Managing unforeseen risks with insurance

Third Sector Promotion Markel

Wendy Cotton, social welfare underwriter at Markel, explains how public liability insurance can reduce the financial impact your charity may suffer following a personal injury claim from a third party

This is a sponsored feature supplied by Markel

According to a recent Third Sector Research Charity Insurance Report, a quarter of charities consider legal liability to be their biggest area of risk in their organisation. The explosion in personal injury claims has led to trustees and volunteers having greater awareness of their responsibilities to service users, supporters and the wider general public.

However, effective risk management and comprehensive staff training can only do so much. There are times when little could have been done to prevent accidents. Events can be particularly troublesome, yet are a key part of most charitys’ fundraising activities.

Public liability insurance can reduce the financial impact your charity may suffer following a personal injury claim from a third party. But what exactly does it cover, and why do charities need it?

Legal costs

Regardless of whether your organisation was at fault or not, it will almost certainly have to instruct a solicitor to defend a claim, which can be costly. Even relatively straightforward incidents can incur legal costs that run into thousands of pounds. In addition, should your charity’s claim be unsuccessfully defended, you may have to pay the claimant’s legal costs in addition to your own. Public liability insurance can pay these costs, meaning your charity wouldn’t have to pay lawyers out of its own funds.


Depending on the nature of an injury, your organisation may have to pay compensation to the claimant. This could be, for example, if they were unable to work as a result of the injury they suffered, and have been left out of pocket. Public liability insurance can cover such compensation payments (depending on the nature of the claim), which means your charity wouldn’t have to foot the bill.

Damage to third party property

Whether it is for regular meetings or one off events, village halls and community centres act as hubs for a huge number of charities. Inevitably, some accidents can lead to property being damaged. Marked walls or ruined carpets following events can see landlords take action to recoup the cost from the charity that hired the premises. Public liability insurance can pay the costs of putting right damage you have caused to someone else’s property, minimising the impact on your charity’s finances following such an incident.

How to minimise the chances of a public liability claim

As many public liability claims are personal injury related, having concise briefings on health and safety risks before events, as well as compiling a wider health and safety policy, should help your organisations manage public liability risks effectively. Trustees can learn more with the three step guide to risk management.

Wendy Cotton is a social welfare underwriter at Markel

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