Survey reveals sector indifference over insurance

Only 5 per cent of charities are concerned that insurance claims against them pose a serious threat, according to research by financial market strategist FWD.

Despite reports that third sector organisations perceived themselves to be at risk in an increasingly litigious climate, the survey, commissioned by charity insurers Ecclesiastical, found that charities were most concerned by the risk of funding being withdrawn.

Of the 100 voluntary groups polled, 64 per cent cited funding losses as their greatest fear, 17 per cent were afraid of damage to image and reputation, and 9 per cent were worried about how they might be affected by changes in social policy.

Contrary to the belief that charities are often forced to cancel planned events because of a lack of appropriate insurance cover, only 3 per cent of charities had ever done so.

"Our research shows that charities should not be complacent about insurance but must be prepared to go through the right processes to make sure they get the cover they need," said Chris Lees, chief underwriting manager at Ecclesiastical. "As long as charities are managing their activities properly, there's no reason why insurers would be hesitant to provide cover."

Lees acknowledged that charities are under pressure to use all their available funds for charitable activity rather than administrative costs such as insurance, but said finding the right cover could be vital to keeping an organisation up and running.

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