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Recommendations for non-profit liability insurance?

  • 1.  Recommendations for non-profit liability insurance?

    Posted Dec 17, 2018 13:34
    I know it's not exactly tech related, but I'm thinking that some of us on in this community might be aware of what your non-profit uses.  As I understand it, it's recommended that organizations have Directors and Officer (D&O) coverage.  Has anyone have experience with shopping for this?  Any recommendations or things to watch out for?

    Laurel Milliken
    Tech Accelerate

  • 2.  RE: Recommendations for non-profit liability insurance?

    Posted Dec 18, 2018 08:07
    Hi Laurel,

    If you are not working with an insurance broker my first recommendation is to engage one. You typically would shop around your insurance broker, and she/he would shop around your insurance package for you.

    Your full insurance suite does not need to be with the same insurance company - your broker could chose to purchase D&O from XYZ insurer and Auto insurance from ABC insurer. In terms of the actual D&O policy itself, since this covers the Board, you will want to make sure they are comfortable with the coverage amount. In fact the Board should be comfortable both with the types of insurances purchased (and not purchased) along with the limits.

    Additionally unless I am mistaken most D&O insurance is claims based - i.e. if an event occured in a previous year and the claim is being made in the current year, the current directors and officers are liable. This is more a risk of becoming a director / officer than of the insurance itself.

    Hope this helps,


    Joshua Grant
    Pathways to Education Canada
    Thornhill, ON

    Tech Accelerate

  • 3.  RE: Recommendations for non-profit liability insurance?

    Posted Dec 18, 2018 09:17
    D&O is generally a good thing to have. I was on the board of a organization that was sued by a disgruntled former contractor for unfair labor practices (yes, it sounds odd because it is odd, but that's my point). A big plus of D&O is the duty to defend responsibility of the insurer. In this case a very nice lawyer was able to petition the court for dismissal, which was granted in a number of weeks. Another group the contractor had worked for didn't have coverage and the case took several years to resolve with I think a cash payment to the contractor.

    Basic liability and special events coverage is good as well. Premiums can be in the hundreds of dollars per year.


    Tim Mills-Groninger
    Whiting, IN

    Tech Accelerate

  • 4.  RE: Recommendations for non-profit liability insurance?

    Posted Dec 18, 2018 12:52
    Edited by Michal Szwarc Dec 18, 2018 13:27
    Hi Laurel,

    You asked good questions about liability insurance and D&O coverage. Nonprofits Insurance Alliance and "Blue Avocado" magazine have a lot of valuable resources. I encourage you to check out Board Insurance: Do You Really Need It? and the related (free) booklet.

    Tim's personal experience with D&O insurance is valuable -- we hear a lot of odd stories! And Joshua's recommendation to work with your insurance broker is good advice. Before you call your broker, you can visit our website for helpful information about nonprofits' specialized insurance needs.

    Wishing you all the best,
    Todd Nelson
    VP, Communications & Marketing
    Nonprofits Insurance Alliance

    Michal Szwarc

    Tech Accelerate

  • 5.  RE: Recommendations for non-profit liability insurance?

    Posted Dec 18, 2018 14:03
    Hi Laurel,
    One thing about insurance is that it's a world with its own vocabulary and processes, so you want to make sure you work with a broker who really understands nonprofits, and who you trust. Getting a recommendation from another organization is a good place to start. If you're in California I can recommend CalNonprofits Insurance Services (www.calnonprofitsinsurance.org) - full disclosure they are a social enterprise of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits) who I work for. If you're not in California, you can check with your state association of nonprofits (e.g. Washington Nonprofits in Washington or Forefront in Illinois) since some of them have relationships with brokers, or can point you in the right direction.
    Good luck!

    Christina Dragonetti
    California Association of Nonprofits
    San Francisco, CA

    Tech Accelerate