A Board Member’s Guide to Nonprofit Insurance

Many nonprofit board members don’t think about the organization’s insurance until something adverse happens. Here’s the low-down on liability.

A Board Member’s Guide to Nonprofit Insurance
14 mins read

Why boards should prioritize insurance coverage for their nonprofit.

Many board members don’t think about the organization’s insurance until something adverse happens. As one Blue Avocado reader commented: “Insurance isn’t sexy, but it’s as essential as a roof over your head.”

In these tight times, it’s tempting to make insurance a low priority, but this strategy can be penny wise and pound foolish.

Blue Avocado asked Pamela Davis, president and CEO of Nonprofits Insurance Alliance (and President of American Nonprofits, sponsor of Blue Avocado) to give us the low-down on liability.


Q: Pamela, what are the most common insurance claims against nonprofits? How much do they end up costing?

Almost all of the claims — 90 percent — reported by nonprofit organizations are accidents and injuries related to automobiles or slips, trips and falls at nonprofit locations and special events. Interestingly, though, these 90 percent of incidents actually result in only 65 percent of dollars paid out in claims because while auto claims and slip-and-falls tend to be fairly common, they are usually not large claims involving prolonged litigation. The other 10 percent of claims result from allegations of improper employment practices (such as wrongful termination), professional errors and omissions, and sexual abuse. While less frequent, these tend to be more difficult and expensive claims to resolve and account for 35 percent of claims dollars paid.

Q: So given that, what types of insurance do we need?

There are just a couple of types that every organization needs, and other types that depend on the kind of work you do. All organizations should purchase general liability, typically thought of as “slip and fall” insurance, which comes into play when someone is hurt or their property is damaged in your office, theatre, clinic or other area. Even organizations that don’t have offices are subject to claims for damages such as a slip and fall at a program, or damage to an antique rug at a home where a fundraiser was held.

You should also purchase “non-owned/hired” auto insurance, in case an employee or volunteer is involved in an auto accident and their personal insurance is inadequate. Organizations that have any employees, even just one, need to be fully covered with directors and officers liability insurance (see below).

Other types to consider include:

  • Property insurance for damage to property (including computer and other records) owned or leased by the nonprofit
  • Fidelity insurance for possible embezzlement
  • Social services professional coverage for errors and omissions that could arise in the course of carrying out the missions, providing counseling, advice in support groups, and so forth
  • Accident insurance in case a volunteer, program participant, or gallery patron is injured on the premises
  • Improper sexual conduct insurance, particularly if the organization works with vulnerable clients.

If you want to purchase limits of more than $1 million in coverage, consider an umbrella policy that would provide extra limits over many different coverages at the same time. The above list is not exhaustive of insurances purchased by nonprofits, but it does represent the most common types.

Q: One thing that confuses a lot of us is how much insurance to get. Some people say $1 million, some say $5 million, some say we don’t need most of it. How much insurance does a nonprofit really need?

I wish there were an easy answer to this question. If an organization could tell me what accidents or injuries will occur in their future, I could say how much insurance that organization should buy. For most nonprofits, the amount of insurance they buy relates to their specific situation, their insurance broker’s assessment of their risk and the risk tolerance of their board of directors.

In practice, the majority of community-based nonprofits purchase $1 million in coverage, and that has been sufficent to cover 99 percent of the claims we have seen in our 20 years.

However, organizations with significant assets should consider purchasing higher limits. For example, an organization with assets of $500,000 may consider purchasing an umbrella policy with $1 million or $2 million in limits to go over their basic $1 million policy. Those with fleets of vehicles or many-passenger vehicles should definitely consider higher limits. Some organizations are required by a government funder to have higher limits as part of contract requirements. But, absent a contract requirement, there is no rule of thumb for the right amount.

Q: What is Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance, and do we need it?

With the predominance of wrongful termination lawsuits, if the organization has even one employee, D&O insurance with employment practices coverage is probably essential.

Typically, lawsuits are filed when someone is hurt by some sort of accident and that person believes that someone, or some organization, is responsible for that accident. For example, a person tripped because the stairs were not properly lit or a person was injured in a car accident because someone else ran a red light.

