NFAS Insurance Factsheet – April 2014

(Transcribed from the original PDF file.)

Who is covered by the Insurance arranged by the NFAS?

The insurance arranged provides protection for the Governing Body, its Employees, Members, Volunteers, County & Regional Associations and Clubs affiliated to the Society, their members and those in training.

What insurance cover do I have as an NFAS member?

Insurance cover is provided as part of your NFAS membership fee. The insurance covers you as an individual: there is no club insurance provided by NFAS. If your membership lapses, so does your insurance.

The covers arranged are:

  • Public Liability
  • Personal Accident
  • Employer’s Liability
  • Management Liability – Trustees and Individual Liability

Public Liability

Public liability provides protection for the NFAS and its members for claims from 3rd parties who may suffer bodily injury or damage to their property as the result of actions taken by the NFAS, Club or Member. It also treats members as 3rd parties to each other.

This could be a claim made against you by another NFAS member or by a third party. Our insurance covers all NFAS activity, whether it is shooting, course laying or providing catering at shoots as long as there is no negligence proven and reasonable steps have been taken to reduce hazards.

So what does this cover mean in practice? If, for example, an archer is hit by a wildly shot arrow or because a target has not been well-laid, then a claim could be made against our insurance. Our insurance also protects members against bodily injury or damage to property to a third party. For example, if an arrow bounces out of a wood and hits a passer-by walking along a nearby footpath.

Public liability protects both NFAS and non-NFAS members who may suffer bodily injury or damage to their property as the result of NFAS activity not carried out under the instruction or control of NFAS or a club. For example, this could include a wildly shot arrow hitting a NFAS member’s car.

Our public liability insurance covers us up to £5,000,000 for any one incident, inclusive of all costs and expenses.

Personal Accident

This provides a ‘no fault’ protection for members suffering personal injury as a result of an accident when engaged in NFAS activities and this has been extended at April renewal 2014 to include travelling to and from any NFAS activity. The policy covers members below age 16 and up to age 85 (cover is restricted to ‘Death’ only for those aged over 65).

An example of how the cover would operate could be a bow snapping during stringing and causing a serious injury.

Our personal accident insurance does not cover members for loss of earnings, so if you think that this is a serious issue for you, you should buy your own insurance (and not just for archery).

Employer’s Liability

Employer’s Liability provides cover for injury to members or volunteers arising from their involvement in NFAS activities where they are acting under the control or instruction of NFAS or a club. Our employers’ liability cover indemnifies us for up to £10,000,000 for any one incident inclusive of all costs and expenses.

Two examples of Employer’s Liability claim are (a) where a shoot organiser or marshal tells another marshal that a particular path is safe and then the marshal is hit whilst being on the path because the path ran behind a target; (b) a person in charge of laying a course explicitly tells another volunteer to carry a target down a steep slope and that person slips going down the slope and injures himself.

Management Liability

This type of cover is commonly known as Directors’ & Officers’ Liability when applied to Commercial organisations. The insurance arranged provides cover for the Personal Liabilities faced by Committee Members of NFAS Clubs, where the policy would respond to any claim of alleged wrong doing. An example of the situations that could arise are where there is a breach of H&S procedures and the individual Safety Adviser is cited, or there is an allegation of bullying / discrimination / harassment.

Exactly which policy is used would depend upon a detailed analysis of the claim. We have ensured that all of our Liability policies and Personal Accident, are with the same insurer to avoid any problems of duplication or overlap resulting in disputes between insurers as to which policy provides the cover.

Our insurance policies highlight the NFAS safety rules and code. This emphasises the importance of complying with the NFAS guidance and safety rules. If an accident is caused by somebody flagrantly breaking the rules or a Club not taking reasonable steps, there is a strong possibility that the claimant may seek to recover damages directly from the archer. Clubs may feel that the answer is not to have any safety rules, but that would simply mean that we would be unable to get the necessary insurance cover (and employer’s liability is required by law). If a case came to court, unless we could prove that we had robust safety rules in place we would leave ourselves open to claims and litigation that we would find difficult to defend. Most landowners will also insist on any user of their land having Public Liability cover in place.

It is permissible for somebody to help out at a club and not be a NFAS member yet still benefit from some elements of our insurance cover (see below). However, such a volunteer is not covered for any shooting, not even practicing. We also require all non-archers who accompany archers around courses to become Associate Members of NFAS and to follow our safety rules as appropriate. It is reasonable to expect full members to ensure that Associate members act in a safe manner when out on a course.

