Many of you, like me, have probably insured your radio gear through Amateur Radio Insurance Services (ARIS). The company was recently taken over by Bluefin. I have received a letter from Bluefin today announcing that the ARIS scheme is to be withdrawn from 1 April 2012 and they will not be replacing it with any other insurance product.

Existing policies will remain in force until their expiry date (in my case, December 2012) but will not be renewed.

I do not know of any other insurance company that provides a dedicated Amateur Radio insurance policy in the UK. In particular, I am concerned that I will lose cover for Third Party injury/damage claims when operating portable stations, contests, etc.

Does anyone have any ideas about obtaining alternative cover?

Walt (G3NYY)

In reply to G3NYY:
Sorry to say, but Bluefin would probably be better rebranding to something more shark like and less cute fish…

Not a good experience from my side. I had a DD set up that was running for over two years. At renewal, they decided DD was not the way to go and didn’t bother to tell me, instead waiting for me to call and “pay in full”. Suffice to say I did not realise this until I had to make a claim…

Insurers, double glazing salesmen, and no win no fee lawyers have a place in society, however the deep dark holes of the World are filling up quickly so we may need to find a new place for them.

Rant over



A view expressed only by the author and in no way connected with SOTA, MT or any subsidiary whole or part owned.

In reply to G3NYY:

I have received 2 such letters today, one for my own policy which was only renewed a few days ago (1st March) and one for a Radio Club Policy.

As I the Original ARIS Scheme was arranged by RSGB I have sent an email to them to see if they are aware of this change or are aware of any alternatives.

Stewart G0LGS

In reply to G0LGS:

As the Original ARIS Scheme was arranged by RSGB I have sent an
email to them to see if they are aware of this change or are aware of
any alternatives.

I also sent an email to the RSGB. I received an almost-instant reply from Carlos Eavis, who said they were, indeed, aware of this development and they are currently researching alternatives. He says they will post further information (if and when available) on the RSGB web site and in RadComm.

Walt (G3NYY)

In reply to G3NYY:

I see that the RSGB web site now carries a note about this. Looks like it came as a surprise to them. They do seem to be reacting to things more quickly these days!

G1FOA (Safely down from GW/NW-051 and a bit warmer too!!!

In reply to G1FOA:
Just a quick one about insurance, whats wrong with your home insurance (contents & building),
Steve m0sgb

In reply to M0SGB:

whats wrong with your home insurance (contents & building),

Does your home insurance give you public liability insurance?

You know, when your contest group goes on site with towers, masts and generators etc. and a member of the public wanders over to find out what is going on. Promptly followed by you dropping an 10ele 4m beam and 60ft of mast on them in error and then electrocuting them. Their family may sue for loss of earnings, medical costs etc. Or you’re driving up Cyrn-y-Brain and you get a problem with your car and it’s stuck blocking the road. Then the people with a business radio site at the top need to get to their site on the top to fix a problem and can’t because your car is blocking the way. So they sue you for lots of money for incurred losses etc.

If your home policy covers that then there’ll be lots of people wanting to know who you use because most of the insurers run a mile when you ask about these things.

But if you mean thing like having your 817 stolen from your locked car, then your home/car policy may cover it.


In reply to M0SGB:

Just a quick one about insurance, whats wrong with your home insurance
(contents & building),

The ARIS Policy covers new for old replacement of any of insured equipment, repairs for any damage that might occur should you drop your £x,000 radio moving it from the shack to Car etc or if it was stolen whilst at your club contest site (even if you are not with it).

It provides 3rd party liability should a Storm cause your mast, pole, cables, antenna’s etc to damage someone’s property whilst in use either at or away from the house, or in the case of a Club or Repeater group should anything cause damage to anything else on a site shared by any number of other organisations/people.

3rd party liability cover is a requirement for use of almost any site by a Club or Repeater Group (only affiliated groups get this cover via RSGB).

I very much doubt your home insurance would cover most of those even if you only use the equipment at home.

I have never had to claim on my policy (in 20+ years), but I do know from experience that claims have been made (a club once claimed for damage to my equipment that occurred whilst it was being used for club purposes).

Stewart G0LGS

In reply to MM0FMF:

Many years ago I had my House Insurance with the Co-op and had some named items added to the policy (I can’t remember the term for the additions) for a small fee and that included Public Liability cover (up to £1 million I think) and covered any activity associated with their use.


In reply to G0LGS:

Many home insurance policies do provide 3rd part cover, but only for you and your family (i.e. they wouldn’t cover club usage).

For example - gives £2m of cover:-

 G Liabilities
 1. Occupiers and personal liabilities
 We will pay all amounts you, or any member of your family, become 
 legally liable for as a result of living in your home, or for any other reason, 
 as a result of
   a)   accidental death of or bodily injury to any person; or
   b)   accidental loss of or damage to property;
   caused during the period of insurance shown in the schedule.

There are some exclusions, mainly to do with operating powered vehicles so you cannot use this as 3rd party car motoring insurance - but you can use it as 3rd party cycling insurance, or to cover you against a fishing pole antenna mast coming down on a hill top and hurting a walker.

In reply to G3NYY:

Just seen this on the RSGB site

RSGB second announcement on Bluefin amateur radio insurance

On the 9 March we announced that the RSGB had learnt that Bluefin, also known as Amateur Radio Insurance Services, was leaving the amateur radio insurance market. Prior to this Bluefin had advised the Society of their intention to move the existing insurance business to a new underwriter and broker. Unfortunately it appears that they were not successful in this which has resulted in them writing to their customers informing them that they will not be taking on any new amateur radio insurance business or renewing existing policies when they expire.

The RSGB has no direct involvement with amateur radio insurance and this announcement was unexpected.

The RSGB is aware that other brokers are interested in offering amateur radio insurance and hopes that an announcement on a new insurance provider might be made by the 31 March when Bluefin ceases to take on new business. We will keep members informed of any developments.

Perhaps if there are a few interested in providing a service. It might, just might drive the costs down.

Peter G1FOA

In reply to G3NYY:

Latest from RSGB on the insurance front.

Amateur radio insurance update

Following the previous announcements about the withdrawal of Bluefin from the amateur radio insurance on the 31 March 2012, we are pleased to announce that two brokers are now offering insurance cover for radio amateurs. Whilst we do not recommend or endorse insurance companies we can confirm the details as follows:

South West Broking Ltd

This company is offering insurance that has been negotiated specifically for amateur radio enthusiasts. They have gained the commitment of an insurer within Lloyd’s of London who offer cover for both radio equipment and third party liability insurance. Cover is available to both individual members and clubs.

Contact: Julian Dent of South West Broking Ltd. On 01454 806503 or by e-mail at: and they will be pleased to provide further information.


A specialist insurance cover is also now available from a company Quotedesk. They are offering an all risk cover for your Amateur radio equipment along with Public Liability cover.

Contact: Phone +44 (0) 845 073 7137 or visit

So now we have a choice of two insurers.