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Insurance

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Risk management is a vital (and legal) responsibility for charity trustees. This page covers an introduction to the risk management process and the role insurance plays in protecting your organisation.

Risk management is a vital (and legal) responsibility for charity trustees. This page covers an introduction to the risk management process and the role charity insurance plays in protecting your organisation.

Risk management is a key tool for protecting organisations, volunteers and service-users. Charities need to manage risk like any other business

Charity cover is one way of managing or transferring risk alongside other strategies like outsourcing, avoiding or minimising risk. Insurance is just one stage in the risk management process and irrespective of insurance cover, risks still require careful and considered management.

Charity Insurance basics

There many types of charity insurance that may be relevant, dependant on your organisation’s size, complexity and activities.

NCVO’s Trusted Supplier Zurich Insurance has guides for charities to explore what types of charity insurance products might be relevant. 

They also have a document which helps you consider 10 questions to make buying insurance simple, including considering when your organisation needs public liability insurance, what cover you need to think about if you have employees, insurance for your vehicles and protection for your trustees.

It is also important to regularly review your charity insurance policy, especially when renewing.

Charities and risk management 

The fundamental questions for charities when assessing and managing risk are:

  • What might you lose or suffer? (the event)
  • How likely it is that the event could materialise? (the frequency)
  • How much can you afford that event occurring (the impact)

The risk management process involves identifying, registering and assessing risk, contingency planning and developing a robust Charity Business Continuity Plan (BCP), purchasing appropriate charity insurance and regularly reviewing risk at board level.
You can read a series of risk guides by Zurich Insurance or NVCO’s Managing risk page.

When identifying and assessing risks to your charity or non-profit organisation, you may find a brainstorming exercise useful. Consider each department, service and activity and work out the risks from there; don’t forget to include a range of people from across the organisation to maximise the risks you identify. Some areas you may wish to consider include:

  • preventing fraud in charities
  • charity risk assessments
  • running safe events
  • safe charity collections
  • data security
  • young volunteers insurance
  • overseas travel insurance
  • trustee liability insurance
  • risk management policies and procedures.

The Charity Commission’s guidance Charities and Risk Management (CC26) suggest categorising your identified risks into the following:

  • governance
  • external
  • regulatory & compliance
  • financial
  • operational. 

Further support

NCVO’s Trusted Supplier Zurich Insurance has various guides for charities to explore what types of insurance might be relevant to them. 

Find out more about the insurance Zurich can provide for public liabilityemployers’ liabilitymotor and trustee indemnity.

Page last edited Jan 22, 2019

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