Metal Detecting Insurance is one of the important attributes of this hobby

As many of the newbies in metal detecting, when I purchased my first detector and planned the first dig, I thought about insurance. If something will go wrong – do I need special metal detecting insurance? If so – where can I get it and how much does metal detecting insurance policy cost?

What is Metal Detecting Insurance?

If you are a private person, this is your Public Liability Insurance. It provides cover in respect of legal liability to pay compensation. For example, it includes legal costs for accidental death or personal injury to any person excluding employees. Also, it includes cover regarding accidental loss or damage to third party property occurring during the period of insurance.

Since Metal Detecting is quite a specific hobby (surely, not the same as sewing or gardening) with the existing level of danger, your insurance company will not cover any risks related to detecting.

Just FYI: there are also types of Metal Detecting Insurance cover Products Liability, Professional Indemnity, Employers Liability and special Insurance for Directors and Officers.

For a private person what examples of cases will be covered by Metal Detecting Insurance?

This insurance will cover different examples of negligence, i.e.:

  • you have walked through standing crops and damaged them;
  • you did not shut the farmer’s gates and his animals have escaped without a chance to return home;
  • (too scary and imaginary but still possible) you startled animals or nesting birds and they died on private farmer’s land;
  • you have not filled the hole, someone steps into it and broke a leg;
  • you have accidentally damaged the fence, gate, cable or any other farmer’s equipment;
  • you left massive junk on the site so a landowner needed to call the special service to tidy up the mess, etc.

Sure, half of these situations are unreal at all but you can understand the scope of your metal detecting insurance.

Where can I get insurance cover for metal detectorists?

The most popular way how you can get your insurance is to apply for membership in hobby association. In the UK there are two main organisations providing this type of services.


National Council for Metal Detecting (NCMD), an organisation established in 1981, that supports responsible metal detecting and offers insurance from Hisox. Along with metal detecting insurance, this company is also working with quite unique portfolio of cases like an insurance for kidnap and ransom, marine, aerospace, hacker, product recall and political risk insurance. NCMD provides public access to their insurance documentation and this is one of the main reasons why I have chosen their membership.


Federation of Independent Detectorists (FID), an association established in 1978, also provides required third party liability insurance. But it is extremely difficult to find any details about this. The only mention is on the home page of their website but details are not disclosed.

What is the price of the insurance policy?

Since the insurance cover is included in the annual membership of both organisations mentioned above, you need to buy it and the cover will be obtained automatically.

For NCMD an annual UK membership in 2019/2020 costs £8 with the same price for renewal.

For FID the price of an annual membership is £13 with a renewal price tag £6.50 for online application and £10 for postal renewals.