Metal detecting insurance

  • Time to read: 5 min.

Metal detecting insurers like the NCMD or FID can insure you against most things that could possibly go wrong when out metal detecting.

This could be an incident with farm livestock, farm property, injury to yourself or even a third party.

Most if not all metal detecting clubs and rally organisers will insist you have metal detecting insurance in place before starting.

Do you need a license for metal detecting?

Not to be confused with insurance, you do not actually need a “license” of sorts to go metal detecting. What you MUST have in place is permission however from the landowner.

The consequences of not having permission can be quite severe. Metal detecting on land you do not have permission for is “trespassing” and technically, if you find something and take it away, it’s theft!

You can read more about this in my article, ……is metal detecting legal here!

So, now not being confused about needing a license, metal detecting insurance is different. Taking out insurance is a way of protecting yourself from any financial penalties due to an unforeseen incident that may be caused directly or indirectly by yourself or others.

You may think…..what could possibly go wrong?…..I’m only metal detecting! Well, a number of things could happen. Okay, the likelihood of differing incidents being realised is what insurance is all about.

Metal detecting insurance | Do you need a license for metal detecting

Risk is all about the balance of the likelihood of a hazard being realised and the severity of the hazard.

(either financial or physical or to property or person)

I have to personally be all over this type of thing in my day job as a senior site manager for a construction company!

So what could go wrong?

Well, some typical scenarios that could happen are that you accidentally forget or just do not close a farm field gate properly and livestock manage to escape.

The livestock could suffer from or even cause injury to property or people. Demonstrating good skills is paramount and you can further read my article on metal detecting rules UK here.

This scenario could also be caused by you climbing a gate or fence and it breaking it. As well as the cost of fixing the fence or gate, livestock could potentially escape and cause havoc!

Other scenarios include you not being diligent and not back filling a hole properly after extracting a target.

If a hole is left open, livestock or horses could easily suffer a leg injury for instance.

Can you imagine how much a vets fees would be for this, not to mention the suffering to the animal. The animal may even have to be put to sleep.

Metal detecting insurance can also cover you from personal injury during a detecting day that may put you out of work action for a while.

This may even include sickness from nasties getting into a cut from digging. Probably more important if you are self employed.

I cover the importance of metal detecting gloves and what lies in the ground in my article here.

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Where can I get metal detecting insurance?

So, as we’ve discussed, metal detecting insurance is a very wise thing to invest in. Within the UK, there are two main specialists that provide metal detecting insurance.

These are the NCMD (National Council for Metal Detecting) and the FID (Federation of Independent Detectorists). The NCMD website can be found here and the FID website can be found here.

The NCMD have been providing metal detecting insurance for over 40 years now and the great thing about them is that they are recognised by the UK government.

They are an integral part of the metal detecting community and fully support them with any changes to legislation that could effect the hobby.

Metal detecting insurance | Do you need a license for metal detecting

There are approximately 25,000 members and the insurance they provide covers commercial rallies, private and group digs.

The Public Liability insurance covers up to £10,000,000 amazingly with no excess payments.

They offer a lot of advice on detecting codes of practice, the law and what you may find.

You also get a free magazine called “Digging Deep” which keeps you informed about what is currently happening in the world of metal detecting.

The second insurance supplier is the FID. The FID has been taken over by long term detecting enthusiasts Richard and Gill who covers the admin side and loves doing FID work. Richard, a detectorist since 1978, started when his father detected also. 

The FID offer 3rd party liability insurance along with promotion of responsible metal detecting.

Richard and Gill regularly attend quarterly meetings at the British Museum and if they can’t make it are represented at the meetings so they are fully up to speed on all things regarding the PAS (Portable Antiquities Scheme) and how any changes effect the hobby of metal detecting.

They took over the FID in 2014 in order to offer an alternate choice for insurance. It was a fresh start and they took over with no finances and terminated all memberships that were not current.

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How much does metal detecting insurance cost?

In regards to the NCMD (National Council for Metal Detecting), the basic membership cost is currently £8 per year, £15 for two years or £24 for 3 years. For this, you get insurance cover for commercial rallies/events, private and group digs.

You also get two membership cards for your wallet or purse and a key fob card to keep on your keys. You could even attach it to your metal detector so you always have insurance proof with you.

The Public Liability insurance covers up to £10,000,000 with no excess and covers for worldwide detecting which is perfect for holidays (excludes USA & Canada).

Hopefully by the time of writing this article, the NCMD will also have a really handy app available with access to many resources.

One fantastic resource is the availability to access the NCMD’s Major Finds Excavation Fund to help you with retrieving important, significant finds if you’re lucky enough!

This is only currently available in England and Wales at the time of writing this article however.

The NCMD represent all detectorists across the country at local and government levels on everything relating to the hobby of metal detecting.

This ensures that you are fully at the forefront of representation as detectorists provide one of the largest contributions to history.

The NCMDDigging Deep” magazine is a welcome read which gets posted out to you free with your membership and you also have the ability to join their online community forum and enter competitions.

I think you’ll agree that it’s quite a lot for £8 per year!

Membership costs for the FID (Federation of Independent Detectorists) is currently £7.50 per year at the time of writing this article. You don’t get as much as you do with the NCMD but it does provide an alternative if you wish.

So, metal detecting insurance is worth it for peace of mind and so is metal detecting. You can read my article asking…. is metal detecting worth it here!

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