In contrast, a different type of claim is one made not because of the accident itself, but because someone believes that the board took an intentional and improper action. The most common lawsuit of this type would be one alleging that the board of directors allowed an improper termination of an employee. Insurance for these types of claims against nonprofits is typically found in the D&O policy.

In terms of D&O insurance, almost 95 percent of claims against D&O policies are employment-related, including harassment, discrimination, and wrongful termination. According to our data at the Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group, in any given year approximately one in 25 nonprofits will have a D&O claim against them, nearly all of them employment-related. The average D&O claim will cost $35,000 to resolve — a combination of legal defense costs and in a few cases, settlement payments. However, one out of ten claims will cost more than $100,000 to resolve.

If an organization has no employees, its risk of claims against board members is low, but so is the premium for such coverage. It makes sense to buy it, if for no other reason than to give board members peace of mind.

D&O insurance typically protects individual board members as well as employees, volunteers and the organization itself in the instance of a civil suit. But since each policy is different, sometimes with different features even at the same insurance company, it is important to confirm with your broker that both individuals and the organization are covered, and that coverage for employment practices is included.

Q: How much does D&O insurance typically cost?

Organizations with no employees can purchase $1 million in D&O limits for around $600 per year. Organizations with employees can expect to pay anywhere from about $1,200 for those with just a few employees, to around $4,000 to $5,000 for 50 employees. The cost of D&O insurance varies widely depending on the insurer, the breadth of coverage provided, prior claims, and the quality of employment practices at your organization. Remember that D&O insurance covers both the legal costs of defending your nonprofit, as well as any settlements that might arise. Remember, too, that D&O cannot cover board members for responsibility for payroll taxes and retirement payments that were withheld from employee paychecks but not submitted to the proper institutions. (If insurance could cover us for not paying taxes, we might all buy insurance and then not pay taxes!)

Q: I don’t understand the difference between a broker and the insurance company. Do we need both?

Brokers are professional advisors/consultants who are intermediaries between nonprofits and insurance carriers. This is somewhat similar to how a financial advisor might work with you to help you understand what type of savings strategy or retirement program might be best for you, and who would then purchase the stocks or bonds on your behalf. In most cases, organizations must go through a broker to obtain insurance from an insurance company. [For more on choosing a broker, see previous Blue Avocado article here.]

Brokers work with nonprofits to determine:

  • Types of coverage needed (do we need social services professional insurance? sexual abuse coverage?)
  • Coverage limits (should our vehicle liability be at $1 million? $3 million?)
  • Services needed (assistance with personnel policies? training for volunteer drivers?)

Based on these guidelines, the broker approaches various insurance companies for price quotes, from the all-purpose firms such as Aetna or Hartford, to insurance companies that specialize in nonprofits such as NIAC and ANI. The insurance companies determine the premium (cost) at which they will offer a certain policy, and if selected by the nonprofit, then issue the insurance policy and become responsible for adjusting and paying covered claims. In addition to the above criteria, nonprofits will want to know about an insurance company’s track record in prompt, hassle-free, and fair payment of claims.

Insurance companies pay commissions to brokers. This can lead to a situation where brokers might be tempted to recommend an insurance company or a type of insurance that gives them a larger commission rather than the company that is best for the nonprofit. For instance, some companies give brokers extra commissions at the end of the year if they establish and then meet a commitment to a level of premiums sold from that insurance company.

Q: What simple steps can the board take on risk management and insurance oversight?

Every member of a board of directors needs to realize that there are risks to operating any nonprofit, and that through appropriate policies and procedures and staff training, these risks can be reduced. Insurance is there to cover those things that happen when the risk mitigation strategies are not completely successful. I suggest some board steps for insurance oversight. These steps include close monitoring of any accidents and suits; keeping up with organizational risks and regular review of your group’s relationship with its insurance broker.

Q: Just one more question: What’s different, if anything, about insurance for nonprofits compared to for-profits?

It pays to work with insurance brokers and insurance carriers who understand how to make sure that the insurance policies purchased are sufficient to cover a nonprofit’s risk exposure, which can be more complex than a for-profit’s risks.

