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Field to fork insurance for recreational hunter gatherers

BASC’s South East regional director, Michelle Nudds, looks at what BASC’s insurance means for modern hunter gatherers.

As an advocate for the “field to fork” lifestyle, it is crucial to understand the insurance coverage available to me as a recreational hunter/gatherer. While embracing my passion for providing for myself and others, it can be a concern and a worry about the potential risks and liabilities.

So as soon as you ask that question “Am I covered?” it becomes a minefield of which insurance cover should I look at, which one is best, and how do I compare them?

Hopefully, the following looks at how membership of BASC answers those key questions, providing comprehensive cover tailored to the needs of the shooting community.

Always covered

No one ever wants to think about accidents but that is why we have insurance cover, so with the £10 million Public and Product liability, I know I am covered weather in the field with a shotgun, rifle or my gundogs (in insurance speak that is a BASC recognised activity). This includes claims made against me, arising from an injury I cause to someone else or their property, due to my negligence.

So how does this translate from field to fork? Firstly if I am on someone else’s land, I am covered, whether that is a request from a shoot or shooting ground for my membership card to show I have insurance, or a copy of the policy to show the landowner for a new permission I have just obtained.

I am also insured once I have “gathered” my fur or feather, filled my freezer to the brim, and have the surplus ready for friends and family or a drop delivery to the local pub. 

Obviously, as a hunter, best practice is something that I am absolutely aware off, so I have both my small and large game meat hygiene certificates. However if anything unforeseen happens due which is my fault, then I have the confidence that my BASC membership does cover me for the supply of game meat to friends, family or the local pub!

I mentioned recognised activities just as a reminder these are: wildfowling, rabbit, pigeon, game, deer, vermin and target shooting, air-gunning, conservation, hawking, archery, angling and ferreting.

Great to know that angling is covered, as I have just recently been let loose with a fly-fishing rod!

The question of payment

A question that I know is always asked, is ‘am I covered if you take a small payment in cash or in kind as a result of the recreational activity?’. This applies to me when picking-up, which, in most cases, the payment will barely cover expenses. Nevertheless, it is important that as a BASC member the policy will protect me.

The official line is: ‘BASC insurance policies cover members who make a small commercial gain from the sale of meat or other small income derived from such recreational shooting activities, providing this is not their primary source of income.’

However, if you are formally engaged by a commercial shoot to attend on specific days to undertake a specific task such as beating, picking-up or loading, then you will be employed by the shoot and covered under the shoot’s Employer Liability cover.

If you hire yourself out as a loader, coach, pest controller, stalker/deer manager etc., BASC can introduce you to additional cover needed for this commercial activity see the web site for details.

One additional area of cover that is not as widely known is the “Humane Despatch” cover. All BASC members, regardless of the level of membership (excluding supporters, airgun and gundog members), are covered under the Association’s group liability insurance policy as part of their membership for the humane dispatch of animals (excluding livestock and domestic animals), within the normal course of their recreational shooting.

In addition, members who are approved by authorities such as the police, RSPCA or the Forestry Commission to carry out humane dispatch can benefit from the liability cover if they are called out by such an authority to carry out a legal dispatch.

Pursue your passion with confidence

So BASC membership not only aligns with all our shared values of conservation and responsible practices, but provides robust insurance coverage for all our recreational activities to boot. 

From field to fork we can pursue our passion with confidence, knowing that we are protected against potential risks and liabilities, that our fellow members are covered and we all have the same passion in supporting the shooting and conservation for the next generation.

Find more information on BASC insurance and additional member offerings here.