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Proof that charity and insurance can mix

Proof that charity and insurance can mix

Proof that charity and insurance can mix It’s fair to say insurance doesn’t always have the best of reputations – it’s that thing that most people generally resent paying for, even though it can be a saviour when things go wrong. So the thought of charity and insurance going hand in hand may come to the surprise of many: but not to the brokers looking to provide vital cover to these organisations.

For them it’s a true balancing act – they have to make money to make the business profitable, but they also have to provide highly competitive premiums to appeal to an organisation that probably doesn’t have a lot of money to spend.

With that in mind, Insurance Business UK spoke to Dominque Fell-Clark, the head of external relations at PolicyBee, a specialist professional indemnity and business insurance broker which has just launched MyCharityGuard, a package for small charities across the UK.

“We felt the small charity sector was an area that could benefit from our expertise because here you had a sector that was effectively buying business insurance but the clients you are dealing with were not necessarily experts in business or in insurance,” commented Fell-Clark. “So what they required was a cheap and efficient insurance package as well as one that offered a high level of support in terms of service.

“We’ve really focused on providing that service online as much as we can so we can process the business in as cheap a manner as possible, allowing us to price the product very aggressively and relying on volume to make it a worthwhile opportunity for us in terms of being able to support it.”

To the uninitiated however, it may be a surprise that a charity needs cover at all. However, Fell-Clark believes it is an expense that few organisations can afford to be without.

“Over the last year especially a lot of charities have been in the headlines for all sorts of reasons and they’ve had a tough time – even larger charities have run into difficulties either because their trustees weren’t aware of their obligations or because funds have been mismanaged or they have had issues with data and cyber security,” she said. “If you’re running a smaller charity you’re not going to have anything like the resources to keep up with compliance requirements and data requirements and so on.

“So for that reason it’s all the more important to ensure they’re properly protected and that they get all the help they can. A cyber attack, for example, could be the end of that organisation – either because they’ve had to pay a massive fine or because they’re facing an investigation.

“So our policies might cover things like professional indemnity, their trustees to a certain extent, certain events… and they can add on cover for their volunteers or for their property if that’s a requirement they have.

“Ultimately we wanted to give them basic cover which they can then bolt-on – rather than picking up a policy which is designed for a much bigger organisation.”

The MyCharityGuard policy has only officially launched within the last week, but already there has been sufficient interest for Fell-Clark to be confident of achieving the level of volume needed for this to be a worthwhile enterprise for the broker.

“We have already had a huge variety of organisations,” she said. “I suppose the most obvious ones for us to cover are anyone who’s raising funds for another organisation – art and culture, music groups, choral groups, etc.

“Of course, we’re not the only company looking to cover small charities but where we are hoping to add that extra edge is that quite often you’ll have a charity product disseminated through many different brokers; or you’ll have one that does specialise but there’s only so many they cover with all hands on deck. So who we’re reaching out to is the charities that maybe thought they couldn’t afford insurance at all.”

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