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As the name suggests, public liability insurance for a charity is a specific type of public liability insurance policy that is designed to insure charitable organisations and non-profits against the risk of lawsuits or compensation claims if someone is injured and the charity is held liable.

It’s not just liability claims for physical injuries these charity insurance policies can protect the organisation against, though – if a third party’s property or belongings are damaged due to some sort of negligence on the charity’s part this type of insurance can cover any resulting liability claims in those cases too.

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Is charity insurance mandatory in the UK?

No, public liability insurance isn’t a legal requirement in the UK no matter what type of business or organisation you’re running.

Still, many charities do opt to take out a charity insurance policy even though it isn’t mandatory, because it can offer them protection against potentially very costly liability claims in exchange for a relatively cheap premium.

Does an incident have to happen on the charity’s own property in order for it to be covered?

No, not necessarily.

If your charity rents or owns property you will be able to provide details about that property when you’re signing up for charity insurance, and any liability claims that happen there will usually be covered.

However, many charities run charity events or do charitable work in the community, and it should be possible to find a public liability insurance policy that covers the charity in those locations too.

For instance, if a homeless charity does outreach to homeless people in the local community, the best public liability insurance for charities could insure them against liability claims if someone was injured during that work and the charity was held liable.

If it was one of the charity’s own staff members that was injured would that be covered too?

No, that type of incident wouldn’t be covered by the public liability insurance element of a charity insurance policy, because as the name suggests public liability insurance is intended to protect the organisation against liability claims brought by members of the public.

Liability claims brought by the charity’s own employees or trustees would be covered by the charity’s employer liability insurance policy, and this type of cover is mandatory if the charity has any employees.

Employer’s liability insurance can usually be added to your charity insurance policy as an optional add-on when you’re signing up for public liability insurance.

What other types of insurance can I bundle with a charity insurance policy?

In addition to employer’s liability insurance, there are a number of other add-ons you can bundle with your public liability insurance policy when you’re taking out charity insurance. Some of the most popular ones include:

  • Product liability insurance: If your charity makes or sells products and a fault with one of those products leads to a member of the public being injured in some way this type of insurance could cover the resulting legal fees and compensation claims.
  • Directors and officers insurance: This type of add-on is specifically intended to protect the charity’s senior management against the risk of liability claims, which could arise if it was argued that the charity was mismanaged in some way and that in turn resulted in losses for third parties.
  • Professional indemnity insurance: This type of add-on covers the charity if it is held liable because advice or expertise it provided resulted in some kind of loss for the individual or group it was advising.