/ BMC Combined Liability for volunteer instructor?
I've been offered a place teaching climbing in Laos in the spring. The position is voluntary - I'll be given food and somewhere to sleep, and have my visa reimbursed, but I won't be paid any money. The centre that have offered me the place do not have public liability insurance - they say that the legal system in Laos is not set up for this kind of thing. There is also no contract between me and the centre, and they do have an insurance disclaimer that they make participants sign, though I don't know how much those things actually stand up. I understand that the BMC Combined Liability policy covers you if you're a volunteer - does anyone have any thoughts on whether this insurance would be enough to make sure I don't go and ruin my gap year by getting sued?
It's probably worth contacting the underwriters directly - contact details are in the footer of the Insurance pages on BMC website.
The quick answer is contact the BMC and check. They may need to check with their underwriters. I think the policy covers volunteer instructing with a worldwide remit but you will be getting payment in kind - accommodation, food, visa, etc - that could easily be considered more than "reasonable expenses."
Just for anyone who stumbles across this thread with a similar question in future, the bmc got back to me and said that doesn't count as reasonable expenses, so insurance would not cover you. Gutted!
Also worth thinking about, you may not be being paid but I am guessing that the centre is charging for the climbing lessons, if this is so and their clients are paying, its not actually you volunteering to teach people for free, the owners are running a business and just happen to be able to get free staff, so any volunteering insurance wouldn't cover you as the clients are paying clients. see this some times in France etc, where people are trying to get round need a cart pro.
Hope you find a way if you really want to go.
Emma Twyford has become the first British woman to climb 9a with a redpoint of The Big Bang at Lower Pen Trwyn, North Wales. Emma's ascent is only the third of this route, first climbed in 1996 by Neil Carson.