It is not necessarily being nonprofit that makes our sector’s insurance needs so different, but rather the fact that we work so intensively with clients and provide services to some of the most vulnerable and the most troubled in our communities. A nonprofit daycare, for example, may not have risk exposures all that different from a for-profit daycare, but a nonprofit residential program for troubled teens certainly is a much different risk than an assisted living center for seniors. Nevertheless, the standard insurance industry rates classify both of these living arrangements simply as residential risks

Nonprofits — and but not for-profits — need to have insurance for injury caused by and to volunteers. And because nonprofits often serve as the hubs of their communities, they frequently conduct many different programs while for-profits tend to have more of a single focus. For example, a nonprofit may run a school, a daycare, a senior residential center, and a food bank all under the umbrella of one organization. A for-profit firm would typically operate just one of those.

Key differences also include medical malpractice risk and social service professional risks such as counseling and providing other professional and quasi-professional services to vulnerable populations. And most nonprofits who work with children, the developmentally disabled, and fragile seniors, need to have protection for allegations of sexual or other abuse.

See also in Blue Avocado:

We are pleased that A Board Member’s Guide to Nonprofit Insurance is being simultaneously published by Charity Channel, an online resource for nonprofits.

About the Author

More Posts

Pamela Davis is the founder, president, and CEO of an affiliated group of nonprofit insurers known as Nonprofits Insurance Alliance® (NIA), the publisher of Blue Avocado. Pamela has grown NIA from a loan of $1 million from a group of foundations to over $229 million in premiums and $713 million in assets, serving over 24,000 nonprofits across the country. All NIA affiliates are 501(c)(3) nonprofits, just like the organizations that they insure, and all NIA assets belong to the community, just like they should! Follow her on Twitter @pamela_e_davis

Articles on Blue Avocado do not provide legal representation or legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for advice or legal counsel. Blue Avocado provides space for the nonprofit sector to express new ideas. Views represented in Blue Avocado do not necessarily express the opinion of the publication or its publisher.

76 thoughts on “A Board Member’s Guide to Nonprofit Insurance

  1. I find this article on insurance really timely, unfortunately hardly any of the links work. I would love to get more of the information – but I can’t. Arggg!
    Help me!
    Heather

    1. I just re-checked all the links and they seem to be working for me . . . checked on both Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. Please try again, perhaps going directly to the website at www.blueavocado.org and trying them from there. I’m so sorry! Jan

  2. I find this article on insurance really timely, unfortunately hardly any of the links work. I would love to get more of the information – but I can’t. Arggg!
    Help me!
    Heather

  3. Your article about the majority of insurance claims being related to auto and liability is interesting. Anecdotally–lawyers and insurers tell me the most significant insurance claims are related to employment disputes so I was surprised. Maybe your info is based on formal rather than informal data. Maybe they were talking about $ amounts and payouts vs. # of claims. Warmest Regards, Francine

    1. Francine,
      Thanks for your comment. Just to be clear, the largest number of claims are related to auto and general liability, but they tend not to be large in terms of dollars paid in damages, except in extreme cases where there is a very serious auto accident or someone is seriously injured at the nonprofit facility. Most auto claims, for example, are fender-bumpers caused by improper backing.
      However, while employment-related claims are relatively much less frequent, when they occur they tend to be proportionately much more expensive to defend and settle than the average auto claim.
      I hope this clarification makes sense.
      Thanks again for your comment.
      Pamela Davis

  4. We are a very small (operating budget <$25,000) nonprofit that provides educational services to transitional housing organizations. Our programs include a curriculum for children, and we understand this is a risk area; however, we have been unable to obtain "Improper sexual conduct insurance" because (as we were told) we do not have our own facility and are not a licensed day care provider. So, my question is, are you aware of an insurance company who would provide such coverage for us, or other alternatives to reduce the risk? We have documented policies and procedures for working with children and we conduct background and fingerprint checks on our volunteers.
    Thanks,
    Sandie

    1. Sandie,
      We (the member companies in the Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group) do not require organizations to own their facilites or be licensed day care providers to obtain improper sexual conduct insurance. We do require that organizations conduct background checks on employees and volunteers. To help with these, we have negotiated a low rate for this with a large online company that provides this service. It looks like you already do this. If you would like to contact me at 831 621 6018, I will see whether we can assist your organization.
      All the best, Pamela

