Why your charity needs specialist insurance

Many charity trustees and directors don’t fully understand the differences between a commercial insurance policy and a specialist charity insurance policy. These charities may be missing out on some aspects of insurance that would benefit their organisation, volunteers and service users.

When it comes to organising insurance for charities, the responsible individual could be forgiven for thinking that a standard office, commercial or non-charity-specific insurance policy would suffice. In fact, they wouldn’t be entirely wrong, as a charity can get the cover that they legally required through, for example, an office policy. However, there are some clear benefits to most specialist charity insurance policies that non-specialist charity policies do not feature.

But how do these policies differ? It’s all in the wording. Your policy wording details all the sections of cover (the types of insurance you have) included in your policy and what is and isn’t covered within these sections. Your policy schedule and wording will detail exactly what sections of cover you have purchased, the limits and any further exclusions or conditions.

Every policy wording is slightly different and the differences between business policies and charity policies can be significant. Here are some general differences, and the reasons why charity policies are more beneficial for charities.

Volunteer Cover

Government advice (from the Charity Commission) is to treat your volunteers as if they were employees for the purposes of insurance. This involves ensuring that they are covered under your Employers’ or Public Liability insurance. Some office policies, for example, will be silent on volunteers – this means that they will not be specifically mentioned under either Employers’ or Public Liability. On the other hand, a specialist charity insurance policy should specifically include volunteers under one of these sections of cover. CaSE Charity Insurance, for example, includes volunteers under the Employers’ Liability section to ensure they are fully covered as if they were employees. And why wouldn’t you treat someone who freely gives up their time for your organisation, as if they were a valued employee?

Activities and Events

Most Public Liability insurance that comes with an office commercial policy will provide a cover for standard activities and events expected from an office-based business, such as meetings etc. However, charities engage in much more diverse activities with a greatly differing type of service user and many also host regular events for fundraising or to otherwise further and celebrate their good cause. Specialist Charity Insurance policies should provide as standard more cover for your charities activities and events, with CaSE Charity Insurance providing automatic cover for a wide range of charitable activities and events with up to 500 attendees.

Member to Member (Service Users)

Another feature of a specialist Charity Insurance policy that you may not find in other insurance policies is cover for member to member injury. Specialist Charity Insurance policies should cover you specifically for work with the service users that you engage with and, often, this should include member to member injury. For example, the CaSE Charity Insurance policy includes this cover under the Public Liability section, thus affording your charity protection in the case of a claim arising from member to member injury that is judged to be your fault.

These are just a few of the specific areas of cover that a specialist Charity Insurance policy should provide for your charity. Ultimately, you should seek out an experienced broker or insurer who can advise you on what your insurance options are. If you do wish to discuss specialist charity insurance, you can contact CaSE Insurance for a free review of your insurance arrangements.