Winter Precautions for Cricket Clubs

Now the Season has closed, no doubt you will be busy packing things away for the winter months.
Winter can be a particularly vulnerable time for Sports Clubs and there are some precautions which can help you to help reduce the risk of claims.

All Commercial Insurance Policies contain a clause that states the Insured must take reasonable precautions to prevent losses. What the Policies do not state is “what is reasonable”. The following notes will help to identify areas which may require specific attention.

Arson, Fire and Theft risks
Serious fire claims can be caused for example by, a fire deliberately started in a waste bin, sited too near the premises or by fires caused by vandals after breaking into the premises. Please give consideration to the following:

• Waste bins are emptied regularly and are stored away from the premises.
• Any flammable materials including, wooden pallets and general rubbish should be removed from the Cricket premises and Grounds.
• To prevent break-ins and thefts, review your security measures and check any security alarm system is in working order. Ensure all doors and windows are securely locked and if you have shutters, ensure these are utilised and in good working order.
• If the Club remains unoccupied during the winter months – make regular visits, every 7 days to ensure all is in order.
• Ensure machinery and equipment is in a locked and secure building and is immobilised or chained together or to an immovable anchor point.
• Any machinery that has to be kept in the open should be immobilised.
• Electrical Inspections must be carried out at intervals of 5 years and the Certificate kept on file.

Storm damage
• Ensure any tree branches over hanging buildings are lopped or removed.
• Sight Screens in the open should be anchored to the ground and in a sheltered position.
• Nets should be taken down and stored inside a building.
• Check and inspect felt roofs for signs of damage and repair broken tiles or worn felt roofs immediately. Your policy will not pay for normal wear and tear.

Trees
• There have been claims where players have been injured by a falling tree, which fell near the nets area, whilst they were waiting to bowl or bat.
• Please consider that trees are vulnerable to disease and we would recommend that mature trees are inspected at regular intervals by an aborculturist. In particular pay attention to trees situated in positions near buildings or areas where players or spectators are likely to congregate. Trees should receive regular maintenance to ensure they do not become top heavy. If the trees do not belong to you, remind the owner of the land to attend to these, as part of your risk assessment.

Frost damage
• You must either drain down all water systems and turn these off at the mains supply or keep the heating on permanently at an ambient temperature of at least 6 degrees Celsius. The exact terms for this will be noted in your insurance policy.

Flood damage
• If there is a risk of flood, lift valuable and susceptible items at least 9 inches above floor level, if possible. Your Club may be vulnerable to Flood if the surrounding area is hilly and your premises are on lower ground as water, after very heavy rain, can run off fields.
• Clear all gutters, gulleys and drains to prevent a build-up of water

Inventory and adequacy of Sums Insured
The closed season provides an opportunity to ensure you have an inventory of your contents, stock and machinery, noting the make, model and value. Taking pictures is also a good idea and please keep receipts for purchases. Review this inventory against your sum insured and advise your insurer if you need to amend the sum insured, to avoid being under-insured.

Looking Ahead
Consider any past incidents that gave rise to a claim or “near misses” that could have caused an incident. Can you adopt measures to prevent these happening again? You may need to repair boundary fences, nets etc. or perhaps erect safety nets, particularly if the ball leaves your ground frequently. Is the Car Parking area protected and have you erected disclaimer notices?

Renewals 2019
We already look after many cricket clubs in our insurance scheme which has been successfully operating for 20 years. When the insurance for your club falls due for renewal, please contact us for a quotation. Our scheme can provide cover for just Liability Insurance or it can extend to cater for any club’s requirements including your Pavilion and contents, groundsmens’ equipment, covers and sight screens.

Please see details on our website at https://www.finchgroup.net/sector/cricket-clubs/
or call our Scheme Manager, Tony Symons, on 023 8024 2935.

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