What types of insurance should I consider for my charity?

by Aviva Community Fund | Sep 22, 2020 | Risk protection for community causes

What types of insurance should I consider for my charity?

Let’s make this simple! Here are the various insurances you might need as a charity and why…

Running a charity or voluntary organisation takes a very special set of skills, devotion, passion and a lot of heart. Charities, especially in their infancy stages, are often working with tight budgets and valuable but limited resources. It’s for these reasons you need to think about insurance for your organisation – though you may assume no one would see the appeal in targeting your organisation for financial gain, Charities and other not for profit organisations are the subject of legal action more commonly than you would expect.

Insurance for your charity or voluntary group is a key tool in protecting your organisation, your events, your reputation and your people.  In many respects your insurance requirements may be similar to other types of organisations although you will also need to balance your potential risk exposures against the costs of certain covers and limits.

However, we understand that with so many options, choosing the correct insurances can be tricky – so we have created a simple Q&A to help and guide you through some of the common insurance covers available and help you understand what insurance is right for your charity or voluntary organisation.

Do you interact with the public?

If your organisation comes into contact with third parties such as the public, other organisations and/or volunteers, then you should consider Public Liability cover. This type of insurance covers you against claims for any accidental injuries or any damage that is caused to third parties or their property which are due to your negligence.

For example, if an attendee at one of your events injures themselves or a venue is damaged as a result of carelessness or negligence by your organisation, Public Liability would cover the legal costs to defend claims made against your organisation, and any damages which may be awarded against you.

Specialist charity insurance policies should provide cover for a broad range of practical care, support and promotional activities but always check that you have provided insurers with enough information about what you do.

Do you have a board of trustees, committee members or directors?

The trustees, committee members and/or directors of your charitable organisation are often the decision makers and if a mistake is made, they could be held personally responsible for financial loss or reputational damage to your organisation. You should ensure Trustee’s liability insurance protects your organisation as well as individual trustees from the costs of legal disputes and investigations.

Do you have employees or volunteers?

If you employ an individual to work for your organisation, whether they are temporary, part time and/or full-time, it is your responsibility to protect them. This also extends to anyone volunteering on behalf of your charity or voluntary organisation. If you have any paid employees, it’s also a legal requirement for you to provide Employers Liability with heavy fines for organisations which fail to do so.

Employers’ liability cover will protect employers from claims arising from employees alleging that they have suffered injury or disease, (or potentially claims from dependents if the accident has resulted in a fatality) as a result of your negligence whilst carrying out their duties. If you’ve taken out Employers’ Liability insurance for staff, it’s likely that anyone who volunteers for you will be covered under this policy, although you should double check with your insurer/broker.

Do you give advice?

When a charity provides a professional service, they could be held legally liable for any financial loss, injury or damage that occurs if the charity is alleged to provide inadequate advice or a quality of service which falls below standard. Professional Indemnity insurance, often referred to as PI insurance, can cover any legal costs and expenses incurred in your defence against claims, as well as any damages or costs incurred as a result of following the advice or service.

Also bear in mind that if you are engaged in certain regulated activities such as legal or financial advice then more specialist cover may be necessary.

Do you own buildings or other property?

Trustees of charities are expected to safeguard the organisation’s assets and in the event of a fire, flood, or other physical damage, the organisation may need to rely on an insurance policy to cover the cost to rebuild, repair or replace damaged property.

Where your organisation is reliant on the property for your trading activities, you may also want to consider Business Interruption which will replace any lost income or additional costs whilst repairs or rebuilding is underway

Are such covers available under one policy?

The answer is yes. Ideally, you should ask your insurance broker about specialist combined policies which will not only provide cost-effective cover for a broad range of activities but also ease your own administration by covering as much as possible with one schedule and a single renewal date.

Where can I go for more information?

This article has been kindly contributed by Aviva’s charity insurance brokers BHIB Insurance, Allied Westminster, and charity specialist MGA, aQmen Underwriting

Are you looking for specialist insurance or need advice on your charity’s requirements? Our Aviva products are available via insurance brokers across the UK. If you already have an insurance broker, please contact them for guidance and to get a quote.

If you need to find a broker, this look up tool from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) will help you locate one local to you.

Alternatively, we work with three brokers who specialise in charity insurance products. Please feel free to contact them directly to receive their expert advice.