Voluntary Sector Support Guidance

Insurance and insuring your organisation

All organisations have a duty of care to protect the people that work with them, the people they come into contact with, their assets and resources.

It is important for to discuss the insurance you legally must have, and be aware of all risks to your organisation.

Types of insurance

Certain types of insurance are mandatory for your organisation. These include:

  • employers’ liability insurance
  • vehicle insurance

Employers' liability insurance

If you employ paid staff you must by law have employer’s liability insurance. This protects your organisation against claims such as injury, illness or death. The charity commission website states that you must:

  • have at least £5million worth of cover
  • buy insurance from an authorised insurer
  • display your insurance certificate prominently in your charity’s premises
You could be fined up to £2,500 a day if you do not have the correct insurance. Always ensure that your employers’ liabilities insurance also covers any volunteers that work with you.

Even if you don’t employ paid staff you may still decide to take out liability insurance to protect your volunteers.

Vehicle insurance

Any vehicle that your charity or group operates on public roads must be insured. If a volunteer owns the vehicle, then they are responsible for informing their insurer about their volunteer driving. That said, all activities should be fully risk assessed by the organisation.

Other insurances

There are other types of insurance that should be considered in relation to your organisation’s work. These include:

  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Building Insurance
  • Contents Insurance
  • Trustee Indemnity Insurance
  • Fidelity Insurance and
  • Legal expenses insurance

More information about each of these can be found on the charity commission website.

You should ensure that any insurance cover policy(s) explicitly mention the involvement of volunteers. Check if there are upper and lower age limits for volunteers and ensure the policy covers the types of activities that your group or organisation will be doing.


Insurance may also be available to cover events that your organisation run including fetes and performances. For all events you should ensure that a full risk assessment is undertaken. Appropriate cover should then be put in place with an insurance provider. The cover you secure may also include inclement weather provision, so that if you have to cancel or postpone an event, any expenditure may be covered.

How to insure your organisation

It’s advisable to thoroughly research different insurance cover online in the first instance. You may find that you can get quote comparisons online. However, depending on the work of your organisation and how complicated the set-up is, you may find it beneficial to talk it through with potential insurance providers.

Alternatively, you could use a reputable insurance broker or you could join a membership organisation for charities that offers insurance packages to its members.