Without shoot assurance you might not get your shooting insurance, say some leading figures in the shooting community. Though the Shoot Assurance Scheme is still in its early stages, it is thought in the future underwriters will use it as a yardstick to measure the cost of their policies.

Launched at The CLA Game Fair this year, the Shoot Assurance Scheme has been running for its first quarter and assessors from CMi are fully trained and carrying out inspections.

The Countryside Alliance (CA) is one of the larger providers of insurance for shooters. Tony Andrews, chief executive of the Scottish CA, welcomed the Shoot Assurance Scheme but warned there is a potential for shooting to get caught up in bureaucracy, saying: ?I think there?s an inevitability about it. Shoot assurance is about industry self-regulation and I think the insurance industry will want to recognise it.

The best way for it to go about it is to support shoots that have taken the trouble to get assured and cover only those shooters who shoot with assured shoots. By tying in with the assurance scheme, insurance claims would come from shoots that have already undergone a strict and comprehensive assessment. You?d have to make sure the scheme could cope with all types of shooting. I think anything that raises the standards of shooting to protect it from attack should be welcomed ? if it strengthens shooting in the public mind it can only be good. Having said that, we don?t want our sport to be wrapped up in bureaucracy.?

Oliver Harwood, from the Country Land & Business Association, has been instrumental in putting together the assurance scheme: ?If you can demonstrate you are a low-risk organisation you are more likely to get a better deal. Insurers are looking more to their business customers to undertake risk assessment. The insurance business is getting more sensitive in the assessment of risk on which it bases the premiums. It?s becoming a matter of course that they go through a risk assessment process ? for this reason the risk assessment is part of the scheme, which hopefully will get shooters cheaper premiums in the future.?

For more information on shoot assurance, contact CMi, tel (01993) 885610.