What are the implications for charities of cancelling or pausing insurance during the Coronavirus lockdown?

If your organisation is not currently operating, or has had to switch focus to help during the coronavirus lockdown, then it may seem obvious to cancel or at least pause any policy that provides cover you don’t necessarily ‘need’ right now. However, there are some implications you need to consider before deciding to cancel your cover.

They have outlined some of the main considerations for different types of policy below, if you have any questions or need any further advice please don’t hesitate to get in touch or call us on 0330 013 0036.

Public Liability Insurance

Charities and voluntary organisations tend to work with people a lot, so Public Liability insurance is a must to provide cover against any accidents causing injury or property damage.

If your charity is still involved in any way with members of the public, then you need to keep your Public Liability insurance cover in place.

If your charity or voluntary organisation has completely ceased activity for the time being, then it is worth speaking to your insurer about pausing or even cancelling the Public Liability aspect of your policy. It is important to stress however, that your policy should be reactivated, or a new one taken out, as soon as you start operating again to make sure you are covered.

Find out more about Public Liability insurance for charities.

Employers’ Liability

If your charity, voluntary organisation or community group employs staff then you are required by law to have an Employers’ Liability insurance policy in place. So although you may not be operating, or some of your staff may have been furloughed, you still need to have a valid Employers’ Liability policy in place.

This is because you always need cover in place in case a claim is made against your organisation by an employee or an ex-employee. This could be a claim for an injury they sustained while at work, or an illness they suffer as a result of their employment at your charity or organisation.

Find out more about Employers’ Liability insurance for charities.

Trustee Indemnity Insurance

As Trustee Indemnity insurance is designed to protect your organisations trustee’s on an ongoing and continuous basis, it is important to keep your policy in place.

Trustee Indemnity insurance protects the trustees, and the organisation they represent, from claims arising from the decisions and actions taken by trustees. As claims of this nature can arise from any point in the past, charities and voluntary organisations with trustees should always have a valid Trustee Indemnity policy in place.

Find out more about Trustee Indemnity insurance.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Much like with Trustee Indemnity insurance, the key issue with Professional Indemnity insurance is the “retroactive date”. A retroactive date is the date from which you have held uninterrupted Professional Indemnity insurance cover. If you have held Professional Indemnity cover continuously with no breaks in cover, then your charity will be covered throughout that time period – even if you have changed your insurer.

If, however, there has been a period of time when your organisation has not held Professional Indemnity cover – for example if you cancelled your policy or did not renew it, then you will only be covered from the date you take out a new policy.

With Professional Indemnity insurance, you need to have had cover in place when the alleged incident occurred as well as when you are notified of the claim against you.

Find out more about Professional Indemnity insurance for charities.

Arranging Insurance for your Charity or Community Group

BHIB Charities Insurance specialise in providing tailored cover for community groups, clubs, societies, voluntary organisations and hobby or special interest groups.

They offer more than just insurance and they are passionate about supporting local communities.

To find out how they can help your charity or not-for-profit organisation, email the team on hello@bhibcharities.co.uk or call 0330 013 0036.

Do you need to consider insurance for your volunteers during coronavirus?

From lending a hand within your neighbourhood, to supporting local charities and setting up your own support group, there are many ways to get involved to help out during COVID-19.

Setting up a new group

When you are setting up a group, you should consider the types of insurance cover needed to protect your volunteers. Without the correct cover in place, your group or your volunteers could be found legally liable if something goes wrong.

Expanding an existing group

If you are already an established group, but you are looking to take on more volunteers, you will need to let your insurance company or broker know how many new volunteers you are recruiting and their roles and responsibilities.

Volunteering on behalf of the council

If the Council are responsible for organising the voluntary group then cover for the Council’s liabilities will be in force as usual. It is the Council’s responsibility to inform their insurance company or broker.

Types of covers available for volunteers

When purchasing insurance to cover volunteers, it is important to bear in mind that volunteers have similar rights to employees. They may not be automatically considered as a ‘third party’ under your Public Liability Insurance. We recommend that you include Employers’ Liability cover in your policy, so it extends the necessary coverage to include your volunteers. Most insurers in the charity and voluntary sector include volunteers in their definition of employee, but please do check.

The types of insurance available to protect volunteers include:

  • Employers’ liability insurance – this provides cover for the group’s legal liabilities, if a member of staff or volunteer is injured or harmed, whilst carrying out their duties.
  • Public liability insurance – this covers the group’s legal liabilities, in regards to any injuries or any damage that is caused to the public or their property.
  • Cyber insurance – this covers your group and its employees and volunteers if they accidentally share or lose confidential data. It can also cover the cost of investigating and rectifying data breaches and the effect of cyber attacks on your systems.

Insuring your group with BHIB Charities Insurance

BHIB Charities Insurance specialise in providing insurance broking services for charities, community groups and voluntary organisations. We can provide your group with bespoke policies including cover for your volunteers.

To find out how we can help your charity or voluntary organisation, email us at hello@bhibcharities.co.uk or call 0330 013 0036 to speak to one of our friendly team.

Please note: You may need to adapt your volunteer management processes during the coronavirus outbreak. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions.