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The Importance of Being Insured!

  • Insurance is a key part of the risk management process for charities and community groups. It’s vital that non-profit groups that do so much good, with so few resources, are protected. And insurance can provide that protection. With the financial security of insurance, your organisation can focus all its resources on its charitable aims!

    Let’s start with the basics; what’s required by law? Employers liability is a legal requirement if you have any employees. £5 million indemnity is required, but £10m is now standard. Some charity insurance policies will also cover your volunteers as if they were employees under Employers Liability insurance rather than third parties covered by your Public Liability policy. This gives them better cover. Also, if you own and operate motor vehicles, you’re legally required to appropriately insure them. Read more about whether your organisation legally needs insurance.

    Is it important to be insured beyond the legal requirements?

    Yes! The primary function of insurance is protecting your organisation from the financial burden of claims and protecting your assets in the event of claims. Should you be unfortunate enough to have a member of the public slip on your premises, despite your best risk management efforts, you may be liable for a large claim – this is the sort of claim that could shut down your organisation and put a stop to all the good that you have been doing.

    What could happen if we’re not insured?

    This depends on your charity or community group structure. However, if you’re not a registered charity and someone has cause to make a claim against you, it is possible that they will take you to court. If you lose the court battle, then you are personally liable for the entire claim amount. Equally, even if you are a registered charity, a claimant may choose to take the charity to court and, in some circumstances, pursue compensation from the trustees.

    Whatever the situation, in the event of a claim, if you don’t have insurance then your charity and community group is at serious risk of financial ruin. And there’s potentially a significant risk to the board of trustees too.

    What should we do about insurance?

    The first step towards insuring your organisation should be discussing your requirements with charity insurance specialists. There are specialist charity insurance providers and brokers that can assist you with your insurance requirements and risk management.

    What insurance should we consider buying?

    Beyond the legal requirements of Employers Liability and Motor (if you operate vehicles), you may consider a range of insurance product. Common cover required by charities and community groups include Public Liability, Property, Trustee Indemnity, Professional Indemnity, Fidelity and more.

    Tell us about the common insurance covers for charities and community groups.

    Public Liability protects you from claims made by members of the public who have suffered personal injury or property damage because of your charity or community group. Property Damage insures your building, contents and assets against loss, theft or damage and is key to risk management. Trustee Indemnity protects your board of trustees from claims made against them or the organisation. This will help your trustees sleep well at night and can help you recruit top quality trustees. Professional Indemnity protects you if you provide any professional, advice or counselling services or similar. And Fidelity cover insures you against theft or fraud by an employee, volunteer or trustee. 

    Elaine Denny has been working in the Charity Insurance sector for 10 years and supports all of CaSE Insurance’s charity clients. You can contact Elaine on 01372 227 634 or by email, at elainedenny@caseinsurance.co.uk.

    CaSE Insurance was established and is part-owned by the charity law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite and by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). CaSE represents a unique partnership between charity and insurance specialists. You can find out more about CaSE at www.caseinsurance.co.uk or call them on 0333 800 9838. CaSE Insurance is proud to offer free and impartial risk management and insurance advice to Localgiving members.

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