Hiscox Launches Trustee Coverage

May 18, 2007

The UK’s Hiscox plc has launched two new insurance packages, available through brokers, which provide coverage for the trustees of charities, clubs and associations. Hiscox said its “Charities Insurance Portfolio” and its “Clubs and Associations Insurance Portfolio” have been developed specifically to protect the risks and potential liabilities of UK charities, clubs, associations and their trustees, committee members and directors.

The bulletin also explained that they are subject to numerous rules and regulations. Examples include compliance with:
— Relevant company law
— Employment law (this may also relate to unpaid volunteers)
— Legislation concerning racial, sexual and age harassment and discrimination
— Health and safety legislation
— Legislation protecting vulnerable people.

Hiscox D&O Underwriting Manager Callum Taylor noted that the trustees of such organizations “accept responsibility for directing the affairs of a charity, club or association, ensuring that it remains solvent, well-run and meets the needs for which it has been established.” Although management responsibility is frequently delegated, such a “trustee retains the ultimate responsibility for any decisions or actions taken.” These include how assets are invested, raising funds, and accepting new members.

In taking on these responsibilities trustees potentially place “their personal assets at risk if an allegation is made where they have failed to use reasonable care and skill in executing their duties,” Taylor continued.

Hiscox explained that it has developed each new product as “part of a suite of insurance modules” to provide charities, clubs and associations with the flexibility to meet all their insurance needs in one policy. “The portfolios include cover for trustees and individual liability, employment practices liability, and professional and legal liability.”

Hiscox indicated that its “portfolio” approach also “allows customers to pick and mix other modules of cover, from property and loss of income, personal accident and illness, group travel, Internet and e-mail protection, employers’ liability and/or public and products liability insurance. Each product is available as one policy, with one interest-free payment, on a continuous cover basis.”

Policyholders also get free access to “BusinessHR”, which provides a comprehensive online audit of existing employment practices and access to a wide range of HR policies, procedures and documents that can be customized and downloaded on demand.

As examples of situations where the policies would provide cover, Hiscox cited defamation cases, failure to “implement correct safety procedures,” employment practices liability, such as “unfair dismissal” or discrimination, as well as professional and legal liabilities.

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