Insurance and Archery

Stay within the Mainstream National Archery structure and stay insured, but check whether a given tradition is covered.


Archery is de-facto a low risk sport. The longbow has a lower velocity than other bows; no claims have been made over the past 50 years. As a result of its remarkable antecedents the longbow has the widest range of shooting traditions.

Although these are collectively catered for by most archery associations, only one the I.L.A.A. caters for all traditions AND all types of longbow.

The mainstream archery associations for the longbow are as follows: 


G.N.A.S. The Grand National Archery Society or Archery UK; insures all members and affiliated clubs for one and two-way target and clout shooting. This is its main remit, but it is a considerable one. It takes all bows-types through all levels of competition to International events and the Olympics. With the growth of field archery it has established a sister organisation in that domain. The G.N.A.S. has a comprehensive set of rules. Like all its Continental European equivalents, it works closely with F.I.T.A. (Federation Internationale de Tir a l'Arc) representing all UK archery. However, in common with all mainstream European Archery Association such as, FFTA (France), DSB (Germany), NHB (Netherlands) etc. it has no rules, no definition and no description of Shooting at the Marks (as an example).
Neither the UK or Continental European Archery Associations are longbow specific. 
Neither the UK or Continental European Associations cover all longbow aiming and ranging traditions.

N.F.A.S. The National Field Archery Society; insures all members at shoots that have been entered in its calendar. Deliberately UK domestic the N.F.A.S. has no International remit nor insurance remit. Nevertheless, its particular type of archery is at one and the same time popular as well as potentially higher risk. The N.F.A.S. no longer insures shooting at the (roving) Marks, but limits its insurance strictly to field-archery. Again, it is not longbow specific and does not cover all longbow aiming and ranging traditions.

I.L.A.A. The International Longbow Archers Association; insures specifically longbow - all weights, sections AND all the longbow aiming and ranging traditions which are specifically defined. The I.L.A.A. seeks to lower the threshold of entry into safe insured longbow archery. It is globally the only organisation that has a clear engineering definition of the longbow, underlining its approach to safety and inclusivity. The I.L.A.A. has an International remit with shoots both in the UK and abroad.  
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 The British Longbow Society; now insures only light-weight "D" section longbows.  Only the traditions of two-way target and clout shooting are covered. The organisation is essentially UK domestic.  

E.F.A.A. The English Field Archery Association; insures all members at shoots entered in its calendar. Its International remit for postal competitions runs via the I.F.A.A.. Its particular type of archery is popular as well as potentially higher risk. However the E.F.A.A. has a well drafted Constitution and good approach to safety. The E.F.A.A. limits its insurance strictly to field-archery. 
It is not longbow specific and does not cover all longbow aiming and ranging traditions.

S.P.T.A. The Society for the Preservation of Traditional Archery; insures traditional hand-made bows of all kinds in a variety of traditions including horse-archery. The Society is small but does have an International remit. It is managed by a small number of very knowledgeable and dedicated bowyers and archers. 
It is not longbow specific and does not cover all longbow aiming and ranging traditions.

D.I.Y. Do it yourself insurance: it is expensive, may not cover all forms of archery and most Organizers will refuse it.

Club-specific insurance: an archer who has taken out a club specific insurance and relies on that (non mainstream archery insurance), will not be covered at any shoot outside that particular club. On their part careful organisers should accept only Mainstream Archery Insurance at their events.

Visitor insurance, beware: most insurance companies place a limit on the numbers. If you are number 13 and the limit is 12 - you are not insured. An organiser who allows in that extra 13th visitor may instantly lose cover for all participants in the event.

In summary: all this means that insurance coverage in the UK as in Continental Europe is wide, but not uniform or complete. Not all the Longbow shooting traditions are defined.

For non-UK archers it is therefore important to make sure a given UK shoot remains within the mainstream UK Archery structure above. That way the non-UK archer is included in its insurance cover on a reciprocal basis with the cover of their own association; 
provided that the particular tradition being shot is covered 
(with shooting at the Marks for example, such would not be the case). 
For UK archers participating in overseas events, the same applies.

Better safe than sorry. All organizers, whether UK or Continental European should always make sure their events are within and recognized by the main Archery associations outlined above. 
Archers who participate in events should make sure this is so. Caveat Emptor !

Note; as insurance policies vary with the commercial market for insurance, it is recommended that the reader checks the current state of cover offered by all insurance policies/archery associations discussed above.