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Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

Your organisation can buy insurance to protect its money, people, property and reputation. Insurance is required by law if your organisation employs staff or operates vehicles on public roads.

Compulsory insurance

  • Employers’ liability insurance is required by law for organisations that employ staff to insure against any claims by workers for injury or disease. A valid certificate of insurance must be displayed.
  • Motor insurance is required by law for organisations that own or operate motor vehicles, with third party cover as a minimum as required by the Road Traffic Act.

There are many other types of insurance your organisation can also buy. A risk assessment can help you decide which insurances are necessary.

Highly recommended insurance

  • Public liability insurance: covers injury loss or damage caused to third parties as a result of the organisation’s negligence.
  • Professional indemnity insurance: protects against claims for negligence arising out of advice or information provided by an organisation.
  • Legal expenses insurance: covers specified legal expenses that may be incurred in defending or pursuing certain types of action, eg employment disputes.

Discretionary insurance

  • Trustee indemnity insurance: this protects members of the voluntary management committee from personal liability with respect to claims related to their actions in their roles as committee members or directors. Charities are permitted to use charity funds to provide all their charity trustees with indemnity insurance.
  • Events insurance
  • Fidelity insurance
  • Accident and sickness insurance
  • Property and equipment insurance
  • Car insurance for staff/volunteers
  • Hirer’s public liability cover (for village halls and community buildings)

Insurance advice

Under statutory regulations there are constraints on who can provide information and advice about insurance. SCVO endorses the Encompass policy specifically designed for voluntary organisations by Keegan & Pennykid.

The Association of British Insurers can provide general information and details of insurance firms that specialise in given areas of work.

The Charity Commission has a useful summary of information on charities and insurance.

Last modified on 25 May 2022
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