Our Employer’s Liability policy covers volunteers, for example a non-member helping with the catering. But, as mentioned above, the cover applies where the body controlling the event was negligent. So if a volunteer doing the cooking is burnt because his mind wandered and he upset a pan he was using, that is an accident and they would probably be unsuccessful in claiming damages (and being a volunteer he would not be covered by NFAS’ Personal Accident cover). However, if somebody is burnt because they were not made aware that somebody else had turned on the gas underneath a pan, then that is probably negligence. Each circumstance will be judged following investigation.

It is worth highlighting that our rules require all near-miss incidents and accidents to be reported to the Society’s Safety Adviser within seven days. This is highlighted within our Employer’s and Public Liability insurance policies, so you must do it or face the risk of an insurance claim being rejected. Sometimes it is not apparent at the time whether somebody will make a claim against our insurance and the correct report with full details will help us defend or support the claim.

The key to much of our insurance cover is ‘negligence’ (the main exception being the Personal Accident cover which is on a ‘no fault’ basis) and negligence can only be established on a case-by-case basis.

Ultimately, insurance is not a substitute for safe shooting or course-laying, but it is a way of providing some protection against the worst case scenarios.


Our insurance cover extends to when you are practising. But only if you follow the safety rules and code. After speaking to our insurance broker, our insurance also covers indoors shooting, but only where clear safety rules are applied by individual clubs for indoor shooting.

Coaches and training courses

NFAS insurance covers NFAS coaches (as qualified by NFAS and / or approved by NFAS due to experience) and potential new members whilst training. New members are those who have expressed a desire to join a club and who have signed up for training courses. For training courses, the trainee needs to be under the strict supervision of an NFAS coach for the insurance to be valid. The Society’s insurers accept that each new potential member will have different learning needs and some new entrants to archery will require more training than others. The insurance requirement is, therefore, that for all new members undergoing training there must be suitable supervision and training in place. Should any incident take place which results in or may result in injury or damage to property, then an investigation of what happened should take place and be recorded as soon as possible on the NFAS accident / incident form and the report sent to the NFAS Safety Adviser and be kept for a minimum of three years – long enough (in theory) to be confident that no retrospective claim will be made. Unfortunately, there have been attempts by people to claim many months after the event that an injury was caused during a lesson.

A ‘competent’ / ‘experienced’ archer new to the NFAS, provisional members or a person being introduced to NFAS archery and its rules, may be coached by experienced NFAS archers who are not NFAS recognised coaches (a minimum of two years experience as a practising archer will be required). However, it is the responsibility of the archer being coached to ensure that he / she is shooting in a safe manner, regardless of what he / she is instructed to do by the ‘coaching’ archer. In these circumstances there is no additional insurance protection simply because one NFAS archer told another to behave in a particular way. The analogy is that when you are a learner driver you must do what the instructor tells you to do, however, when you have your full license your passenger may tell you that it is clear to pull out on a blind bend, but if an accident then happens it is your responsibility.

‘Have-a-go’ sessions

‘Have-a-go’ sessions at fetes and other events can be a good way for clubs to raise funds, but can pose additional risks because the club is not always in complete control of the overall environment.

It is permissible to organise a ‘have-a-go’ at an NFAS club. However, any shooting needs to take place under controlled conditions on practice butts. Exactly the same level of supervision needs to be given as if the ‘have-a-go’ is taking place at a fete. It is not permissible for a ‘have-a-go’ archer to be out on a field course.

For ‘have-a-go’ sessions, each participant needs to be under the strict one-to-one supervision of an experienced NFAS member. There is not a strict definition of an experienced member, but a minimum of two years as stated above, would be the guidance. If an insurance company investigates an accident at a ‘have-a-go’ and discovers that the supervising archer had only just started shooting, it is unlikely the insurance company would give full cover.

As with training courses, any incident occurring must be investigated and recorded as soon as possible using the NFAS accident and incident form. As for coaching courses, these records must be kept for three years for adults and 3 years from the age of 18 for young persons.

There is a clear distinction between a member of the public ‘having-a-go’ and a coaching session and our insurers will not offer cover if any attempt is made to carry out coaching under the guise of ‘have-a-go’ sessions.