  5. I was very impressed by the Blue Avocado article on insurance issues to be considered and addressed by not-for-profit organizations. Well written in plain English. I sit on a number of civic, charitable and academic boards and intend to share the article with them. Again, thank you. Frederick F. Thornburg

  6. Thank you for this fabulous article. It is very well-written & concise – we like. The organization I work with has an "ultimate" goal of providing funds to facilitate breast reconstruction surgery after mastectomy to those without resources to do so themselves. This is done thru pricing agreements with plastic surgeons and medical facilities. We do not have any employees at this time, and operations take place in a virtual office. Sources of income are donations, fund-raising events, membership, and RFP’s (with a future goal of purchasing an online travel business to generate funds, too). Our volunteers seek funds; seek media exposure; "counsel" clients by talking with them upon submittal of an application – sometimes at length & sometimes not, depending on the client’s wants & needs; organize events, etc. At this time we are in the process of developing procedure manuals for this start-up org.
    The laundry list of "what-if’s" runs thru my head continually, and I want to ensure that we are adequately covered.
    Any and all advice in regard to what type/s of insurance to purchase as well as items to consider in regard to p&p is GREATLY appreciated.
    Sincerely,
    Victoria Crowe, Hernando Assisted Living

    1. Victoria,
      It is difficult answering these sort of questions without knowing more about the details of what you do. However, at a minimum, I think you would need General Liability insurance, even in your “start-up” mode. Also, I think it would be worth trying to get some pro bono help from an attorney to draft up an agreement with your clients, outlining what your responsibilities are and aren’t. For example, if one of the reconstruction operations does not go well, your organization could be named in the lawsuit, even if all you do it provide funding and counseling.
      I might also suggest that you go to one of our websites, either at www.niac.org or www.ani-rrg.org and look at the Resources section. As a non-member, you won’t be able to get access to everything we have, but there are several booklets we have written just for nonprofits on insurance topics. You can either download a copy or request one copy from us free of charge. We have been told they are very useful little booklets with just the right amount of information to get folks thinking about these issues.
      Also, please feel free to call me at 800 359 6422 x 18. I may be able to point you to other sources of information.
      Pamela

  7. Pamela, Thanks for your explanation on insurance needed by nonprofit organizations and the common insurance claims reported. This info is very helpful.

  8. Pamela,
    We just started a new non-profit (501(c)3 pending) to support a missionary in Belize. We are incorporated in North Carolina and have a 9 member board of directors. The missionary is our sole employee. Do we need both general liability and D&O libility, or can we depend only on the general liability. As for auto related insurance, the missionary will carrying that on his own, but we may re-imburse his for it.
    Al

    1. It’s not a real book. We just used a book cover as a graphic element. But this article, which covers an amazing amount of territory, really is the book on nonprofits and insurance. Be sure you also see the article on What Boards Should Know About Insurance Brokers.  –Editor

  9. While claims against nonprofit insurance boards remain rare — most nonprofits will never be sued in their institutional lifetimes — the fear of liability continues to grow. This fear is fueled, in part, by widespread publicity surrounding celebrated cases.You should also purchase "non-owned/hired" auto insurance, in case an employee or volunteer is involved in an auto accident and their personal insurance is inadequate. I would like to say thanks for sharing this update.

  10. Identify ways that the insurance professional could be supportive of the organization without serving on the board or other governing body. For example, perhaps he or she can serve on the risk management committee, or another committee involving nonboard members.

  11. How much should liability insurance with a minimum of $500,000 of general liability cist for a non-profit organization that sponsors only “low risk” events (i.e. antique car and tractor shows, folk festivals without re-enactments)?

  12. We are a non-profit social club that elects members each year to keep the membership at 100 members. We also conduct four social events a year where we serve food and alcohol. We have about $30,000 in cash at any given point in time, rotate the Treasurer’s job every year, have an “opinion” expressed about the “books” every year and we have no employees. We have twelve Board members and the Board membership changes every year. We have a general liability insurance policy. I’m wondering if we need an Errors & Omissions Liability policy as well?

