Making sure your village hall/community building has the right insurance
Why buy insurance
All committees managing village halls/ community buildings face risks. Making sure you have the right insurance cover can be an appropriate way of protecting your village hall / community building against loss, damage or liability and give your committee peace of mind.
The right cover in 5 easy steps
How do you know you have the right levels of cover and that your assets are protected ? The following questions will help you decide whether you have the right cover in place.
- What are the worst things that can go wrong for your building or committee ?
- What does your village hall need to protect ? e.g. building structure, contents of building, outside equipment, money, activities of the committee, claims from injured hall users
- Can you insure against these risks ?
- How much can you comfortably allocate to protections against the risks ? Is it worth spending this money to cover potential risks ? (N.B Employers Liability cover is a legal requirement if you have employees. )
- Have you provided your insurer with a complete list of your assets and activities, along with your assessment of the risks faced by the village hall/community building and committee ?
Two types of loss
- Your committees own loss – this will mainly involve assets such as property or money. If insured the committee should essentially be returned to the position they were in before the incident occurred.
- Third party loss – this is injury to a third party or damage to a third party’s property e.g. a visitor to a hall trips over a protruding floor tile breaking their arm, they feel the committee are responsible for their injury and make a claim for loss of income and pain and suffering. Where a committee have responsibility there is potentially a legal liability.
Types of Cover
Once you have identified the risks you may face and the assets that need to be covered, you will need to select the appropriate insurance cover. Below are details of the most common covers available.
‘All risks’ means that any risk that the policy does not specifically exclude is automatically covered. This provides a more comprehensive cover than is provided under the Material Damage section of the a policy and is used to cover items such as audio visual equipment or property used away from the premises.
Buildings and Contents – Material Damage
As its name suggests, this cover protects your hall and its contents from a variety of risks including fire, flood, malicious damage, theft or attempted theft and subsidence among others.
You have a responsibility to make sure the property and its contents are insured for the correct value – we will index link for buildings and contents inflation but this is no guarantee that the sums are adequate and would not take into account any improvements to the building or any new contents.
If your hall is damaged by an insured peril under the Material Damage section of the policy and can’t be used, your committee could claim for any revenue lost. The sum insured needs to reflect the revenue the hall would lose over the period it may take to reinstate the premises.
Under the Employers Liability (compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 you are legally required to take under Employers Liability Insurance if you employ staff. The cover will protect the committee against claims from employees for injury, disease and illness(including death) caused by your organisations negligence or breach of duty. A committee may be an unwitting employer in law – e.g. a volunteer who cleans the hall and is paid an honorarium can be technically classed as an employee.
Fidelity Guarantee ( Employee Dishonesty)
This provides cover against loss of money or property arising from fraud or dishonesty of employees or trustees.
This provides Public Liability cover for individuals and ad-hoc community organisations while they hire your hall. It does only provide cover while the group/individual is within the boundaries of your property. Many halls take out this cover as it is an economic way to provide insurance to those who would otherwise find it difficult/expensive to arrange public liability cover.
Libel and Slander
This cover can protect your committee against compensation claims for defamation which may arise as a result of public meetings, public statements or speeches, newsletters or meeting minutes.
This covers cash and cheques in your custody, left on the hall premises, in the private resident of a committee member or during transit.
This cover entitles the committee to claim a fixed benefit where a member of staff or committee member are disabled due to an accident or assault during their ‘work’ i.e. while they are carrying out a task for the committee.
This covers your legal liability to compensate people or organisations suffering loss or injury as a result of your committees negligence e.g. a hall user being injured due to the building not being maintained in a good condition. This also covers claims made by people/organisations for loss or damage to material property caused as a result of your committees negligence. The limit of indemnity on the Village Hall Plus Group policy is £10million.
The insurance protects trustees (committee members) against personal liability claims when their committee or a third party make a claim against them for maladministration. If a trustee or committee member acts responsibly they should not be liable for claims against them, however this insurance can give peace of mind by protecting them personally.
This can provide cover for legal costs and compensation incurred in defending actions against your organisation. Cover is available for Employment Disputes, Personal Injury, Legal Defence, Tax Protection and Contract Disputes.
All vehicles registered for road use and driven on a public road are required to be insured. Your committee will therefore require motor insurance if they own a minibus, van, tractor etc. that is driven on a public road.