4. Insurances

The following risks in particular should be of concern to beekeepers.

A.  Their liabilities to the public (Public Liability). Say, for example, you can collect a swarm and someone gets badly stung because of your negligence.

B.  Beekeepers' liabilities to consumers of their hive products (Product Liability). Say, for example, honey not fit for human consumption is sold to a member of the general public who is seriously injured.

C.  Loss of beekeepers' hives or equipment (Equipment Insurance).

D.  Trustee Liability. This will principally concern club officials. For example, an association makes a late payment of a premium to Bee Diseases Insurance Limited, a consequence of which is that a member with a colony contracting foulbrood is unable to make a claim as the member was not insured at the relevant time.

E.  Disease, notably American and European Foulbroods, Small Hive Beetle and Trophilaelaps.

This is a very broad subject and I propose to limit my comments as follows:

[1].  Public and Product Liabilities. If you are a paid-up member of your association and it is affiliated to BBKA then you have the benefit of the policy maintained by the BBKA through its brokers, Towergate. The present limit of the cover of £10million with an excess of £250.00 for third party property claims. The policy, like any other policy, is, as you would expect, subject to conditions.
If your association is not affiliated to BBKA either it (as many associations do) or you ought to be able to arrange insurance cover for these liabilities.
Can I leave you with this question? Would your association get a better deal insuring for these risks through its chosen insurance rather than through the BBKA, assuming it could get a reduction of the capitation fee payable to BBKA?

[2].  Equipment Insurance. You can approach the BBKA requesting equipment insurance who will then put you in touch with its brokers who may, or may not, issue cover. For at least small-time beekeepers I would suggest the position can normally perfectly adequately be covered if a beekeeper approaches his own household insurer and has cover extended specifically to bee equipment (but it won't cover the bees!)

[3].  Trustee Liability. It is understood that BBKA, through its brokers, may be able to arrange suitable cover. Most associations are unincorporated bodies, i.e. they are not limited companies with the result that committee members take on personal responsibility for any commitment its association makes. The classic legal way of getting over this problem is to incorporate, in other words to turn an unlimited association into a limited company or company limited by guarantee but for any association which is a charity clearly any arrangement made would have to satisfy the Charity Commissioners and any re-arrangement would be expensive and may not on that account be thought worthwhile.

E. Disease and insects (as above). Bee Disease Insurance Limited offers financial compensation for the replacement of hive parts destroyed on the instructions of an authorised NBU inspector.

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The Association's apiary in North Shropshire

The Association maintains an apiary at an organic farm in North Shropshire.

We hold regular meetings at the apiary during the summer, where members new and old can gain experience in handling bees.

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