Trustee liability insurance

Do you run a charity, club or not-for-profit organisation? Trustee liability insurance, technically known as trustees and individual liability insurance, could help protect trustees, directors, governors, committee members and officers.

For example, you could face an investigation by the Charity Commission or negligence charges. Trustee liability insurance from Hiscox could support you should this happen. 

Please get in touch with us if you would like to get a quote for trustee liability insurance:

0808 2736570

Mon-Fri 9 am-5 pm.

Why choose Hiscox for your trustee liability insurance?


Trusted insurer

We insure over 400,000 businesses*  and hold the Feefo Platinum Trusted Service award

*based on the number of policies sold in 2023 


Access to business support

At Hiscox, we do more than just insurance – our Business Support Hub signposts directors to sources of legal support, tax help or investment.


£25k Crisis Containment cover

Get free Crisis Containment cover up to £25,000 to help manage bad media coverage.

A person sitting at a desk and using hand gestures in a discussion

What is trustee liability insurance?

Trustees and individual liability insurance is designed to safeguard leaders of public-facing organisations against personal risk. It provides cover for the leaders, trustees or key employees of:

Trustees and directors can have unlimited personal liability and claims can be made personally against them. This cover can help if a trustee is accused of a wrongful act, such as:

Insurance for trustees can help cover costs when defending or settling claims. Your policy could protect you against:

  • Fines
  • Compensation
  • Legal costs.

This cover is for those working outside the for-profit sector. It also applies to risks such as:

  • Investigation by public bodies
  • Reputational risk.

Get a quote for trustee liability insurance. Contact us on 0808 2736 570 Mon-Fri 9 am-5 pm.

If you’re the leader of a for-profit company, directors’ and officers’ insurance may be a better fit.

Do I need trustee liability insurance?

Are you in charge of a charity’s work? Maybe you run a trust or help to oversee a non-profit. Whether your title is trustee or not, you might need trustees and individual liability insurance.

Because, if you direct all or part of a charity’s work you’ll likely hold legal trustee responsibilities. This applies whether you’re:

  • The sole employee
  • Part of a management committee.

Regulation governs not-for-profit work - all charities in England and Wales are regulated by the Charity Commission (external link), for example. Even the founding trustee of a small organisation could face claims or investigations. This could lead to trustee disqualification, and you may be ordered to pay compensation if losing a legal case.

Incorporated vs unincorporated charities

Charity leaders can be held personally liable for mistakes in leadership. This risk may be higher in unincorporated charities.

If you’re responsible for a charity’s decisions, trustee liability insurance can help protect you. If legal action is launched, this product can step in.

Charity employee injuries

If an employee is injured or even killed at work, trustees could be liable for a breach of: 

Any trustee could face potential legal action in unforeseen circumstances. Our insurance may help with the court case and fees.

Excellent service by Hiscox Insurance"
Hope & Faith Help the Homeless
Read all reviews

How much trustee liability insurance will I need?

The amount of trustee liability insurance you need depends on factors such as:

  • The size of the organisation you run
  • How much money it turns over.

Say you’re part of a large, well-known charity and someone takes you to court for negligence, they may ask for more compensation than if you were part of a smaller organisation.

You may consider buying more cover if your charity works in a highly scrutinised space. For example, if you:

  • Process grants
  • Work with vulnerable people.

Our flexible indemnity insurance policies can cover from £100,000 up to £10m. Our experts work with you to find the right level of protection.

What does trustee liability insurance cover?

Hiscox trustee liability insurance covers you for:

  • Investigations by public bodies such as the Charity Commission
  • Support if an insured person’s assets are seized
  • Health and safety issues, including corporate manslaughter cases
  • Employment tribunals and disputes made personally against individuals
  • Charges related to breaches of duty or trust, or defamation
  • Reputational damage. We’ll support with certain public relations costs to minimise the impact on a charity.

What does trustee liability insurance not cover?

There are a few risks our trustee liability insurance doesn’t cover, including:

  • Deliberate or dishonest acts
  • Prior claims, investigations and circumstances
  • Prior litigation
  • Defined benefit pension schemes
  • Claims for bodily injury or property damage
  • Claims relating to wrongful acts occurring after an acquisition.

You must pay the amount of the excess for each claim. Plus, there may be further significant exclusions to the cover we offer.

Please refer to the policy documents for the full details of inclusions and exclusions of this cover. Policy documents are available when purchasing online. You can also contact our customer services team for more information.

Trustee liability insurance: FAQs

Are trustees liable for a charity’s debts?

Trustees can be liable for charity debts in some cases. For example, if the organisation becomes insolvent. This is due to strict rules governing how charity money is spent. It’s handled in a different way to limited company insolvency. 

Let’s look at the example of a charity in financial trouble. In response, a trustee takes out a loan instead of trying to cut costs. This trustee may be accused of negligence, as people might say they breached a duty of care. Trustee liability insurance could help to pay damages and legal fees in such a case. 

Are trustees jointly and severally liable?

Trustees can have joint and several liability. Both apply if they work as a team to run an unincorporated charity. This means they are liable together and separately. 

Say a supplier claims a charity owes them money. The supplier could sue any combination of charity trustees or board members for the sum. In theory, joint and several liability splits the burden between trustees. But in practice, it can mean a single trustee shoulders the costs if others can’t pay.

When should I get trustee liability insurance?

You may need to get insurance as soon as you set up a charity and take responsibility for its actions. This applies to trustees and other named people in key roles.

If your charity is still setting up, contact us by phone or email. We can help discuss UK trustee insurance options ahead of time.

What if your charity fails or becomes insolvent? Trustee liability cover can help shield you from personal tax liability.

How much does trustee liability insurance cost?

The cost of insurance for trustees depends on several factors. These include the:

  • Nature and size of your group
  • Level of risk
  • Claims history.

The cost of business insurance starts from £8.40* per month at Hiscox. But the cost of your trustee liability cover will depend on the specifics of your policy.

*Figures based on an average of all business insurance policies sold to at least 10% of our customer base between April 2023 and April 2024

What are the payment options for Hiscox trustee liability insurance?

You can pay for trustee liability insurance via:

  • Debit card
  • Monthly direct debit
  • Annual direct debit. When paying via direct debit, you’ll agree a payment date.

Trustee liability articles and guides

image showing suited people in business meeting

Why is trustee liability insurance important?

Charlotte Lawson explores the importance of trustee liability insurance. Learn how it can help with health and safety complaints and defamation charges.

image of people in classroom

What is public liability insurance?

Learn more about what public liability insurance is and how it can help protect a charity from costs arising from accidents.

image of a professional writing notes in a book

What types of insurance do charities need?

What other types of insurance might a charity leader consider? Our FAQ guide to charity insurance needs explores what’s available.