Insurance Services

Despite a growth in specialist sector services in insurance, it must be said that the voluntary sector is wide with very diverse needs. An insurance broker who knows a lot about one aspect, for example large scale residential care, won’t necessarily understand the requirements of a small advice agency. So ask to see their client list, and check out what similar organisations have insurance for, as well as recommended brokers or insurance companies. It is worth checking out whether an appropriate umbrella or support body has arranged specialist insurance cover for an activity area – only a few are noted below.

Specialist Brokers

In theory brokers can access the whole insurance market to find the best cover (which may be from combining a number of separate policies). In practice the special deals for non-profits are more likely to come from one particular insurer – check!

  • Access Insurance A professional broking service working solely for the non profit sector. Quotations can be obtained online for small and medium-size charities. Selsdon House, 212-220 Addington Road, South Croydon, Surrey, CR2 8LD, phone 020 8651 7420.
  • Congregational Insurance Mainly for places of worship. Currer House, Curret Street, Bradford, BD1 5BA, phone 01274 700700.
  • Ecclesiastical Insurance Group As the name implies, closely connected with the church, and is indeed owned by a charitable trust, Allchurches Trust. Also deals with schools, care homes and other charities. ‘The Beaufort Plan is a comprehensive policy for all charities and voluntary organisations.’ Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester, Glos, GL1 1JZ, phone 01452 528533, email:
  • Encompass Insurance Policy. Designed by LVSC (London Voluntary Service Council) in partnership with Keegan and Pennykid (Insurance Brokers), this is a Royal & SunAlliance scheme, but with plenty of scope. Available to all voluntary organisations, small or large, premiums starting from £50. Contact Keegan and Pennykid, 50 Queen St, Edinburgh, EH2 3NS, phone 0800 731 8030.
  • Endsleigh Insurance Brokers, connected with the students insurer, has Charities as a specialist area and do competitive quotes in this sector, having all sizes from large national charities to home-based organisations as customers all over the UK. Phone 01242 866800.
  •  a York based insurance brokerage that has specialised in cover for charities and non profit organisations for over 30 years.
  • Insurex Exposure, now part of Hiscox, specialises in event, conference and exhibition insurance.
  • Ladbrook ‘understand how voluntary organisations operate and we understand their insurance needs. We have negotiated exclusive deals with a number of insurance companies specifically for voluntary organisations … donate a percentage of our earnings to charity and we promote and encourage ethical investment within our pensions and investment advice.’ Chartered Insurance Practitioner, specialist insurances include community groups, office cover.
    Unit 17, Dinnington Business Centre, Outgang Lane, Dinnington, Sheffield S25 3QX, phone 01909 565858, email:
  • Marsh Commercial (previously Jelf/Bluefin).
  • NC Insurance has a ThirdSectorProtect option.
  • PIB Insurance Brokers has taken on D E Ford Insurance Brokers and what was CaSE (Charity and Social Enterprise) insurance.
  • Towergate is a specialist broker to medical and caring professionals, and at 2011 insured over 50% of independently owned hospices in the UK, as well as other charities.
  • Unity Insurance Services is owned by the Scout Association and have over 80 years experience in providing them with insurance. Specialists in youth and voluntary sector insurance. Phone 0845 0945 702, email:
  • WRS Insurance Brokers Based in Colchester, has specialist policies for charities etc including minibus.

Specialist Policies

  • Ansvar Insurance Ansvar House, St Leonards Road, Eastbourne, E Sussex, BN21 3UR, phone 01323 737541. Various specific insurance policies designed for the sector such as Community Groups (for groups using church or community premises), Charity Shops, Minibuses, Small Charity Offices and various Church related. Also Events insurance policy. Not quite so strong on the ‘standard’ company stuff.
  • Directors and Officers (a brand name of Royal and Sun Alliance). Charity and trustee indemnity. Stane Court, Albion Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1FB, phone 01403 235047.
  • Markel UK has speciality insurance products for areas such as Social Welfare, Charities and Community.
  • NODA Insurance provides a combined policy for amateur theatre groups.
  • Pound Gates specialises in childcare and early years insurance.
  • VillageGuard from Allied Westminster is for village halls.
  • Village Halls Plus Group is from three rural community councils working together with Zurich Municipal to offer a range of insurance to village halls across the UK, including cover for special events, loss of revenue and material damage.
  • Norris & Fisher insurance brokers have a tailored policy for village halls and community buildings, too. Plus general charity insurance.
  • Zurich has long provided insurance policies for community organisations. See their charity web pages.

