16 October 2023

Insurance implications when supporting humanitarian efforts

With the dreadful images and stories currently in the news, many of us want to help and support victims of conflict.

Insurance issues shouldn’t be a barrier to helping with a refugee or humanitarian situation.  However, if your Scout group, Girlguiding Unit, or voluntary group is supporting humanitarian efforts, there’s two aspects which may affect your insurance cover.

Fundraising or collecting supplies

If you’re collecting goods or fundraising money, there’s no issue.  

There’s also no issue if you’re delivering items to refugee centres, as long as you don’t go into a war zone. If you do so, your travel insurance would be invalidated.

If you’re fundraising cash to donate to refugee or humanitarian charities, please make sure your money is going to the right place. While there won’t be any insurance implications, you’ll need to make sure that you’re donating to a recognised charity.

Allowing refugees to stay in Scout or charity premises

If you’re planning on allowing refuges to stay in your buildings, any insurance implications will depend on the type of building you have. 

For premises such as Adventure Centres, which are set up to cater for accommodation, there shouldn’t be an issue.

Other buildings, such as Scout huts or community centres, which aren’t usually designed for accommodation, could be seen by insurers as a change in use, which might alter the organisation’s insurance policy terms and conditions.

Our main insurers at Unity say they’ll look favourably on these circumstances, but they’ll likely want to:

1.     Be informed that the building is temporarily being used for accommodation; and

2.     Review each group’s case separately. 

If you have questions about any potential impacts on your insurance cover, please speak to the team at Unity on 0345 040 7702 and we look forward to helping you.