Club and Individual Metal
Detecting Liability Insurance
By Lee Wiese
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Insurance can cover many different aspects of liability but this brief
article will not try to cover every type of insurance available just basic
liability for clubs. Metal detecting and gold prospecting clubs should
purchase basic liability insurance to cover their organizations against
There is also a short section on what individuals may want to purchase to
cover their liability needs while metal detecting or gold prospecting.
Clubs are usually volunteer organizations with bylaws and charters, plus
many clubs may be legal tax exempt organization. So basic liability
insurance coverage can be a very important component of any club's
operation. Clubs are responsible for the actions of their membership at
meetings, special outings and all club sponsored events. The key to a club's
liability is that the activity must be sponsored by the club for the
liability insurance to apply.
A club's basic liability insurance is usually priced on the number of active
members at the time of the policy purchase or renewal. However, club's that
sponsor large events that can draw a high number of participants will
usually be required to obtain a special insurance endorsement for that
specific event on their liability policy.
What is the liability of a club?
Club liability insurance is to protect the club and its members against
damages caused to non-club property or persons. It is not the intent of a
club's liability insurance policy to protect members from damages that they
may do to themselves or to the club's property or equipment.
A basic liability insurance policy should be purchased to protect the club
and its members against monetary damages caused by actions of one of its
members against a non-club members or property. Clubs members that practice
the hobby on their own and are not part of an organized club event are not
covered under the club liability insurance policy.
Keep in mind it is not the intent of the basic liability insurance policy to
protect the individual club members from damage they may cause to
themselves, to other club members and their property or to their own
personal property. The basic liability insurance covers individual injury
and property external to the club, it does not cover individual injury and
property damages that are internal to the club.
Club officers and volunteers are not covered against acts that they may
commit in the performance of their club meeting duties, or at club events
where there actions could adversely effect club members or a single club
member. Usually an optional liability policy or endorsement can be obtained
to cover all the club's officers and volunteers concerning their actions and
decisions made on the behalf of the club.
Clubs will generally be required to show proof of liability insurance to
lease or rent any hall or meeting room for their general meeting. Proof of
insurance may also be required by many land owners for any type of club
sponsored event. Therefore, having basic liability insurance protects the
club and provides for damages to property owners and injury to others caused
by the club's membership during a club event.
The cost to obtain a basic liability insurance policy will generally range
from $8 to $10 dollars per membership per year. This coverage cost will vary
between insurance carriers, by region and also will vary if addition
coverage is required for officer liability, club property, etc. A basic
liability policy should cover a set amount for each occurrence, damages to
rented property, any one person's medical expense, personal injury and set a
maximum amount of total liability coverage.
Club Membership Waiver
Since club liability insurance does not cover the club's membership for
injuries, theft, lost equipment or actions by their club's officers and
volunteers a waiver form should be signed by each individual member. This
waiver form is usually required by either the insurance carrier, the club or
The waiver should be read and signed by each new member on admission to the
club, at membership annual renewal time and before each club event or
outing. One of the major reasons for using a waiver is to remind members
that they are responsible for their own actions when attending a club
meeting or club outing.
Waiver Form Example
As a member of the ___________________________Club. I
__________________________fully understand that attending the
__________________________outing I will be fully responsible for my actions
and at no time will have a legal or financial claim against, nor hold
responsible, any club member or club officer of the
___________________________________club for any equipment lost or damage,
monetary compensation for mileage and time or for any bodily injuries that I
may receive by my participation in the
By participating in any event, I am assuming the risks associated with the
outing and I release the above named club, their officers and individual
members from any liability.
By signing this waiver I understand that I release all property owners
(private land owners and mining claimants) of any liability or
responsibility for any accidents, injuries, problems that may occur during
this outing on their property.
I will be responsible for my own equipment and actions and agree to NOT hold
_______________________________________________ responsible in any way. By
having signed this document I agreed to the above terms.
Signed: ________________________________ Date: ________________ Time:
Metal detectorist should give strong consideration to making sure that they
have their own liability insurance to cover their actions while practicing
the hobby on public and private lands. This can usually be done by
purchasing a policy or placing special endorsements on your existing
insurance policies. This insurance should cover property damages and person
injury liability to others.
Since metal detecting equipment is getting more expensive it is also
recommended that you cover your equipment against, loss, theft and major
damage. Your equipment can usually be covered with a special endorsement on
your homeowners policy.
This article is very brief but should provide a basic understanding of
liability insurance that clubs should purchase to protect the organization
from monetary damages caused by its members to the property of others or
injury to others at club sponsor events. Individual detectorist should also
consider obtaining insurance coverage for their own actions and equipment.
The annual cost for this type of insurance coverage is usually very minimum.