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General Insurance Issues

The type of insurance cover required by community groups or voluntary organisations depends upon a number of factors;

  • The law - If you employ staff you will require employer's liability insurance or if you use a vehicle then motor insurance is required
  • Your Governing document - group's governing documents sometimes specify that certain types of insurance cover should be purchased
  • Your group's activities may also make it appropriate to purchase other forms of insurance such as public liability insurance, property insurance etc.

For a general overview of insurance issues for voluntary organsations and community groups see the PAVO information sheet 2.11 Insurance.

The Charity Commission has more detailed guidance for charities in its publication CC49 Charities and Insurance. This includes useful information about;

  • The legal obligations of charity trustees in respect of insurance
  • The use of disclaimer notices
  • Trustee indemnity insurance

The Health and Safety Executive publishes an information sheet Employers Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969: A guide for employers.

Trustee Indemnity Insurance

Some community groups and voluntary organisations purchase Trustee Indemnity Insurance in order to protect their trustees against certain types of personal liability.

Trustee Indemnity Insurance is intended to protect trustees from personal liability if legal claims are made against them for a breach of trust, a breach of duty or negligence committed by them in their capacity as trustees.

However, Trustee Indemnity Insurance cannot protect trustees against;

  • Fines araising from criminal proceedings or penalties arising from regulatory action
  • Liability arising from defending criminal proceedings where a trustee is convicted of fraud, dishonesty, or reckless misconduct
  • Liability arising out of conduct which the trustee knew, or should have known, was not in the interests of the charity

For a more detailed explanation of this topic see the PAVO information sheet 5.8 Trustee Indemnity Insurance.

For more information about personal liability of trustees see the PAVO information sheet 5.7 Liability of Trustees and Governing Body Members.

Changes arising from the charities Act 2006 mean charities no longer have to apply to the Charity Commission for permission to purchase Trustee Indemnity Insurance unless there is a clause in their governing document which expressly prohibits its purchase. For more information see CC49 Charities and Insurance.

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Obtaining Insurance

PAVO is unable to recommend any specific insurer for voluntary organisations and community groups.

However, there are several online resources that you can use to find an appropriate insurer;

  • The British Insurance Brokers Association website has a search facility to allow you to identify insurance brokers that specialise in obtaining insurance for charities
  • The Volunteering England website lists a number of insurers that have particular experience in insuring voluntary organisations
  • Keegan & Pennykid (Insurance Brokers) Ltd offer the Encompass Insurance Policy which is endorsed by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and the London Voluntary Service Council

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