I recently met with a local bike shop owner to discuss his concerns regarding liability.
Specifically, he wanted to know how was he exposing himself and/or his business by:
-sponsoring a bike team and managing a bike club
-offering bike/trainer classes inside the shop, taught by a bike shop employee (off the clock)
-leading and offering led rides, departing from the shop
-offering rental and/or demo bikes and helmets
These are really good questions/concerns for a business owner to have, especially when the question of "which insurance policy covers what" is so hard to understand. Many agents will not provide straightforward "yes it's covered" or "not it's not covered by your policy" answers. It is easy to over-insure with club insurance, studio insurance, business liability insurance, instructor insurance and more ... Waivers are of course at the heart of the issue, but the questions there are many: is this waiver going to be upheld by a Court if I am sued; who has to sign a waiver and how often -every class, every ride, once a year, once a season? And what if someone suffers a heart attack during a cycling class at the bike shop or is hit by a car on a shop ride -is the instructor going to be held liable, is the shop going to be sued, and which insurance covers which issue?
I enjoy meeting with bike shops and bike clubs to discuss these issues. It is not possible for me to provide generic suggestions or answers here, because each situation is factually-specific. What does your policy say? Is your ride led by a shop employee or is the ride simply departing from the shop's front doors ... and so on. Call or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you'd like to schedule a meeting to discuss these, and other, liability issues on your mind.