Charity Trustees – A Double Edged Sword


15th Mar 2017

Charitable work in Ireland provides an invaluable supply of goodwill, innovation and downright effort from people from the general community. We all know someone who tirelessly puts in the hours on a voluntary basis to support their chosen cause. Be it work with the old, the ill or the needy, volunteers provide the time and skills to assist others as best they can. The work of a charity trustee and senior charity managers must keep pace with a multitude of change and developments such in technology, local environment issues, legal frameworks and to top it all, to ensure a stable financial foundation is maintained and safeguarded. Quite the skill set.

However, it’s very often the case that those who volunteer and act as trustees, although giving their utmost to the cause, may be open to legal liabilities or ‘negligence issues’ that had not been envisaged. Specific competence and training may not have been completed to a sufficient level and therefore duties of care arising from duties performed while acting as trustee may lead to difficulties. Take for example a person acting as treasurer for a charity who is not a trained accountant or those providing general ‘management’ oversight who have no specific training or accredited competencies in the field.

Inevitably, if something goes wrong, there can be consequences for those acting in good faith. It’s important to remember the insurers and intermediaries role here in highlighting these issues and providing solid solutions to meet these eventualities. Charities Trustees indemnity (CTI) cover is a case in point. This cover provides an indemnity to trustees acting in good faith were loss or damages arise. This provides a safety net for individuals to give their best but also to be sure in the knowledge that if something unforeseen goes wrong, that there is recourse to an insurance policy.

Good advice from a professional broker will ensure charity clients are fully protected. Specialist charity insurers such as Ecclesiastical provide bespoke charity products to cover eventualities such as this and others. It’s important to protect those who protect others.

 Michael Brennan

Ecclesiastical Area Manager (ROI/NI).

Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority in the United Kingdom, and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for Conduct of Business rules.

Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc (EIO) Reg. No. 24869. Registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester, GL1 1JZ, UK. Registered Branch in Dublin, Ireland. Reg No. 902180. 2nd Floor, Block F2, EastPoint, Dublin 3, DO3 T6P8