Huts Property Insurance

Covid-19 - Amendments to Cover

For those huts with hut property insurance via Howden (the insurance brokers) there is a requirement that a hut is not left unoccupied for more than 30 days and a requirement that the property is inspected internally and externally every 30-days.  The insurers, Hiscox, have now extended this period to 90 days during the current lockdown period.  This is for all BMC and Mountaineering Scotland club huts wherever they are located in the UK.  

Howden has confirmed that, for those clubs who insure their hut via them, that a delay in testing appliances and systems within a hut will not be seen in a detrimental way by the insurers if the test was due to be undertaken during the lockdown period.

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.


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. 

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 £15m. 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.