Also See

  • Lockton did offer International Vehicle Risk Management for international motor vehicle cover, designed to meet the need of international charities/humanitarian organisations. Not spotted on their redesigned website (2013), but may be hiding.
  • Burnett & Associates, now part of SPB, have been recommended as computer maintenance specialist brokers.

Insurance and Risk Management

Our sample documents

Risk Assessment


Deciding what insurance cover an organisation needs, and getting the best fit/deal isn’t that easy. The possibilities can be frightening, but remember that accidents which you consider unlikely may well attract a low premium (cost). On the other hand, it may prove impossible to locate a sensible quote if you can’t pin down the nature of the risk (e.g. if you don’t have a clear grasp on what volunteers in the field actually do).

Possible cover

If you employ any staff, you must have employers liability insurance, and volunteers ought to be covered for their activities too. Public liability is to insure against damage to ‘third parties’ aka the general public – this may or may not extend to members, casual volunteers or paying customers so check.

Giving advice? Professional liability or similar cover may best come via a sector body. Travel cover for staff within the UK for short trips may come as standard in an insurance package, but how easy is it to extend further afield, or longer stays? What records are you going to have to keep to keep within insurance limits and/or provide an end-of-year return?

Note that there is some debate about whether trustee liability policies are worth the paper they are written on.

Most insurers will offer to do a ‘review’ of your cover to attract your interest or keep your business (as long as the likely premium is worth their while), but remember to treat this as partly a sales pitch.


The landlord normally insures the fabric of the building, but the cost is almost always passed on. What about any alterations/improvements you have carried out/funded, including fixtures and fittings? Equipment normally goes under Contents, but some specialist items may need specific cover (due to value, high risk).


Public liability insurance is essential for any major event, and advisable for smaller ones too. Some venues have this as a requirement and will want to see proof of a minimum level of cover (£2 million is often advised nowadays).

‘Pluvius’ insurance – cover for an event being rained off or otherwise cancelled (other than due to poor bookings).

All Risks – will the equipment be covered? For some organisations, insuring through the hire company makes good sense, but if you already have some all risks cover, it is likely to be cheaper to arrange it yourself.

Make sure your employers liability covers any volunteers and temps you use.

Events involving travel abroad raise a whole bundle of issues. Take advice! Also see Advice for Charities and Organisations offering Air Travel as part of a fund raising exercise, January 2004: Guidance note 24 The ATOL Regulations (in pdf/Acrobat format 25kb). Note that this link keeps changing – we can’t find it at July 2010 but is should be on CAA site somewhere!

Risk Management

Insurance firms may offer to carry out a free risk management review for your organisation as part of winning your business, or for a small fee. This is unlikely to cover all the issues which need to be covered for an organisation’s risk management policy (which charities are required to report on in their annual accounts). An overall policy will also need to look at such risks as grants not being renewed, changes in legislation or competition impacting on service delivery and other areas not usually considered as insurable.

Implementing health and safety measures is increasingly seen as part of keeping down insurance premiums (although there may not be a direct link), but should also be a part of good practice. Other specific risk management areas include fire and crime prevention, disaster recovery planning, key worker absence. See HSE’s Risk Management pages – the Five steps to Risk Assessment leaflet (pdf, revised July 06) is a good starter.

Risk Resources

See Health and Safety page, but also specific resources under Running an Event, Volunteer Management etc.

Accountancy firms are another source of risk management advice, especially in the light of the requirement for charities to report on this in their annual accounts.

The American NonProfit Risk Management Center site has some info on the subject, but most is only available in printed form.

Insurance Resources

The Charity Commission booklet on insurance (CC49) indicates that a number of national associations have specialist schemes or contacts. You will probably need to be a member organisation to access the services offered.

These are the schemes plus other useful bodies in this area:

Sources of Legal information will also tend to give advice on cover required.