Insurance is essential for almost all organisations, to protect not only the organisation itself but also individual members as well as committee or board members, and the public.
Lotterywest is not an insurance advisor. The tips below offer a starting point for consideration and should not be seen as recommendations. We strongly advise you to consider your own circumstances and seek professional advice if required.
- Insurance is not a replacement for good risk management and good governance
- Insurance only covers your organisation and/or its people for authorised activities providing all concerned act appropriately, legally and within your mandate
- Ensure you have cover only for what you need, check limits and what is excluded
- Insurance brokers are normally paid by insurance companies, not by the policy holder
- It’s worth investing time at the outset to get appropriate advice
- Ask others for information on how they arranged their insurance, and check to see if you can work with organisations to obtain shared policies at a reduced cost
- Check to see if you are covered by a blanket government or funding body scheme, and if so, what this covers specifically
- Decide how often your insurance should be reviewed
- Keep your insurer briefed on your assets and their worth
- If your organisation is thinking about doing something out of your normal scope of activities, ensure that the right coverage is in place before making commitments
- Develop guidelines on what should happen if an incident does occur, including recording and notification procedures
Types of insurance
Here are some types of insurance that you may find relevant for your community organisation:
This can offer protection against claims of negligence by someone who considers your organisation wholly or partly responsible for injury or property damage. The amount of public liability cover needed varies according to what your organisation does. If food, transport or outdoor activities are involved, for example, you probably require more cover than if you operate a community museum. Check that your level of coverage is enough and includes cover for board members, staff and volunteers.
Directors and Public Officers
Being incorporated offers office bearers such as committee and board members some protection from being sued, but individuals can still be sued for negligence and, if proved, their personal assets can be at risk. Together with Public liability insurance, Director and Public Officers Insurance can give peace of mind.
This relates to your mobile assets such as equipment. This insurance can cover situations like theft, fire, storm, flood and accidental damage. The cost of your policy can be reduced by taking steps to minimise risk such as security and fire protection.
Fidelity insurance can offer protection against misappropriation of funds by employees or committee members.
If your organisation owns physical premises this is the insurance you need, to cover such things as fire, storms and vandalism. If you lease or hire your premises, it is probably not needed, but it is best to check your contract.
This is worth checking out if your organisation produces goods to cover damage or injury caused to another business or person by the failure of the product you manufacture, supply or sell. Even if you have Public liability cover, consider checking whether you need Product liability cover specifically for damages and legal costs.
Personal accident (sometimes called volunteer insurance)
This covers people, including members, volunteers, officials and participants, for costs associated with injury, disability or death related to carrying out duties for your organisation. This can include out of pocket expenses and loss of income.
This protects against claims of breach of professional duty. It applies to anything considered negligent, in error or omitted in the course of someone doing normal professional activities. It can be especially important if you are involved in giving advice or delivering services such as health or other forms of care.
This insurance is legally compulsory for most organisations with employees. It is designed to cover the wages and medical costs of employees injured while on duty.
Of course these are just some types of insurance that you may find relevant. Some organisations may need cover such as travel or vehicle insurance. We encourage you to consider your own circumstances and seek professional advice if required.