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What charity insurance should you get?

29/11/2019

Please give generously.

The sincere request at the heart of all fundraising.

If only everything was that simple. But it isn't, because while fundraising can be taxing enough in itself, running a charity comes with many more responsibilities. People, events, regulations, property and so on all require a lot of taking care of.

With responsibility comes consequence, and with consequence comes repercussion.

So how do you make sure your charity keeps on the straight and narrow? Charity insurance can provide some useful answers.

What kind of charity insurance do you need?

If you run a charity, in legal terms you're considered a trustee. And as a trustee, you're responsible for everything your charity does and says. More importantly, just like company directors, trustees are personally liable for the consequences of their decisions.

Allegations that your charity has done something wrong could well leave you having to defend yourself. That means not only forking out for a solicitor but potentially paying compensation from your personal finances and assets.

Trustees' insurance, then, would seem to be just the ticket.

What do you get? Well for one, it'll pay for a team of specialist legal experts to defend you in court. And if the worst happens and you're deemed liable, then it'll cover compensation too. So your bank balance and house stay safe.

A simple way to dodge a bullet, in other words.

Twist of fete

It's the 21st century and health and safety is king – all it takes is a stray tennis ball coupled with a brittle old teapot to create an injury-causing projectile. Before you know it, your gentle village fundraising get-together could end with a compensation claim against you.

Public liability insurance for charities is what you need.

You're protected if someone's injured or their property's damaged while they're at an event you've organised. Also while they're on your premises on a day-to-day basis, and if you visit theirs.

The good thing is your policy will pay to defend you regardless of whether you're at fault or not. And if it turns out you are, that expensive-looking compensation figure will be covered too.

Help where you need it most

Employers' liability insurance is what you need if you have people (paid or unpaid) working for you. Also if they're just helping out.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) takes any organisation's duty of care to its workforce very seriously, be they a business or a not-for-profit. That's why it makes employer's liability insurance a legal obligation - with a potential fine of £2,500 per day for not having it when you should.

And volunteers? Technically, they're different to an employee because they're not paid. But, the HSE's definition of an employee covers unpaid workers, helpers, and volunteers too. So, legally speaking, you have a duty of care to provide a safe working environment and adequate training for them.

If one of your guys is injured or becomes ill as a result of working for or helping your charity, and claims against you, this policy pays to defend you. It covers any damages awarded to your staff, too.

What other charity insurance might you need?

That's one of those 'how long is a piece of string?' (or bunting) questions. You can go on and on, covering off any potential risk you might face, ever. But at the end of the day, resources are limited, common sense must prevail, and you should take care of your most obvious weak spots first.

Other kinds of policy that might serve you well, depending on what you do, include these:

  • If you provide a service. Professional indemnity (PI) insurance, because it covers you against accusations of negligence. If someone says you gave them bad advice, or the service you provided was below par and caused them harm, PI pays to defend you and covers compensation.
  • If you rely on a website or hold data. Cyber insurance, because it helps get you up and running again quickly if you're targeted by hackers. It pays for technical expertise to restore your systems and deals with the consequences of a data breach: covers legal costs and compensation if you're sued for losing people's personal data and provides expertise to help deal with the Information Commissioner's Office.
  • If you have equipment. Contents insurance, because it covers your fixtures, fittings and other kit, and pays to replace items that are lost, damaged, or stolen.

Best foot forward

It's a sad fact that for all your best efforts to help others, a claim being made against you is always a possibility.

Charity insurance is simply a good way of making sure you're prepared and protected.

For more information, our team are always ready to help on 0345 222 5391. Or you can click here for a quick quote.

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