Introduction to Bushwalking Australia's Insurance Arrangements


Insurance Cover

Bushwalking Australia organises a National Insurance Scheme providing Public Liability, Personal Accident and Associations Liability Insurance cover to clubs affiliated with the peak body in their home state. Other insurance covers, such as property insurance, can be arranged to meet the specific requirements of a club.  Insurance policies are renegotiated each year, and unless otherwise stated or advised, apply from 1 July to 30 June. 


How we endeavour to ensure we get the best insurance cover for our members, for the best price:

  1. Bushwalking Australia has a (volunteer) National Insurance Contract Manager whose role is to manage the insurance arrangements through the contracted insurance broker, and to provide information and assistance to the BA Council and to clubs.  While over the years a number of different people have performed this role, they have all had extensive professional experience in the insurance industry, and have all been club bushwalkers, including being walk leaders and club committee and/or office holders.
  2. In 2016 Bushwalking Australia selected three major international insurance brokers, MarshAdvantage, Jardine Lloyd Thompson and Willis Towers Watson to tender for managing our insurance arrangements (sometimes referred to as risk protection program) for a period of five years from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2021.  Following a detailed evaluation of the bids, Jardine Lloyd Thopmson was selected.
  3. Each year our broker reviews our insurance arrangements to ensure Bushwalking Australia and its members have the appropriate cover at the best possible price.  Every three to five years, in consultation with the BA Inurance Manager and BA Council will also market our requirements to the insurance market utilising combinations of international and national insurers, underwriting agencies and specialist sports underwriters, to which should also ensure that we have the best cover at the best price.
  4. The last time that our broker took our requirements to the insurance market, five of the nine companies approached declined to provide terms for Bushwalking Australia’s liability cover due the following (real or perceived) concerns:
      • The wide variety of activities undertaken that they felt were not bushwalking related
      • Lack of substantive risk management processes at many clubs
  5. Of the remaining four companies, the cost of cover was very expensive.
  6. Recommendations made to Bushwalking Australia by the broker included covers that were marginally more cost effective, but would have entailed either reducing the range of activities covered, or involving the use of qualified persons conducting some of the insured activities perceived by insurers to be more dangerous (thus requiring their own insurance coverage)
  7. The Bushwalking Australia council decided to stay with the status quo and pay the marginally higher premium associated with the fuller coverage.
  8. In common with widespread business practice, Bushwalking Australia will every five years undertake a competitive tender process to select its insurance broker. The next tender process is planned for 2021.


How do the policies obtained by Bushwalking Australia cater to the specific interests of bushwalking clubs and their members?

Some of the inclusions in our offering that are not standard are:

Public Liability

  • Errors & Omissions is included
  • Member to member is included
  • Participants exclusion is deleted
  • In addition to bushwalking, fifteen other activities commonly undertaken by bushwalking clubs covered.  The full list of activities are as set out below.


Personal Accident 

  • Coverage up to age 95 (for most companies the age limit is 65)
  • Inclusion of out of pocket expenses for retired members in lieu of no loss of income  
  • In addition to bushwalking, fifteen other activities commonly undertaken by bushwalking clubs covered.  The full list of activities are as set out below.


Association Liability for all incorporated clubs that are members of the insured entities i.e. state peak body/federation. 


Activities Covered

  • Bushwalking
  • Orienteering/Rogaining
  • Liloing
  • Rafting/Boating
  •  Cycling
  • Abseiling
  • Swimming
  •  Caving
  • Social Activities and Club Meetings
  • Snow Skiing
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Training and related instruction
  • Track/Hut Construction and/or Maintenance
  • Alpine Walking (Summer and Winter)
  • Rock Scurrying and use of hand-held ropes as part of a bushwalk
  • Canyoning (both including and excluding abseiling)


Frequently Asked Questions

The draft FAQs are provided to assist member clubs gain a better understanding of the insurance arrangements organised on their behalf by Bushwalking Australia (BA).  Additional questions will be added over time and suggestions for topics to be covered are welcome at any time by emailing Bushwalking Australia at 

pdfInsurance_FAQs511.02 KB (Updated 2-7-2016)