Why you need employers’ liability insurance for volunteers

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As a charity or voluntary organisation, you may be confused when it comes to taking out employers' liability insurance for your volunteers. In this article, we look at the legal requirements and best practice to help you make an informed decision.

What is employers’ liability insurance?

Employers’ liability insurance protects against allegations of illness or injury to employees whilst they are carrying out their work duties. All employers in the United Kingdom are required by law to hold employers’ liability insurance, which includes charities. The law states that you must have a minimum of £5 million of cover.

Do charities need employers’ liability insurance for volunteers?

Charities have a duty of care for volunteers, just as they do for their paid staff members. Therefore, having the right insurance in place for volunteers is vital. The Charity Commission also strongly advises charities to insure their volunteers, as well as their staff.

Depending on the type of employers’ liability insurance policy, your volunteers may not necessarily be covered. Insuring your volunteers against injury and illness usually falls into one of two covers – either employers’ liability insurance or public liability insurance.

As a specialist broker, BHIB Charities Insurance policies cover volunteers under employers’ liability insurance. Our policies protect employers against allegations of injury or illness suffered by both your employees and volunteers.

What to consider when buying insurance for volunteers:

  • Does the insurance policy cover all of the activities that my volunteer will be doing?
  • Is there an upper/lower age limit on the insurance policy for volunteers?
  • Does the insurance policy explicitly mention volunteers?
  • Have I stated the number of volunteers I am recruiting?

Where can I go for more information?

BHIB Charities Insurance is brought to you by BHIB Insurance Brokers. We specialise in providing tailored cover for community groups, clubs, societies, voluntary organisations and hobby or special interest groups. We offer more than just insurance and we are passionate about supporting local communities.

To find out how we can help your charity or not-for-profit organisation, email us on hello@bhibcharities.co.uk or call 0330 013 0036 to speak to our friendly, expert team. 

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