Liability Insurance for First Responders

With the first heats of summer begins the season of pools and beaches, places to which bathers flock to cope with high temperatures and heat waves. And when the mercury of the thermometers rises, there is no coast or pool that does not appear on the tv screen full of people who declare before the camera how comfortable they are sunbathing at the seashore. However, although a day of water can be a lot of fun, we must not forget safety, since it does not cease to involve certain risks.

According to a study carried out by the MAPFRE Foundation as part of its 2016 Drowning Prevention campaign, 480 people die on average each year from drowning. Although the figure has dropped by 12% in the last 5 years, 4,800 people died in the last decade. Of all the deaths, 1,800 people lost their lives in swimming pools and natural spaces. For its part, the World Health Organization has already warned that drownings and other life-threatening events in the aquatic-marine environment today have a weight similar to diseases such as diarrhea and measles in the 70s and 80s.

In preventing drownings, the important role of lifeguards should be highlighted. According to the MAPFRE study, in more than 50% of drowning cases it is the first responders who give the warning voice, something that demonstrates “the good preventive work of surveillance”. In addition, in 86% of the cases it was the lifeguards who intervened in the first place “demonstrating the positive of having a lifeguard service in aquatic spaces”. However, 35% of the incidents were not witnessed directly by the lifeguard, something that is of vital importance, since when there is an incident of risk to life it is essential to detect it as soon as possible to start the resuscitation maneuvers.

Why take out CR insurance?

Faced with the possibility of committing human error while working, lifeguards usually take out Civil Liability insurance to protect themselves against the claims of third parties, since if they cause harm to a third party while guarding the pool, compensation could be unaffordable for them. With the contracting of the policy they make sure that the insurer is in charge of covering it financially.

On the other hand, if the lifeguard does not have an insurance contracted, it is usually the neighboring communities or the public administration (if it is a municipal pool) that are responsible for contracting the insurance. This occurs because in the search for responsibility for negligence that occurred on the premises under the supervision of the lifeguard, the city council or the community of neighbors can be condemned as subsidiary responsible.

What coverages do you include?

First responders’ RC insurance protects the insured against claims from third parties who have suffered damage to the pool under their supervision. This includes damage to people, objects or even the behavior of users of the enclosure, since sometimes the lifeguard is alone in the pool and must monitor the entire perimeter. In addition, some insurers include other damages that can be caused by extra lifeguard functions such as chlorine dosing. An example of this was the famous video of the lifeguard who became famous for “liarla parda” and mixing toxic products. If a problem occurred because of this and the pool had to be evicted, the company would cover the negligence, as long as it picked it up on its condition.

What requirements must be met?

When it comes to underwriting the insurance, the insurer will probably ask you for certain documents proving that you are a professional. These can be the Certificate of Professionalism, which is obtained after taking an approved course in the Autonomous Community in which the lifeguard is located. These courses are valid throughout the European Union, so they can be accredited in several member countries. In addition, some Autonomous Communities such as Madrid require that the lifeguard be included in a Register of Lifeguards.

Choose the best RC Insurance for First Responders

If you are looking for RC insurance to act as a lifeguard or need it for your community of neighbors, it is advisable that you compare the policies offered by the different insurers. In RC insurance, not all companies will have the same economic maximum coverages.

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