    1. I'm not sure if you have gotten your answer yet, but one policy you may consider getting is a directors and officers policy. This will protect your board from any frivolous law suits brought about because of the decisions of the board. The D&O insurance shouldn't cost more than $1K-$2k and it would most likely make board members feel much more comfortable because their personal assets would be better protected. Feel free to contact me if you have any more questions. My name is Joe Erle and my email is Joe@5thaveins.com

  13. Pamela, Thanks for your explanation on insurance needed by nonprofit organizations and the common insurance claims reported. This info is very helpful.

  14. Are members of the board of directors of nonprofits expected to buy board insurance or should this be paid for by the organization ?

  15. After reading your post, I have become very clear about the differences and similarities between the insurance of for-profit and nonprofit. Thanks for proving this valuable information.

  16.  

    Cynthia, 

    To become a member-insured of NIAC or ANI, an organization must have 501(c)(3) status.  That is because of the special nature of NIAC and ANI. However, to obtain insurance from a commercial insurance company, an organization does not have to have tax exempt status.

  17. It’s actually pretty unlikely that someone would file a claim against a nonprofits, it is still a possibility. If you have the means, getting E&O insurance coverage can be extremely beneficial if that situation arises.

  18. It’s actually pretty unlikely that someone would file a claim against a nonprofits, it is still a possibility. If you have the means, getting E&O insurance coverage can be extremely beneficial if that situation arises.

  19. Hi. Our daughter plays for a 501c3 club volleyball organization in Arizona. A girl on her own team served the ball into her hand at the net causing a fracture and now surgery. Is it appropriate to ask the owner about his coverage, if any, and paying for damages?? Just curious. Thank you

    1. Sorry for the late response.  There are not enough details here to provide a helpful answer.  I am not sure who you are referring to as the owner (do you mean owner of the court or the nonprofit or something else?) or whether there was something defective about the court that resulted in the injury.  You may want to ask the nonprofit whether they have an accident policy or medical payments coverage on their liablity policy that might pay for some or all of the costs.  If you want a legal opinion on this matter, you need to contact an attorney.

  20. I am a Board member on a small Lake Association in Maine. We have had a terrible problem over the past year trying to find affordable insurance coverage for ourselves. Up until 10 months ago we had held and faithfully paid a general liability policy for many many years. Then this past January, our agency wrote saying they had changed their guideline requirements for coverage, we no longer qualified, and were being dropped with no further information available. Since then our Treasurer has made applications with dozens of agencies and has been either denied or asked for a premium exceeding $10,000 (1 @ $9,500). Our previous policy was $900/year. With less than 100 members in our voluntary association, that premium is unaffordable, and would get worse as members leave and shed the cost for other neighbors to have to pay. Our Association has no employees, owns no vehicles, boats, or other equipment. We hold 3 membership meetings per year and 1 social activity in rented facilities. We have volunteer groups that maintain the lake level both seasonally and for storm surges, another group that conducts and submits water quality test reports, a third group that maintains aid to navigation buoys, and finally a group dedicated to the maintenance and upkeep of the dam that maintains the lake at it’s present size that the Association owns. We are told that it is because of that dam ownership that our premiums are so high. However, it is precisely because we own our own asset that we have held fundraisers over the past 20 years and invested over $200,000 into it. Although it is listed as the oldest continuously working dam in the State of Maine, we have completely renovated it including replacement of the sluiceway and gate, widening and reinforcing of the emergency spillway, adding fencing, no trespassing signage, lighting, and security cameras, and last year we automated the gate from manual to electric power (with manual back-up). Although we not even trying to seek coverage in the event of a dam breach, our dam is not a “high risk” dam being located in a rural area with only a few houses, a municipal water pumping station, and two rural road crossings within 5 miles downstream. The height of the dam at the spillway is only 11 feet and the area of the lake is less than 200 acres meaning not a substantial amount of water is impounded. The State of Maine regularly inspects our dam and has found it to be in excellent condition. We are now in the process of trying to find D & O insurance and forgo liability, but don’t know if we would be able to get one without the other. While researching our problem I came across your site and thought I would write and see if you might direct us to a solution. It would seem that someone in this country would be able to sell us a decent insurance policy at an affordable price. Thank you.

