Insurance for bushwalking clubs

A vital component of Risk Management is appropriate insurance. If an accident occurred on a club activity, then the club, the committee and/or the individual members could potentially be pursued in court for millions of dollars compensation. One of the benefits of being a member club of Bushwalking NSW is the availability of specialised, competitively priced insurance, tailored to bushwalking activities.

Bushwalking NSW Inc. works with Bushwalking Australia Inc. to source competitive, group policy insurance for our clubs and their members. Details of the insurance can be found at Bushwalking Australia Inc website.

The insurances include Public Liability, Personal Accident and Association Liability Insurance. You should check with your club as to whether it has elected to be covered by the group policies taken out by Bushwalking Australia Inc. The information below and on the Bushwalking Australia Inc website describes the coverage under those policies for those clubs and members that are covered. We encourage you to review the extensive information available at the Bushwalking Australia Inc website.

The Bushwalking Australia FAQ  also helps answer some common questions.

Check if you are insured

It is important to note that some of our clubs elect to not take out the insurance offered through Bushwalking Australia Inc. Check the Bushwalking Australia Inc website for further details.

Note that in the 2023-24 financial year clubs that have opted out of the Bushwalking Australia Inc. Personal Accident insurance are:

  • Brindabella Bushwalking Club Inc
  • Canberra Bushwalking Club Inc
  • Catholic Bushwalking Club Inc
  • National Parks Association of the ACT Inc
  • New South Wales Nordic Ski Club Inc
  • Southern Highlands Bushwalkers Inc
  • The Dungog Walkers Inc

Note that in the 2023-24 financial year clubs that cannot utilise the Bushwalking Australia Inc. Associations Liability insurance (usually because the club is not an incorporated association) are:

  • Goulburn Bushwalkers Club
  • Inverell Bushwalking Club Inc
  • Sydney University Bushwalkers (university sub-group)
  • Walkers and Talkers Social Club

ASIC requires Bushwalking NSW Inc. to share this information so that any member of our member clubs can clearly understand what insurance coverage their club has arranged for them.

How clubs opt out:

It is strongly recommended that hiking clubs take out both Public Liability Insurance and Personal Accident insurance. However, clubs can indicate through the annual insurance questionnaire if they want to take out Public Liability Insurance and/or Personal Accident insurance for their members.

It is strongly recommended that personal accident insurance be taken out by all clubs for all members of the club.  By doing so Temporary Members (Visitors) participating in the activities of the club will also be covered.

Annual insurance renewal

Bushwalking NSW sends member clubs an annual questionnaire in March each year regarding the type of activities the club engages in, how many members they have on a specific date, the estimated annual number of Temporary Members (Visitors), any hall hire agreements they have for club meetings, club income, and the risk management procedures they have in place, such as first aid training and signing of risk waivers. The number of Temporary Members (Visitors) will not be included in the number of members for the purpose of premium calculation. The number of walks/activities a Temporary Member can participate on before joining a club is a matter for each club to determine, and does not affect insurance cover or premiums.

The information collected from clubs through this questionnaire is required by Bushwalking Australia and its insurance broker to negotiate renewal terms, including cost of the insurance policies. When the renewed policies and premiums have been determined, clubs will be invoiced by Bushwalking NSW. Provided payment is received by the due date, cover will be continuous from 1 July for the following 12 months. See the Bushwalking Australia website for details of the types of activities currently covered.

Clubs are also welcome to make any inquiries directly to the insurance broker.

If an incident occurs during a hike or other club activity, the club’s Incident Form should be filled out and the incident reviewed by the club’s committee. Follow the insurer’s guidelines regarding claims.