RISK MANAGEMENT AND INSURANCE ADVICE FOR THE VOLUNTARY AND COMMUNITY SECTOR
Risk is a fact of life. We all face it - as individuals in our daily lives, businesses, and voluntary and community groups. Being able to assess and manage risk enables individuals, businesses and the community to develop and grow. • Do you know the range of risks you face? • What should you doto reduce and manage these risks? • How can you protect yourself from potentially expensive claims bills?
In the voluntary and community sector, practical risk management is especially important given the wide variety of activities undertaken and the often limited resources of organisations to deal with the financial consequences if things go wrong. Taking steps to identify, manage and reducerisk can also help to contain the cost of liability insurance cover.
This guide aims to help voluntary and community groups to: • • • Put a good risk management policy in place Plan activities more effectively Identify different types of insurance protection that may be needed to cover potential legal liabilities.
and community sector through the Home Office Insurance Cover Working Group toraise awareness of the importance of risk management for voluntary and charitable groups. Because of the wide variety of organisations involved in voluntary and community work, and their differing resources and requirements, this guide is designed to provide straightforward advice on the key issues. It also gives sources of further useful information on risk management and insurance.
The ABI isworking with its member insurance companies, insurance brokers and the voluntary
WHY RISK MANAGEMENT IS VITAL
We all owe others a duty of care whatever we do. If you are negligent (for example, if you drive carelessly and cause an accident) and injure someone else or damage their property, then you or your organisation could face a claim for damages. This can be very expensive - the costof the average damages award for personal injury has risen by 30% in the last five years. The Charity Commission and other bodies involved in the sector provide some useful guidance on risk management. For example, the Charity Commission’s publication ‘Charities and Insurance’, www.charitycommission.gov.uk offers comprehensive advice on all types of insurance that charities may need, and on theimportance of risk management. Whatever the size and activities of your group or organisation, it can be exposed to risks in many different ways. For example: • Exhibitions, fetes and fairs. Events could expose employees, volunteers and members of the public to injury, for example from a badly erected tent or marquee. Trips and excursions. If you are organising holidays, for example outdoor activitybreaks, do your employees or volunteers have adequate training, and will they be properly supervised? Buildings and premises. Your premises should be safe for employees, volunteers and the public. A sharp jagged edge of a filing cabinet, or a loose wire that causes someone to trip over, could prove expensive. Charity shops. While usually staffed entirely by volunteers, care is still needed toprotect against the risk of injury to the public.
Assessing the risks you face and taking steps to control and minimise them is not only crucial to ensure your organisation can develop, but can help in obtaining competitively priced liability insurance.
Managing risks all these areas is usually straightforward and commonsense, and should be an integral part of planning for anyevent.
HOW TO SET UP A RISK MANAGEMENT POLICY
As groups and organisations come in all shapes and sizes, there is no ‘one size fits all’ risk management policy. The steps you need to take will depend on the number of staff and volunteers you have and your range of activities. Risks occur in three main areas: offices occupied by staff; premises used to deliver services or as shops or...