  21. I am a Board member on a small Lake Association in Maine. We have had a terrible problem over the past year trying to find affordable insurance coverage for ourselves. Up until 10 months ago we had held and faithfully paid a general liability policy for many many years. Then this past January, our agency wrote saying they had changed their guideline requirements for coverage, we no longer qualified, and were being dropped with no further information available. Since then our Treasurer has made applications with dozens of agencies and has been either denied or asked for a premium exceeding $10,000 (1 @ $9,500). Our previous policy was $900/year. With less than 100 members in our voluntary association, that premium is unaffordable, and would get worse as members leave and shed the cost for other neighbors to have to pay. Our Association has no employees, owns no vehicles, boats, or other equipment. We hold 3 membership meetings per year and 1 social activity in rented facilities. We have volunteer groups that maintain the lake level both seasonally and for storm surges, another group that conducts and submits water quality test reports, a third group that maintains aid to navigation buoys, and finally a group dedicated to the maintenance and upkeep of the dam that maintains the lake at it’s present size that the Association owns. We are told that it is because of that dam ownership that our premiums are so high. However, it is precisely because we own our own asset that we have held fundraisers over the past 20 years and invested over $200,000 into it. Although it is listed as the oldest continuously working dam in the State of Maine, we have completely renovated it including replacement of the sluiceway and gate, widening and reinforcing of the emergency spillway, adding fencing, no trespassing signage, lighting, and security cameras, and last year we automated the gate from manual to electric power (with manual back-up). Although we not even trying to seek coverage in the event of a dam breach, our dam is not a “high risk” dam being located in a rural area with only a few houses, a municipal water pumping station, and two rural road crossings within 5 miles downstream. The height of the dam at the spillway is only 11 feet and the area of the lake is less than 200 acres meaning not a substantial amount of water is impounded. The State of Maine regularly inspects our dam and has found it to be in excellent condition. We are now in the process of trying to find D & O insurance and forgo liability, but don’t know if we would be able to get one without the other. While researching our problem I came across your site and thought I would write and see if you might direct us to a solution. It would seem that someone in this country would be able to sell us a decent insurance policy at an affordable price. Thank you.

  22. I am a Board member of a 501c7 Newcomer’s Club.
    My concern is that some of the activities include carpooling, overnight road trips, and active activities
    (1)Are these organizations eligible for general liability and/or D&O insurance? If not, what are the reasons.
    (2) Are the Directors of a 501c7 “more protected” from lawsuits that those in a 501c3 with similar activities

    1. We recommend that you consult with an independent insurance professional in your area who has experience with 501(c)(7) nonprofits. If you would like to tell us your city and state, we may be able to make a referral to a broker in your area.

  23. I am the Director of a small , all volunteer, group that meets weekly to provide a social gathering for young adults with intellectual disabilities. We engage in activities such as bingo, bean bag toss and dancing. We have several special events throughout the year: overnight trip to a family friendly resort as well as a musical performance that the young adults sing on stage. We are not an organized entity, but we are not for profit. Are we able to purchase liability insurance for our volunteers.

    1. We recommend that you consult with an independent insurance professional in your area who has experience with nonprofits. If you would like to tell us your city and state, we may be able to make a referral to a broker in your area.

  24. I am the Director of a small , all volunteer, group that meets weekly to provide a social gathering for young adults with intellectual disabilities. We engage in activities such as bingo, bean bag toss and dancing. We have several special events throughout the year: overnight trip to a family friendly resort as well as a musical performance that the young adults sing on stage. We are not an organized entity, but we are not for profit. Are we able to purchase liability insurance for our volunteers.

    1. We recommend that you consult with an independent insurance professional in your area who has experience with nonprofits. If you would like to tell us your city and state, we may be able to make a referral to a broker in your area.

  25. Thank you for this informative article. We are a group of citizens who are trying to get the city to fix the parking issues in our area. We are officially a nonprofit corporation. We have a volunteer board. We have no employees but occasionally volunteers pass out flyers or spread the word on social media for us. We occasionally hold meetings at a coffee shop or HOA conference room. A few times we’ve asked people to show up at City Hall to speak up. We have about $50k in the bank but don’t expect more income. When that runs out, we might stop our project even if we were sued for it. Do you see any need for insurance here?

