Seven things to look out for when you plan your charity or social enterprise’s insurance renewal.
Check your Risk Register
First look at your risk register and be clear about which risks should be insured. Talk to the rest of the management team and trustees and get their input. Fish for new risks and feed back to the Risk Register any that you find.
List your insurance requirements
After completing that exercise, prepare your list of insurance requirements or “Insurance Purchasing Plan”. An easy place to start is with your current insurance schedule. But question the completeness of the cover and the sums insured.
Riding on a 3-year cycle
Think of insurance as a three-year cycle. At the end of Year 1 and Year 2 go through Stages 1 and 2 above and talk directly to your insurer or your broker if you have one. Tweak the policy details to take account of any new requirements.
In Year 3, you can ask your broker to check with other insurers that your insurance is still competitive in terms of cost and cover. It’s not mandatory; if your broker thinks your policy is competitive, you can choose simply to renew (after Stages 1 and 2 above of course). Remember there is merit in staying with a good insurer; chopping and changing liability insurers every year for instance, is not recommended.
DIY or use a broker?
If you are a small voluntary organisation or charity you may struggle to find a broker, in which case you need to manage your own renewal process. Read up on insurance with CaSE’s “Guide to Insuring your Charity or Voluntary Organisation” and look out for a sympathetic, specialist charity insurer.
If you can’t find a broker, you do have the choice of going to two, three or more insurers and getting competitive quotes. But then you face the challenge of comparing insurance policies and assessing their relative merits, with no training or professional expertise.
In this situation, it is not unreasonable to identify a single specialist charity insurer and get them to quote to provide your cover and work closely with them.
Getting a quote from one or more brokers or insurers when you don’t intend to move away from your current supplier is acceptable, if you tell them before they do the work. Some may of course choose not to participate but if you don’t ask for too fast a response, some will appreciate your honesty and respond with a benchmark quotation.
Know your stuff
There are some key charity insurance issues you should know about. Insuring volunteers as employees, cover for all your fundraising and other activities, Trustee Indemnity, covering abuse appropriately, an adequate business description… All these are covered in the CaSE Guide to Insuring your Charity or Voluntary Organisation.
Give yourself time
Don’t leave it until the last minute but also, don’t start too early. Remember that insurers don’t usually like to quote more than 30 days in advance of renewal date.