Non profit organizations may operate with a do-good attitude, but being charitable doesn’t absolve them of responsibility. They have a responsibility to be good stewards of their assets, and they can be held liable for accidents they cause. While there are measures non profits should take to ensure they’re being responsible, they also ought to have the right combination of non profit insurance coverages in case the unexpected or unavoidable happens. If you operate a non profit organization in Massachusetts, here are some insurance coverages you might want to consider protecting your non profit with.
What Non Profit Insurance Coverages Should My Non Profit in Massachusetts Have?
General Liability Coverage
General liability coverage is used by businesses, governments and non profits to protect themselves from a variety of common accidents that they may be held responsible for. The exact protections that general liability coverage affords vary, but they tend to offer protection for incidents like the following:
A client slips on your non profit’s property and fractures a bone
A volunteer accidentally starts a fire that burns down the building your organization rents space in
A company sues because your organization uses their copyrighted information in a fundraising campaign
An opposing non profit sues because an employee posted defaming comments about the other organization on social media
These are incidents that almost any organization can face, which is why the vast majority of non profits in Massachusetts should have general liability coverage in their non profit liability insurance policy.
Commercial Property Coverage
Commercial property coverage can be used to protect property that a business, government or non profit owns. The term “commercial” is used to distinguish this insurance coverage from personal lines of property insurance, and not to restrict coverage only to for-profit businesses that operate in the commercial space. (The same is true of commercial auto insurance and many other commercial policies.)
If your non profit owns property, whether that property is land or a building, it should probably have commercial property coverage in its non profit insurance policy. Without this coverage, your non profit may have no way to recover from a fire, wind damage or other cause of significant property damage.
Your organization might even be required to carry this coverage if there’s a loan on the owned property. Many banks place such requirements in the terms of their loans so that their financial interest is protected.
Employment Practices Liability Coverage
Employment practices liability coverage is an especially important protection for non profits, and it’s one that many organizations don’t realize they should consider including in their non profit liability insurance policy.
In some ways, non profits are even more exposed to employment practices liability lawsuits than businesses are. Not only are non profits responsible for following all legal requirements regarding their actual employees, but employees are frequently entitled to the same or similar rights as workers receive. There’s sometimes a greater chance that an employment law could be broken -- and, therefore, an organization could be left open to a claim -- when an organization works with lots of volunteers and not just a few employees.
If your non profit has paid employees, it likely should have employment practices liability coverage in its non profit liability insurance policy. If your non profit relies only on volunteers, it might still benefit from getting this coverage.
Evaluate Your Massachusetts Organization’s Non Profit Insurance Needs
These are just a few of the many non profit insurance protections that are available to non profits in Massachusetts. For help evaluating your particular organization’s coverage needs and finding a non profit liability insurance policy that meets those needs, contact an independent insurance agent in the state who works with non profit organizations.