Does my household insurance cover my amateur radio equipment?

This will depend upon the type of household insurance policy you have and the insurer with whom you are insured. If your policy does provide cover you might have cover for your radio equipment within your home, but this does not mean you will automatically have cover for equipment you take away from your home.

If you are in any doubt as to whether or not your household insurance provides appropriate cover you should contact your insurance broker or your household insurance company and ask them. Ideally ask them to confirm their answer in writing, so you have a record of what they tell you.

Does my household insurance provide Public Liability (Third Party) cover

Household insurance policies do provide third party public liability insurance. However, this insurance will only respond to a claim if you are legally responsible for the injury to a third party, or for damage to third party property.  It does not cover your moral responsibility.

If you are in any doubt as to whether or not your household insurance provides appropriate cover, including for your hobby as a radio amateur, you should contact your insurance broker or your household insurance company and ask them. Ask them to confirm their answer in writing, so you have a record of what they tell you.

We are an amateur radio club. Do we need public liability insurance?

We recommend that any individual, club or any other organisation has appropriate and adequate public liability insurance. If your amateur radio club is affiliated to the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB), public liability insurance may be provided by virtue of your affiliation to the RSGB. If you are in any doubt as to whether or not you already have public liability insurance you should make appropriate enquiries with the RSGB.

If your club is not affiliated to the RSGB, Public Liability cover is available under our insurance scheme for limits of £2,000,000 or £5,000,000. For clubs and organisations, the Public Liability insurance automatically includes “Member to Member” liability. This means that your policy will provide cover if one member of your club negligently causes an injury to another member of your club.

How much Public Liability cover should I have?

There is no scientific method for determining how much cover you should have. If you are sued by a third party and your case is heard in a court, there is no way of predicting how much the court will award in damages or compensation. For individual clients, the minimum limit of indemnity provided by our Amateur Radio Insurance Policy is £2,000,000 but our recommendation is to purchase as high a limit of indemnity as you can reasonably afford. Under our insurance scheme cover is available for limits of £2,000,000 or £5,000,000.

Some of my radio equipment is quite old so how should these items be valued for insurance?

Our amateur radio insurance scheme provides cover on a “new for old” basis. This means that in the event of your equipment being lost/stolen or damaged and beyond economic repair, the insurer will settle your claim on the basis that you can replace the equipment with new equipment that is the nearest equivalent to the item for which you wish to claim.  There may be occasions when your equipment is no longer manufactured and the equipment is deemed to be obsolete, or maybe the equipment is ex-military.  In such circumstances, cover can be arranged based on the equipment’s second-hand market value, but there can be pitfalls with insurance arranged on this basis, so we recommend careful consideration is given before arranging insurance on this basis.

Some of my radio equipment is quite old and I no longer have receipts for the equipment. How does this affect the insurance?

It is not a condition of the insurance that you have receipts or invoices for all items of equipment. However, as with all insurances, our advice is that you keep as much evidence as possible regarding purchase, ownership and value of all your radio equipment including serial numbers and any other unique identification marks. With any claim it is much easier to prove and substantiate your loss if you have more, rather than less paperwork. It can often be helpful to have photographs of the items to be insured and, if possible, for the photographs to be date stamped.

Do I need to specify each item of equipment?

We do ask for an inventory of all your equipment to help ensure there is no misunderstanding as to whether a particular item of radio equipment is or is not insured. Our advice is to maintain an up-to-date inventory of all your equipment and keep us advised of any changes to your list of equipment to ensure that your insurer is aware of the equipment you wish to insure.

Equipment Sums Insured

The equipment sum insured should reflect the total brand-new replacement value of all your radio equipment. The insurance is intended to put you back in the position you would have been, prior to the loss/claim.

Whilst you may have equipment, which is several years old, and may no longer be manufactured, the sum insured should be sufficient to cover the cost of repair, if possible, or to replace your equipment with an item, as close to the original specification as possible. If the sum insured is inadequate to reflect the replacement value of all your radio equipment, you will be under-insured, and insurers have the right to reduce the value of any claim settlement in proportion to the amount of under insurance. This is known as “Average” and applies to most insurance policies covering property/assets.

For example:

Your equipment is insured for a sum of £10,000 but the actual cost of replacing all your radio equipment is £16,000.

Whilst setting up your equipment for a field day, someone places an amplifier, temporarily, on the ground whilst getting additional equipment from their vehicle. Before the amplifier can be placed on a table, someone accidentally reverses their car over the amplifier causing catastrophic damage. The amplifier cannot be repaired and needs to be replaced. A new amplifier costs, say, £5000. The claim will be settled as follows:

Sum insured on the policy £10,000 x £5,000 (cost of the new amplifier) = £3,125 claim settlement.

The correct sum insured £16,000

Even though the sum insured of £10,000 is more than the cost of replacing the damaged item, you have only purchased a proportion of the amount of insurance required to cover all your equipment and this means that the insurer will only pay the same proportion of any claim.

There may be occasions when you are unable to purchase equivalent brand-new items of equipment. For example, vintage or ex-military equipment and in these cases, you may feel that to insure these items based on their second-hand value is more appropriate. Subject to agreement by insurers, such items can be insured based on their second-hand value, but this must be agreed at the time of arranging the insurance.

We are a club and sometimes hire in or borrow equipment. Can this be insured?

We can include hired or borrowed equipment, but you need to include this request in your application form and specify what sum insured you require. It is a fundamental principle of ALL insurance policies that you must have “Insurable Interest” in the property that you wish to insure. This means you must have a legal right to insure the equipment. 

If an individual lends their radio equipment to a club, that does not automatically mean the club can insure the equipment being borrowed. The club must have an ”Insurable Interest” and this means that the club must suffer financially if the equipment being lent to them is lost, damaged or destroyed.

Insurable Interest is based on legal principles and although the relationship between an individual and a club may be relaxed and friendly, an insurance policy is still a legal contract and, in the event of a claim, the insurer will still wish to ensure that the individual or organisation making a claim has a legal and valid basis for making the claim.

We are not qualified to give legal advice but if you are lending or borrowing equipment we strongly recommend that you confirm any agreement upon which the equipment is lent or borrowed is confirmed in writing between all parties. This does not mean that “Insurable Interest” has been created but at least, in the event of a claim, you can provide documentation to your insurer to support any claim being made.

I need to pay the premium. What methods of payment are available?

You can pay by cheque, and by most major debit and credit cards or by bank transfer (our preferred method). Unless we have specifically agreed with you any other arrangement, we must be in receipt of your premium before insurance cover can be arranged. Cheques must be made payable to: PSP Insurance and Financial Solutions Ltd and not South West Broking Ltd.

Is cover available for radio equipment left in unattended vehicles?

Some cover is provided, but terms, conditions and restrictions do apply.

I have radio equipment installed in my car, is this insured?

Depending upon circumstances, cover may be available. We recommend that, in the first instance, you ask your motor insurer if they will cover the equipment as part of your motor insurance.

I’m going abroad and taking some of my radio equipment with me. Am I insured?

This depends upon whether you have chosen to buy worldwide cover. If you have chosen this option then the policy provides cover for 21 days abroad in any one period of insurance but excludes public liability insurance in respect of the USA and Canada.

Is Personal Accident insurance included within the Amateur Radio Insurance policy?

Our policy does not include Personal Accident insurance.

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