

Royal Yachting Association is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Office: Spectrum Building 7th Floor, 55 Blythswood Street, Glasgow, G2 7AT. Registered in Scotland. Company Number: SC108909. FP1284-2021. Exp.5.10.2022