Huts Property Insurance

If your club owns or leases a hut it is important that the property is properly insured. As many huts are of unusual construction or in remote locations such cover can be difficult to find on an individual basis and so Howden, working with the BMC, has arranged a bespoke scheme with Hiscox Insurance. 

Under this scheme your club can arrange cover for the buildings, contents, equipment & plant and business interruption. This includes cover for non-standard construction properties. 

The property policy includes cover for flood damage, subject to a policy excess of £1,500, and storm damage, subject to a policy excess of £500. All other claims are subject to a policy excess of £100. 

Covid-19 - Amendments to Cover

Hiscox recently updated their position on unoccupied premises and we note below their details. We have since agreed with Hiscox that the inspections are required every 30 days as opposed to the 7 days, as detailed below:

What happens if my premises are left unoccupied?

Where Hiscox insure your buildings and/or contents, it is a requirement that you notify them if your premises will be left unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days.  This requirement was relaxed in light of the Coronavirus pandemic but we are now in a position where many businesses can reopen. 

Given the ever changing situation, you can find some further clarification on how Hiscox define "unoccupied" below:  


Business Situation

Notify Hiscox of Unoccupancy

Additional Requirements

Not yet re-opened but site visits are practicable, safe and permitted within Government guidelines


Visits to be conducted at least every seven days to ensure that everything is in order.  The visits must include an internal and external inspection and you must document the outcome of each of the visits


It is not possible to reopen or visit the site as it is prohibited or goes against Government guidelines




Keep abreast of what is permitted and, at least weekly, document why it is not permitted to reopen or visit your premises


It is possible to reopen or visit safety etc but you are electing not to or you have unfortunately gone out of business but still own the assets at this time






Situations not covered by the above






Please don’t forget to check any other requirements in your policy and, in all scenarios whether it’s a requirement of your policy or not, Hiscox would recommend the following where feasible:

  • Shut off the water supply to the premises (unless it is linked to fire protection, such as a sprinkler system) 
  • Ensure that measures are taken to prevent breaking and entering and/or theft, like checking the premises is physically secure and that intruder alarms are operational and set 
  • Ensure that fire alarms are operational, especially those linked to the likes of central station monitoring 

If your hut is not insured via Howden then you will need to check with your own insurance provider. 

Further guidance can be found on the BMC website here.

Liability Insurance

As a member of the BMC, a club that owns a hut (or a hut trust) is protected by Public Liability Insurance with a limit of indemnity of £15 million, or £10 million for Republic of Ireland. This policy include cover for commitee members, directors and trustees and specifically notes "representation on any management committee or acting as a trustee with respect to the operation of mountaineering huts" within the cover. 

Cover for club members undertaking hut maintenance is only included in respect of organised club working parties. It is recognised that hut wardens will, from time to time, carry out work on huts and enlist club members to help with this. For insurance purposes these are considered to be club working parties, but please note that the club and club members are not insured if members decide to undertake ad hoc maintenance at a hut outside of a club working party. 

Employers liability cover should be arranged by all clubs that have a hut as this would protect your club in respect of legal liability for damages and legal costs arising out of death or injury caused to employees in the course of their employment. This applies to employees such as cleaner and maintenance personnel but would also cover volunteers who are carrying out work at your hut.

Should you require Employers Liability, we can provide this without additional premium. The limit of indemnity per incident will be £10 million with the exception of terrorism, which will be limited to £5 million per period.

If you wish to apply for Employers Liability cover, please complete and return the application form.

If you have already arranged Employers Liability cover with us, you do not need to complete another application. We will simply forward the updated certificate to you early in the New Year. 

Here you can find the details relating to the insurance policies arranged on behalf of the British Mountaineering Council here.

Volunteers Working on Huts

Huts often need maintenance and many clubs are lucky enough to have willing volunteers from within the club who are able to help carry out work and so minimise the expense. Undertaking such work does bring with it additional risks, both to those undertaking the work themselves and also to the club, which has a duty of care to its members and so could have a liability for injuries suffered by volunteers whislt they're working on the hut on the club's behalf. 

Hiscox Insurance has agreed to provide cover for clubs in respect of their liability towards volunteers, subject to the following conditions:

  • Cover is not included for any work at height, use of chainsaws, work on gas appliances or electrical work that requires Part P certification. If a club has volunteers who intend to undertake such work it should be referred to Howden for approval before it commences. Please click here to see the information insurers will need you to provide. 
  • If the volunteer is a working tradesman/contractor, the club should contract him/her to do the work professionally (even if there is no charge). This way the liability for the works and injury to the volunteer rests with the tradesman's own professional insurance, rather than the BMC club. If such contracted work includes work at height, use of chainsaws or electrical work as described above, this does not need to be referred for approval provided the contractor provides evidence of their insurance. If the contractor is simply working as a volunteers as part of a working party, however, this would fall under the clubs insurance.

For enquiries, please contact Howden.