Insurers must stand behind children
04 Feb 2019 I London Play
ENGLAND: Some 88 per cent of adventure playgrounds have not made an insurance claim in the past three years. So why is a leading insurer withdrawing cover?
London Play and Play England have called on Zurich, which recently withdrew its cover from several adventure playgrounds, to revisit its decision, issuing a joint statement which highlights what could be lost should other insurers follow suit.
Last week London Play has surveyed 33 adventure playgrounds to find out if there is any basis to insurers’ fears that they pose an unacceptable level of risk. The results show unequivocally that adventure playgrounds are successful in maintaining the highest health and safety standards. Some 88 per cent have not made a claim in the last three years and 64 per cent have never made a claim. Glamis and Hornimans, the two London playgrounds which last week were turned down by Zurich, said they had not made any claims in 15 and 30 years respectively. So it is apparent that the problem we are dealing with is one of perception.
Experts have rrushed to defend the play sector and highlight the value of adventure play. Lawrence Waterman OBE, chair of the British Safety Council said:
“Young people need to learn about taking and managing risks – and designed and managed adventure playgrounds enable this by offering children stimulating, challenging environments for exploring and developing their abilities. Because this play provision manages the level of risk, so that children are not exposed to unacceptable risks of death or serious injury, they have proved their value in creating safe places for this crucial aspect of becoming adult. The accident and claim history of such places, often open only when supervising adults are present, is very good and it would be a great pity if unevidenced risk-averse behaviour by insurers threatened the availability of exactly those places where risk management can be experienced and learned."
David Ball, Professor of Risk Management, Middlesex University added:
"Any threat to adventure playgrounds needs to be taken very seriously. Adventure playgrounds provide essential developmental experiences for young people which are so absent from modern lifestyles."
Download the full statement below or click here.