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Liability Support

The Scout Association and Unity take a strong stance on spurious and unsubstantiated claims. Claims are not always made on behalf of children. Some claims are from parents/ guardians, members of the public and even other members of the Association.

Claims where something has gone wrong and negligence is likely to be proven will be settled quickly to help avoid costs.

Other claims where there is some doubt over whether negligence will attach are defended rigorously and, if successful, the defence costs are recovered from the claimant’s solicitors.

What should you do if you receive a Letter of Claim?

Do not ignore it, but do not respond to it – you will need to act quickly and notify your insurers. If it is a claim against your group for injury, loss or damage you should notify Unity Insurance Services immediately. Insurers only have a limited time in which to reply to a claim.

If the claimant is a leader or child (the claim will be made by their “litigation friend” who is normally a parent) in your group you may still have contact with them if they are still attending the weekly meetings. You should not engage in discussions about the circumstances of the incident. You can still talk to them. A large number of claims are made because the claimant feels that they have been ignored. By all means you can talk to each other, however, if they wish to talk about their claim you should politely tell them that “the claim is being dealt with by solicitors and it would be inappropriate for you to discuss it”.

You may be asked to provide a witness statement to assist the claimant. Bearing in mind they may be insinuating that you have been negligent you should consider this request very carefully.

You are under no obligation to do so. You should let Unity know and we can advise you of what your options are.

What happens if you do nothing and ignore the letter?

Insurers rarely look kindly on an insured person who either ignores a letter or claim or admits liability without notifying them. This can prejudice your claim and insurers are within their rights under the terms and conditions of the policy wording to refuse cover without notice and you could find yourself facing the full cost of the claim personally. If you do nothing, it could result in a judgement being entered against you without further notice.

This means that you will be ordered to pay the amount of the claim (or an amount decided by the courts), including the claimants costs. Generally, costs are more than the claim for damages. The Courts will send you a copy of the order stating how much you owe. Your Group may be left with a large debt and unable to continue operating. Personal debts may be incurred by leaders which can affect your credit rating and ability to obtain credit.


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