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DEVON BEEKEEPERS’ ASSOCIATION

Registered Charity No 270675

Chairman - Christopher Smith, Hedgerow, 24 The Willows, Chilsworthy, Holsworthy EX22 7BB

01409-254457; christophersmith.270@gmail.com

General Secretary - Barry Neal, Badgers Barn, Withacott, Langtree, Torrington

EX38 8NL

01805-601715; 07789-435477; gen.sec.dbka@gmail.com

Insurance for BBKA Members

Over the years a number of queries have arisen about the insurance cover BBKA has arranged for its Members, so the following information is designed to help Members understand the cover they have. This information should be taken as indicative only - the final wording is that contained in the policy and the interpretation rests with the insurance company.

BBKA has appointed Towergate as its insurance brokers; .

There are three insurance schemes - Third Party Public Liability and Products Liability insurance; “All Risks” Insurance; and Bee Diseases Insurance.


Third Party Public Liability & Products Liability Insurance

- The policy covers all Registered, Partner, Junior, and UK-resident Individual Members (referred to collectively as “Members”) against any financial loss caused by claims against them by third parties alleging injury, or other loss, deemed to have been caused by the Member, or their bees, whilst undertaking beekeeping activities or through the normal use of their primary hive products. The limit of this cover is presently £10,000,000 with each new claim carrying an excess of £500 for third party property damage claims payable by the Member. All other claims have a nil excess. If you are in any doubt as to whether you personally are registered with BBKA, you should consult our Membership Secretary.

- It is the beekeeper who is covered; for example, if a Member (Beekeeper A) looks after his fellow beekeeper B’s bees whilst he/she is on holiday and an incident arises, the claim would fall onto Beekeeper A, irrespective of whether Beekeeper B was a Member or not.

- The policy covers the activity of attending a show to promote and exhibit the craft of beekeeping, whether or not you sell honey at the show. The activity of attending shows as an exhibitor would fall under the “Promotion and Education” aspects of the policy business description: ”Promotion of beekeeping & education of the public in the importance of bees in the environment, and ordinary beekeeping activities, manufacture and supply of primary hive products". The policy also covers you if you were to arrange your own beekeeping and honey show, but NOT if you were to arrange a ‘country fair’ type show where other non-beekeeping exhibitors and traders were present.

- You are covered if you are called by a member of the public to collect bees that have swarmed provided it is part of your normal beekeeping activities. If you charge reasonable expenses then this will not affect your cover. If, however, you make a business out of swarm collection this would be viewed differently. You would need normal Commercial Insurances for this business activity which is NOT covered by the BBKA policy.

- A Verification of Insurance document is available, for proof of insurance, for download and printing from the BBKA website. If more details for a specific event are required, Towergate should be contacted directly, 01732-228711.

- The policy only provides Product Liability cover for primary hive products - defined as wax, honey and propolis. Skin care and other cosmetic products that happen to have hive product ingredients are NOT covered. You would need to consider alternative insurance for this - even if they were only being sold on a casual basis. In addition there are a number of Health & Safety regulations in relation to such products that you would be advised to consider.

- The policy is NOT intended for beekeepers supplementing their income from beekeeping. In general, the rule is that with 40 colonies or more you would be eligible for membership of the Bee Farmers’ Association (BFA) and, whilst the number of colonies is not defined, this number should be taken as prima facia evidence of making a partial living from beekeeping, and the BBKA policy would NOT be applicable. - As a Registered, Partner or Junior Member, your insurance cover starts on the day you pay your Branch subscription and receive a receipt, provided that DBKA registers your Membership with BBKA within that financial year. However, if a claim arose between the time of your payment and your registration with BBKA, definitive proof would be needed that the payment had been made before the incident arose, for a claim to be accepted.

- If some of our Members on the BBKA DBKA Members’ Register list have lapsed or have not paid at the time of the Register’s publication then, technically they are in default and would not be covered by the policy. However, if a claim arose, each case would be investigated and resolved on an individual basis. In order to avoid this potential exposure, it is imperative that Members should ensure that all dues are paid promptly.

- The policy includes what is commonly referred to as ‘Trustees Liability’ cover for all DBKA Trustees.

The amount covered is £2,000,000, with the first £500 of any claim being paid by the officer. Note; for DBKA, this £500 would be paid by the Association.

- The policy does NOT cover equipment against all risks, including theft; see below.


- Junior Members: Towergate and the insurance underwriters are clear that the policy covers Junior Members; the policy would respond to any allegation brought against Junior Members and/or compensation awards made against them. However, the policy makes no concession to the fact that legal arrangements for suing minors are more complex than suing an adult; it may not even be possible for a third party to bring a claim against a Junior Member, instead bringing a claim against the supervising beekeeper or, possibly, a Junior Member’s parent/guardian (who may or may not be a BBKA Member). Junior Members (as with any other Member) are entitled to make a claim under the policy to defend themselves. As long as the Junior Member was responsible for the activity that led to the incident, then the policy would respond to defend it, even if it was brought in the name of a parent/guardian who is not a Member. It would simplify matters, and be good practice, if the parent/guardian of a Junior Member also become a member of BBKA. (Towergate Insurance, 17th December 2013)


Important to note


The policy covers only Registered, Partner and Junior members individually, as well as the organisation of DBKA and its Branches.

The policy only provides Product Liability cover for primary hive products, defined as honey, wax and propolis. It does NOT cover cosmetics, food or drinks that have additional materials added or undergo a new manufacturing process.

The cover excludes:

- Work at height for which you do not have adequate training, equipment or experience.

- Use of Heat Away from the Premises, other than for sterilisation of beekeeping equipment not undertaken within a private dwelling or commercial premises.

- Pest control or Bee Infestation: swarm collection is covered and it is acceptable to receive expenses; but the policy is NOT intended to cover commercial activities.


“All Risks” Insurance

- An “All Risks” Insurance policy is available on request to cover the loss of or damage to property or equipment. BBKA has negotiated special rates with Towergate for beekeeping organisations to cover this. The terms of the policy are kept flexible and can be tailored to cover particular needs. Some of the cover available is as follows:

Further details of this policy and a quotation can be obtained from Towergate.


DBKA Insurance Cover

The DBKA insurance arranged through the NFU is to cover our liabilities to the Devon County Agricultural Association for the Devon County Show for everything that the BBKA insurance does NOT cover. For example, All-Risks cover for the Show equipment storage (in private premises), transit, use at the Show (inc trophies), and use anywhere in the UK. It also includes Product Liability cover for anything that will be sold under our umbrella at the Show (including 'Taste of Honey' sales) so we can cover people for the sale of non-primary hive products. Legal cover is also included for both Public & Product liability.


This summary was approved by James Towers, Towergate Insurance, on the 17th April 2014

Updated 7th November 2014, Barry Neal, DBKA Gen Sec

BBKA Beekeeping Insurance

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