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Charity Clarity

In partnership with Charity Clarity

Why do charities and community groups need insurance?

Because just like a business, you can be sued for compensation – say if someone gets hurt and says it’s your fault, or claims you gave them bad advice.

Also, because you’ve got a duty to protect your people:

  • Your trustees and officers, because they can be held personally liable if things go wrong.
  • Your staff and volunteers, because it’s the law.

And because things that go missing or get damaged can prove mighty expensive to replace or fix – like your equipment. Or your data.

Insurance has your back when you need it most, providing crucial legal and financial support to help you through the tough times.

What insurance do charities and community groups need?

For your events & fundraisers

Events can sometimes be more eventful than planned. Whether it’s a coffee morning or a concert, people and their property can get hurt - say if a visitor trips over a speaker cable and breaks their shoulder.

If a claim’s made against you, public liability insurance pays your legal costs and any compensation due. It also covers property damage – like repair or replacement costs if a volunteer spills coffee over a visitor’s laptop.

You’re covered for:

  • Third-party bodily injury or property damage claims against your charity or group.
  • Public liability at your premises and at fundraising events such as: fetes, craft fairs, walks, fun days, etc.
  • Replacing third-party keys, locks and pass cards lost while in your care.

For your staff & volunteers

Your staff and volunteers are your lifeblood, and it’s your responsibility to protect them. It’s your legal obligation too, since if your charity or group has employees, the law says you must have employer’s liability insurance.

The same goes for volunteers, because the Health and Safety Executive puts them in the same bracket - even if they’re unpaid, temporary or part-time. If one of them is injured while working for you and they sue you for damages, you’re liable to pay compensation.

You’re covered for:

  • Bodily injury claims against your charity or group by its employees, volunteers, and helpers.
  • Defence costs for further criminal prosecutions against you following a claim.
  • Court attendance as a witness connected to an employee’s or volunteer’s claim.

For your trustees and directors

Trustees and officers are legally responsible for a charity’s activities, in the same way that directors are accountable for a business’ activities.

That can put your personal wealth at risk if someone points a finger. For example, if the numbers don’t add up when it comes to end-of-year finances. Or if someone says your charity hasn’t stuck to its stated aims.

As a trustee, you’re responsible for defending a claim your charity’s done wrong. Trustees’ and directors’ insurance pays for a solicitor and covers any fines you’re liable for.

You’re covered for:

  • Your personal liability.
  • Actual or alleged ‘wrongful acts’, including breach of trust, defamation and negligence.
  • Legal defence costs and damages.

For your equipment & property

More than likely, your charity or group relies not only on people to make it tick, but on ‘things’ like technical kit and other equipment.

If anything, or even the whole lot, gets lost, damaged, or stolen, replacing it can prove expensive. That’s where equipment and business interruption insurance helps by paying for repairs or replacement.

It also covers costs for your charity or group to set up elsewhere should your normal base be out of bounds – say because there’s been a fire or flood.

You’re covered for:

  • Loss, theft of, or accidental damage to your charity or group’s property.
  • Damage caused by fire, flood, storm or operator error.
  • Theft or loss of money held on behalf of your charity or group.

For your services & advice

If your charity or group offers a service or advice, you’re at risk of someone saying you did it badly and claiming negligence.

Say you help people start new businesses and someone claims your poor advice cost them money. Or you help people fill in forms, but someone alleges they lost out because you filled it in incorrectly.

Whether or not the claim is justified, you have to deal with it anyway. Professional indemnity insurance helps by paying for a solicitor to fight your corner and by covering any compensation.

You’re covered for:

  • Legal defence costs for claims your charity or group made a mistake.
  • Legal defence costs for claims of defamation or that you infringed someone else’s copyright.
  • Damages and fines awarded against you.

For your data

It may well be that your charity or group holds personal data, probably in digital form. Information like addresses or even financial details for your volunteers, supporters, service users or employees.

If you lose that data, say because your computers are hacked, it can land you in big trouble – both with the people affected and with the regulator for breaking GDPR rules. Your system can also be left in technological meltdown.

Cyber liability insurance helps you to clear up the mess and get back to normal again.

You’re covered for:

  • Forensic help to identify the breach and restore your systems and website.
  • Costs for informing people affected by the breach and dealing with the regulator – plus fines if allowed.
  • Defence costs and compensation if you’re sued by third parties, as well as crisis PR to defend your reputation.

Charity & Community Help Hub

Need advice from the people who know? Try our Help Hub – it’s packed with essential information about fundraising, governance, data protection and more.

Go to the Hub ›

Under the radar:
risk management in
small charities

We teamed up with the University of Suffolk’s Institute for Social and Economic Research to ask small charities, community groups and not-for-profits how – or if – they cope with the rules and regs of managing their organisation. The results went into a report called ‘Under the radar: risk management in small charities’.

It’s free so take a look at the figures, read the feedback and see how your organisation measures up.

Get the report ›
Our charity and community insurance comes with free access to award-winning online training courses from Flick Learning

- health & safety, safeguarding, data protection and more.

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0345 222 5399
Lisa Carr
Account Executive