A highly experienced archer from another archery society such as Archery GB or EFAA may take part as a participant in a ‘have-a-go’ but from an insurance perspective they must not be treated any differently from a genuine novice because they will almost certainly not be protected by insurance from any other archery association.

It is also worth highlighting that our insurance is based on the NFAS and its members being safety conscious and organisers of ‘have-a-go days’ need to be particularly careful if alcohol is available at the event.

Introductory sessions for non-members in NFAS clubs’ woods

Some clubs wish to give potential newcomers to the sport a ‘taste’ of field archery in the clubs’ own woods without the newcomers either joining the NFAS or taking part in a formal training course – effectively a ‘have-a-go’ in the woods. To differentiate these from normal ‘have-a-go’ sessions at a fair or similar (see above), we are calling these ‘introductory sessions’. For simplicity, the people taking part are described hereafter simply as ‘participants’.

Our insurance only covers a club if it puts on a formal event with a number of experienced archers supervising those introductory sessions with strict adherence to the rules set out below. Our insurance does NOT cover members who wish to take a friend or acquaintance into their club’s woods (or elsewhere) and to give their friend an archery lesson. Even a couple of club members deciding to give somebody an informal lesson would not be covered. The insurance only covers formal events organised by a club.

With the agreement of the NFAS’ insurer, introductory sessions are now permissible on the following conditions:

  • 1. Initial instruction needs to take place on a practice boss(es) before any participant is taken onto the course. If no practice boss(es) are available at the club then a large target in an open area should be used;
  • 2. Initial instruction should be given on a one-to-one basis by an experienced archer (as it would at a conventional ‘have-a-go’);
  • 3. There is a minimum of one Coach and / or experienced archer for every two participants out on the course. The experienced archer must be an adult full member;
  • 4. Groups out on the course should be a sensible size and not contain more than six participants;
  • 5. A group can contain up to two more people who do not take part in the shooting. These can be adults or children;
  • 6. Any non-adult participants needs to be accompanied by a parent / guardian;
  • 7. There can be multiple groups out on the course which means the NFAS course laying guide must be followed to ensure safety.
  • 8. Only one participant will shoot at any one time in a group as defined above;
  • 9. One of the experienced archers will provide one-to-one tuition to a participant whilst the other experienced archer(s) supervises the remaining non-shooting participants;
  • 10. A participant must not be in possession of a bow and arrow(s) except when shooting. A participant can carry either a bow or arrows around the course, not both. This avoids any risk of a participant attempting to take an unsupervised ‘pot-shot’;
  • 11. If there are too many participants to be out in the woods at one time (or not enough experienced archers – see 3), then those participants not out on the course need to be kept under strict supervision whilst awaiting their turn;
  • 12. All targets should be at sensible distances;
  • 13. It is preferable that backstops are used if available;
  • 14. Special care must be taken when looking for lost arrows and one of the experienced archers must actively supervise the participants, rather than be distracted by looking for lost arrows. Consideration should be given for the experienced archers to return without the participants to search for lost arrows at a later time.

Can NFAS insurance be extended to non-NFAS archers?

The simple answer is No; – at shoots organised by an NFAS affiliated club to NFAS rules, Archery GB and EFAA archers, or archers from other archery bodies, are not covered to shoot under our insurance and so should not be allowed to shoot unless the organising club has arranged its own insurance to cover non-NFAS members.

Roving Mark

Any club intending to put on a Roving mark shoot MUST contact the NFAS Safety Adviser before running the shoot (see the Newsletter for contact details). These competitions are not very frequent within NFAS. However, following an attempted insurance claim alleging that a member of the public was hit by an arrow at such a shoot, the Committee requires any club to contact the Safety Adviser ahead of the shoot taking place to discuss safety arrangements. The NFAS will not recognise any insurance claim for a Roving mark shoot unless the Safety Adviser has viewed the safety arrangements.

The NFAS insurance does not cover freelance roving under any circumstances.

Insurance certificates

Club landlords and organisers of fetes (for have-a-go’s) may ask to see copies of NFAS insurance certificates. The key insurance certificate (known as a TWIMC) – for Public Liability insurance and for Employer’s Liability insurance – can be downloaded from the members’ only section of the website. Alternatively, these certificates can be obtained from the General Secretary (

Enquiries about insurance

If you have any queries please contact the General Secretary by e-mail or phone (the number of the current General Secretary is shown on the NFAS website and newsletter).

Any query requiring professional insurance input will be referred to our insurance broker.