Insurance questions & answers

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Insurance Quote Details for Hitchin Hackspace

Location / Sites to be covered by insurance

Current space, rented from Triangle Community Garden for one evening per week (regular), plus occasional additional evenings as required
Ransoms Recreation Ground Pavilion
Ransoms Recreation Ground
Grove Road
Nearest Postcode for Google Maps: SG5 1RB Alexandra Road

New space (leased from North Herts District Council). Building currently being renovated by Hitchin Hackspace
67 Bancroft

Type of Organisation:

Hitchin Hackspace is a community organisation devoted to providing everyone with a place to explore all kinds of creative technologies, engineering and crafts.
Does the group have a constitution: Yes Constitution PDF Version
Directors/Chair person/committee: We have a small committee.

Does the group have a bank account: Yes – Details can be provided
How often does the group meet: Weekly on Mondays from 19:00 to 22:00.
Number of paid up members: 20
Number of active members at any meeting: 10-15
Age group of members: 16-65 (Question for insurer: what is the effect of covering under-16s and 16-18s? Does having guardians present reduce risk/requirements?)

Group Finances:

Turn over: £4000

Insurance Requirements:

Type of cover required:

  • Public Liability £2,000,000
  • Employer's Liability £2,000,000
  • Contents / Theft cover for group owned equipment: £7,000

Is Buildings Insurance required: No.
Ransom's Pavillion: Building owned by North Hertfordshire District Council leased to Triangle Community Gardens who are a registered Charity (Hitchin Community Gardens, Company No. 7676360, Registered Charity No. 1145243).
67 Bancroft: Building leased from North Hertfordshire District Council, insured by landlord

Does the Group have existing cover: Yes, with Zurich (2016-2017)

Type of activities to be covered:
Members making/working on projects, low power DC electronics projects using soldering irons, hand tools, handheld battery power tools, handheld mains power tools, computers and computer controlled equipment like laser cutters and 3D printers, in a group context with appropriate training provided.
Building/DIY activities associated with renovation of new space

Tools used:

  • Hand tools
  • Soldering Iron
  • Hand held hot air gun (For heat shrink sleeve, Not large paint stripping type)
  • Hot melt glue gun
  • Handheld battery power tools
  • Handheld mains power tools
  • Cordless drill
  • Laser cutter
  • 3D printers

Assets requiring cover:

  • CNC Laser Cutter, purchase price ~£3.5k
  • Laptop/PC to control Laser Cutter ~£200
  • LulzBot TAZ 4 3D Printer £2k
  • Oscilloscope ~£100
  • Thurlby Bench Power Supply £50
  • Assorted small tools £100
  • Clarke CL300M benchtop lathe £500


Hitchin Hackspace attend events where Public Liability Insurance would be required to cover members of the public

No of Events: ~4 maker faires per year.

No of Group Members attending: ~5

Do we run our own events?: No

Do we run workshops at events?: No

What activities do we undertake at events?:
Exhibiting / Demonstrating small projects / devices to the public.
Running bighak a battery powered robot vehicle capable of carrying a single passenger.
bighak is a scaled up, driveable version of the 70s programmable robot toy bigtrak. Our version is powered by wheelchair motors (top speed ~5mph) and can be controlled by the original wheelchair joystick or remotely. There is a failsafe 'remote kill' feature so that a supervisor can cut the power if required. We display bighak at makerfaires and it is always driven by members. Occasionally members of the public ride it but it stays under member control at all times. See the website for more details:

Some Hackspace assets be taken away from the Pavilion for events, such as hand and power tools. The total value will be less than £1500

Access Control and Safety, Ransom's Pavilion:

Building Security:
The Ransoms Recreation Ground Pavilion, built in 1930 with a more recent extension and upgrades, is of brick and concrete construction with a pitched metal clad roof. All the external doors are constructed from steel with yale type locks. There are 5 double glazed windows which are all protected by external steel security shutters which are operated manually from inside the building. The floors are concrete. As we hire the building for one evening a week we do not have control of access to the building at all times. We have a key which allows us entry to the building and is used by one of our nominated keyholders to open up each week. The building is in the care of Triangle Community Gardens (including picture of the building. They use the building during the week and at weekends and also hire it to others.

Equipment Storage / Security:

Is access to equipment restricted: Laser cutter will be secured against unauthorised access or use by lockouts on the mains connection and the cover. The unit will be secured in a cupboard / chained to a wall to prevent theft. Only a limited number of authorised and trained custodians will have access to the keys to the machine. Untrained members or visitors will not be allowed to operate the machine without supervision from a trained member / custodian. The other equipment is currently stored in an unlocked cupboard in the building.

Our members include people from a number of engineering and technology backgrounds with many years professional experience with a range of machines and equipment. We will use the most experience members, documented best practice and training guides published by other Maker Spaces, Hackspaces and similar groups to provide training. The initial laser cutter training will be provided by the manufacturer, all other tools are 'consumer' level. Member training will generally be provided by experienced but not professionally certified trainers.

Training documentation: The group will have a library of documentation for tools like the Laser Cutter. Procedures borrowed from existing hackspaces

Risk assessments
All activities will be risk assessed and documented

Written Fire Risk Assessment

Written General Health and Safety Risk Assessment

What safety equipment is in the building:

  • Fire alarm / smoke detectors
  • Emergency Lighting
  • Emergency signage for exits
  • Fire extinguishers
    • One CO2 Extinguisher
    • One Foam Extinguisher
  • Number of Fire Exits = 2
  • First aid kit

Do you have a trained first aider?
There won't always be a trained first aider on site

PAT testing & Electrical Safety
Everything electrical is PAT tested by a 3rd party

Access Control and Safety, 67 Bancroft:

Building Security:
The Ransoms Recreation Ground Pavilion, built in 1920s/1930s, is of predominantly brick construction with a pitched tiled roof. There are currently cast iron gates for the two entrances with lockable wooden shutters in front of them. The floors are tiled. Hitchin Hackspace are the only keyholders to the building. The building is owned by North Hertfordshire District Council.