  26. Pamela,
    I am on the Board of Directors for a 501 (c)(3) non-profit that owns and manages a trip depot museum in North Carolina. We have one paid employee, the museum curator, and number of volunteers who help with building maintenance, gift store sales, etc. We are incorporated and our members have voting rights. We also sponsor one or two guided tours to places outside our state; e.g., New York City, Alaska, Washington D.C, We have been doing this for nearly 2 decades now and have never had any type of claim filed against us by any of our travelers.
    However, this year an incident occurred during our NY trip and two of our traverlers became quite used and threatened to sue, but do now. Nonetheless, this incident resulted in many of our 14-member board to really question our liability in regard to these trips we sponsor and asked me to look into liability insurance for the board and for the corporation itself (we do have assets that could be forfeited). So far i have not found an insurer that will provide event insurance, public insurance, etc. We can get D&O insurance to protect our board members, but that still leaves the organization vulnerable.
    We do not consider ourselves a travel agency. We simply advertise the trips, collect payment and then pay the bills incurred as a result of hotel fees and transportation (buses) costs. We have two volunteers who accompany our groups as tour guides, but they are not paid to do so. If and when our trip requires airfares, cruise line fares, etc. we use a tour company. Is there any way to get insurance coverage to cover our organization for its potential liability, other than D&O for the board. If so, I need to know who those insurers are and how much the coverage would be and the cost of such coverage. Thanks for any help you can provide.

  27. Pamela,
    I am on the Board of Directors for a 501 (c)(3) non-profit that owns and manages a trip depot museum in North Carolina. We have one paid employee, the museum curator, and number of volunteers who help with building maintenance, gift store sales, etc. We are incorporated and our members have voting rights. We also sponsor one or two guided tours to places outside our state; e.g., New York City, Alaska, Washington D.C, We have been doing this for nearly 2 decades now and have never had any type of claim filed against us by any of our travelers.
    However, this year an incident occurred during our NY trip and two of our traverlers became quite used and threatened to sue, but do now. Nonetheless, this incident resulted in many of our 14-member board to really question our liability in regard to these trips we sponsor and asked me to look into liability insurance for the board and for the corporation itself (we do have assets that could be forfeited). So far i have not found an insurer that will provide event insurance, public insurance, etc. We can get D&O insurance to protect our board members, but that still leaves the organization vulnerable.
    We do not consider ourselves a travel agency. We simply advertise the trips, collect payment and then pay the bills incurred as a result of hotel fees and transportation (buses) costs. We have two volunteers who accompany our groups as tour guides, but they are not paid to do so. If and when our trip requires airfares, cruise line fares, etc. we use a tour company. Is there any way to get insurance coverage to cover our organization for its potential liability, other than D&O for the board. If so, I need to know who those insurers are and how much the coverage would be and the cost of such coverage. Thanks for any help you can provide.

  28. It is my first time visiting your website and I am very interested. Thanks for sharing and keep up 😉

  29. It is my first time visiting your website and I am very interested. Thanks for sharing and keep up 😉

  30. Many state associations of nonprofits offer special programs for board members, whether by webinars, or in-person, on governance topics, including basic board roles and responsibilities

  31. CalNonprofits Insurance ServicesDirectors & Officers Liability Insurance | CalNonprofits Insurance Services says:

    […] A Board Member’s Guide to Nonprofit Insurance […]

  32. I am a Board member for our lake association in PA, which we recently established as a 501(c)(7) social organization. Our Board has 4 officers. The association has no employees and owns no property, other than our lake bed. The lake is about 65 acres large with about 60 individual homes around the lake. Almost all the homeowners are members of our lake association. We have an annual fireworks display that is conducted by a professional fireworks company with their own insurance. In most years we also have an annual picnic on the grounds of one of the homeowners. Our association meets twice a year and generally deals with issues that come up around the lake, including water quality, noise, dues, remembrances for members that have passed on.
    Do we need Directors and Officers insurance for an organization such as ours?

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