Hackspace Insurance

Last year we joined the group insurance scheme that was organised on the old mailing lists, and although it was more expensive that the insurance we had before it was worth it for the peace of mind that this was actually tailored to uk hackspaces.

We just received a renewal notice and the premiums have almost doubled!

Has anyone else had this experience ?
Are there any suggestions for alternative insurers ?

Have you had some change of circumstances or claims? Our policy this year from Export & General who are the company from whom we got the group insurance cost the same as last year (£272).
This was nearly half the cost of the previous insurance we had before we went over to the group provider.
Tony Abbey - Leicester Hackspace Finance officer.

Nope, no changes, no claims, haven’t even talked to them since the policy was issued last year.

Looking at the fine detail they appear to have changed underwriters and the costs have gone up hugely, for example

Employers Liability from £75 last year to £120 this,
Public/Products liability from £100 last year to £200 this.

I will be querying all this with export & general but i just wanted to get a feel for other spaces experience with their renewal first.

Have a chat with the insurance broker.

Is there a link / contact details for this group insurance?

No these isn’t, contact @axford for introductions.

Having talked with the broker it seems the original insurers have pulled out, so i guess that means everyone on the scheme is going to get much higher premiums on their next renewal.

He had promised to checkout some alternative insurance underwriters and get back to us, that was weeks ago, so anyone got recommendations for an alternative ?

When HacMan tried to join he couldn’t find anyone to cover us :frowning:

Tamarisk Kay

We hadn’t got onto the group insurance yet, we renew around October. This is the people we’ve used previously:

Hi All
Major insurance update - pasted below verbatim from John at Export&General:

Export and General has now created a bespoke suite of insurance products which are suitable makerspaces / hackspaces.

It has taken a year of negotiation with insurers and a couple of false starts, but what we have now got is secure, stable and NOT subject to change. The pricing grid looks like this:

Public and Products Liability (£5m) - £183.27
Trustees Indemnity - £161.56
Legal Expenses - £25.99
Employers’ Liability (£10m)* - £81.46

Contents is calculated at £12 per £1,000 of value (plus 12% tax).

Buildings cover is arranged on a case-by-case basis. (As an example, for a Hackspace we recently added cover for a 40ft x 10ft portacabin for £95.00).

(*There will some ‘scaling ‘ of the premiums (particularly for Employers’ Liability) for the larger makerspaces, but we have tried to set the base price at an ‘average’ level which will be suitable for most).

There may be some Hackspaces / Makerspaces which feel that we didn’t really deliver last year, but that was because were weren’t entirely confident of the situation with the insurers (as noted above). Now we are – and we are administering the products ourselves, so we are confident that turn-around for quotes and cover will be hours, not days (or weeks!) as we don’t need to refer everything backwards and forwards to insurers.

We are also working on a new website for policy administration, access to documentation and risk management info - we have made a start, so watch this space: http://www.exportandgeneral.co.uk/hackspace-community-group-insurance.php.

It really has been a long and rocky road! Thank you for your patience.

Kind regards



I’d like to gather a handful of particularly interested parties to meet with John and discuss this v2 proposal - clarify any major questions, etc. So far, I’ve got @Killa on the list. Anyone else want to join?

The meet will prob be somewhere along the M4 corridor near Reading (as that suits me, John and @Killa) in next couple of weeks.

If you can’t make the meet, then I’ll also take along any questions collated here…

I am no longer a trustee at Nottingham, but I think that they will be interested - I shall point them at this thread.


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I probably can’t make the meeting from Leicester. However, this looks like a huge increase in costs on this/last year £272 -> £450 excluding contents. Most of our contents were donated or out of scrap bins, though.
It would be good to know the reasons - eg if we have been claiming, so the insurers have been losing money - very unlikely IMHO. There does seem to have been a price hike recently in insurance like Car Insurance - perhaps it’s all done overseas, and Brexit has screwed it :grinning:
Leicester Hackspace finance officer.

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Still working on a date for a meet… hoping before end Sep

meet confirmed - 8th Sep, 4pm near Oxford. Let me know if you’re interested in attending

@Killa and I had a productive meeting with Export&General last week, meeting face to face for the first time in over 18months of discussion! John Mitchell (our key contact) was joined by Chris Varley (proprietor of E&G), both very much showing their commitment to continuing to support hackspaces and the foundation.

Overall objective for the meeting: get comfortable with new insurance offering; discuss further options for the future.

Rough agenda:

  1. Review new insurance offering, clarify any remaining concerns/gaps
  2. Review Lauren’s FAQ doc – agree steps to publish
  3. Align on how best to offer/scale up the package to UK hackspaces via the foundation
  4. Align on how to keep tabs on uptake/service/issues
  5. Frame up options for the future (e.g. umbrella cover)

Headlines from each discussion:

  • New policy has been available since end July and is not expected to undergo any pricing changes within the next 6-9 months. There is due to a further rise in insurance tax next year - date TBC.
  • Policy is notionally shared with Mens Sheds (who have piggy backed on the scheme we established over the last 12 months), and supported by the same underwriter/fund.
  • Further policy clarification is to be worked on by E&G over next few weeks, aiming to publish by Oct (i.e. layman interpretations of policy cover)
  • Agreed FAQ document and supporting checklists will complement the policy and provide additional guidance for how hackspaces can maintain compliance (e.g. H&S implementation)
  • to be worked on over next few months to get ready to publish by new year - intent is to move to a shared space whilst work continues
  • Covered by other discussion points
  • E&G to meet with us quarterly to review uptake, issues and any claims - the “us” will need revising, but @Killa and myself will play that role until the foundation can take over “officially”
  • Currently ~20 members of the scheme, no claims to date
  • Clarified a claim from any hackspace would in principle affect the risk profile and thus future premiums for everyone. However, this effect is softened the more spaces are members of the scheme.
  • Agreed to work-up a proposal where members of the foundation would get a discount to the scheme (possibly in the form of free legal cover), as part of a “starter package” - initial thoughts were to combine £2mm public liability, £2k contents insurance and legal cover for approx £100 premium. Larger spaces could scale up from there by selecting additional cover.
  • Aim to share aligned proposal by Oct

Please raise clarifying questions here, otherwise will share a further update in October. @Killa please add anything I’ve forgotten! :slight_smile:


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Any updates, for example for a new hackspace via the “starter package”

No, afraid not and it’s somewhat contingent on the foundation having formal members and this able to bring more spaces into the scheme

Hi Damian,

I would appreciate communicating direct as we have a number of insurance
details in Basingstoke that need sorting before we apply for cover.

Stuart Livings of NadHack has my Email address if you could possibly
contact me directly?


I see there hasn’t been any discussion on this topic for a while. At Leicester Hackspace we recently got a renewal quote from Export&General, and I am pleased to say that the premium has decreased from £272 to £240 with no change of circumstances. We have recently moved, and they quoted for the old address, but they say our new larger location will not affect the premium - the building insurance is paid for in the rent, anyway.
I told them I would post the good news here, as they are seeking to provide insurance for the remaining UK Hackspaces who havn’t signed up with them.
Leicester Hackspace Treasurer