Charities rely on donations, volunteers and fundraising to help provide for those in need. But what if, while carrying out your charitable work, accidental damage or injury was caused to a person or their property?

What charity insurance do I need?

Non-profit organisations need insurance suited to their specific circumstances. Unlike ordinary businesses, it is likely that you have both employees and volunteers working for you. It may also be that you hold regular events, fundraising activities and provide services for people in need. As such, your charity insurance package should cover:

  • Charity public liability insurance
  • Employers’ liability insurance

Even if you are a purely voluntary organisation, your insurance should cover the health and wellbeing of the people working for, and supporting, your cause.

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Charities public liability insurance

Perhaps the most important cover for not-for-profits to consider is charity public liability insurance. This cover is vital for charities and organisations which will have some level of contact with members of the public, be it through fundraising events or promotional talks. 

Charity public liability insurance will cover you if a claim is made against your organisation by a member of the public or another organisation. So long as your covered, any legal costs to defend a claim against your organisation can be settled. 

An example of when charity public liability insurance could prove essential is during a fundraiser. If an attendee broke their leg during a sponsored walk or hike, they might make a claim of negligence – holding you responsible for the condition of the field. Similarly, if a venue was damaged during an event, you could again be held liable.

If your charity organisation is considering hosting an event or fundraiser, make sure you've secured the right level of cover. Alongside charity public liability insurance, Hiscox offer charity event insurance to provide comprehensive risk protection. Find international, cancellation, and venue hire cover in a single policy.

Charities insurance: Employers’ liability cover

When you’re running a charity, clients and members of the public aren’t the only concern – you are also responsible for all employees and volunteers. This is where employers’ liability insurance comes in. If an employee or volunteer experiences an injury or illness because of something that happens at work, they could take legal action against you. Employer’s liability insurance protects you against the costs of defending or settling these legal claims in court. What claims does this kind of charities liability insurance help with?

  • If an employee or volunteer is injured at work through an accident or equipment malfunction. For example, tripping on misplaced storage boxes in the office and damaging their spine.
  • If an employee or volunteer becomes ill because of something that happens at work. For example, if they get sick due to unsanitary work conditions.

Even though you try to make your workplace as safe as possible for employees and volunteers, there is always the possibility that something unforeseen may happen. In these instances, an individual could seek compensation – and if the incident exposes a breach of regulations, you could be prosecuted.

More about Hiscox Employers Liability Insurance

Do I need both charity public liability + employers’ liability insurance?

If you employ one or more members of staff, your business is legally required to have employers’ liability insurance. This applies even if your workforce is entirely voluntary - under the law, volunteers are classified as employees. Charity public liability insurance is not required legally, but many charities that interact with the public consider this kind of insurance essential. It’s worth noting that your employees are not covered by public liability insurance.

You may also want to consider Trustee Insurance to help protect the people who work to guide your organisation.

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