Game shooting season - Top Ten Tips
By Jean Arnott-Glenie, Farms & Estates Account Executive
With the shooting and stalking season well upon us, Jean Arnott, Farming and Estate Executive for Bruce Stevenson offers these Top Ten Tips to landowners and estate factors.
If you hold organised shoots on your estate or farmland; check what cover you have in place with your insurance broker. Public Liability cover will vary based on the frequency of events, who is participating and the number of guns.
Speak with your broker and update your insurance policy with the anticipated numbers if you are unsure what has been previously disclosed.
Check your household cover to make sure that Accidental Damage or theft of the guns, from either the house or on way to the shoot is included. It could be that you are involved in a Road Traffic Accident and the guns are damaged in transit.
Be aware of the HSE legislation when you are employing temporary beaters or stalkers within the business. The legislation states that you must have a written Health & Safety policy where there are 5 or more employees. This should be delivered to the staff and they must confirm their understanding (in writing). Where landowners and estate factors can fall foul of the law is when the normal staffing level is below the 5 (including partners & directors) but for the duration of the shoot, the staffing level exceeds this number. If an incident occurs during the shoot and the HSE are involved, the first thing they will look for is confirmation of the delivery of appropriate Health & Safety information to the workers.
If you are using working dogs during a shoot, think about their needs also. Fatal injury to a working dog can be a huge financial loss to any business as well as the emotional loss and although a financial settlement to replace the lost dog cannot replace the bond, it can help in sourcing a new one.
If you have other pets that may be distressed by gun fire, ensure that they are safely indoors if they are within earshot of the guns.
If you are invited to take part in a shoot away from your own land, you need to carry your own Public Liability cover. This can either be arranged via your own association membership or Bruce Stevenson can provide this in conjunction with some of our farming and estate contracts.
If you are away overnight to an event, it may be that there are other personal effects that you may be taking with you. Check with your insurance broker that you have the relevant cover for personal possessions away from home, in case items are lost, stolen or damaged.
If you are selling the game carcasses after the shot, remember that you need to carry Products Liability cover to protect the business if the end purchaser is taken ill after consuming the meat. Again, check with your insurance policy or your insurance broker to confirm that this cover is in place.
Lastly, if you have installed a game larder on the estate, you need to make sure that you have the necessary electrical inspections carried out and documented to your insurer. This can help protect the business in the event of a Products Liability claim.