Market has changed and other companies are ‘better placed’ to provide civil liability, says InsureSport.

InsureSport, a mutual set up to help sports clubs obtain civil liability cover, has been suspended because other insurers are “better placed” to do business.

InsureSport will stop writing new business and offering renewals on 30 November, but existing policyholders will have their contracts honoured.

InsureSport was set up in 2006 by the Central Council of Physical Recreation (CCPR) and West Midlands broker Perkins Slade.

Policyholders, which range from ramblers’ associations to gymnastics clubs, took 50% cover with InsureSport and the remaining half with its main partners, including RSA and Zurich.

The idea behind the mutual was to assist clubs that were struggling to find civil liability cover at a reasonable price.

John Ollard, head of finance at the CCPR, said: “The sports insurance market has recovered from the events of 9/11. It is a much more friendly place for sport than it was six or seven years ago – and that’s really good news for CCPR members.

“The gap which existed for civil insurance in the sports sector has been filled again. InsureSport enjoyed retention rates of 90% and higher but the youth of the company meant we decided, in this market, other insurers are better placed to provide cover and field claims.”

InsureSport is only being suspended, however, which means it could be revived if market conditions change again.

Nick Tamblyn, managing director of Perkins Slade, said he “fully expected” the mutual’s insurance partners to continue doing business with its policyholders.

“The reality is that they came smoothly into the mutual and they will go smoothly into a 100% position. They have always had 50% cover. It is not that different to changing an insurer.”

Chris Nash, deputy underwriter for Sportscover, Lloyds syndicate 3334, said the mutual concept was a tough business model in insurance.

He said: “I think it has potentially serious ramifications for sport, but they are fortunate that there are some specialist alternatives.

“But with regard to mutuals, I am not surprised because they have not worked anywhere else in the world – and we operate in several countries.”

Nash said throwing together all the risks into a mutual structure rather than an insurance structure could cause problems.

Richard Doubleday, sport director at Perkins Slade, said: “It is very possible market conditions will harden at some point in the future and premiums will rise. We expect the InsureSport board will continue to monitor the markets. If they do change, InsureSport will consider inviting renewals once more.”