When starting a new club, the focus is often on the sense of community that it will build, the fun of finding others who share your love of a hobby or sport, and deciding when and where to meet. Few people consider the fact that their club may be the subject of a lawsuit. If that eventuality does happen, though, club liability insurance can protect you, your bank account, and your fellow board members. If you are wondering whether your club would be well served by carrying this type of policy, consider whether it fits the criteria listed below.
The type of club that you are starting will help to determine whether this kind of policy is necessary. Book clubs are inherently unlikely to be sued, due to the kind of activity in which they are engaged. However, hunting or shooting clubs, or athletic teams are far more likely to be open to litigation should an accident occur. In many cases, chapters of national organizations will be required to find a policy that meets a minimum set of liability requirements in order to be granted a charter. In some cases, this policy may be purchased directly through your organization’s governing body.
Otherwise, there are third party companies who are happy to help. Most organizations, especially when they are just starting out, will rent meeting space from an outside facility. Regardless of the manner in which this space will be used, those who will be meeting there may be contractually obligated to carry a club liability insurance policy that will cover any damages that are done to the facility. Typically, these policies will cover structural damages, the harm that is done to furniture, or theft of valuable items.
Your liability limit will probably be dictated by the facility that is housing you. Remember, the higher the limit, the more you will be paying for your premium. In addition to providing protection to property that is used by your club but owned by a third party, your coverage can also be used to cover communal property that is available to all your members. If you have built your own facilities, they should be covered in the same way that a home would be.
Organizations that allow members to use expensive equipment, such as video cameras, sporting equipment or guns, should also make sure that each of these assets is covered before members take it out. Club liability insurance is a necessary investment for any organization who rents meeting space, engages in activities that could cause harm to their members or others, or owns communal property. In most cases, these types of policies are reasonably priced, especially if low liability limits are involved. Getting a policy should be one of the first things that any burgeoning organization does, as soon as they sign their charter.