Why a Nonprofit Needs Directors & Officers Insurance

If you serve on a Board of Directors in Massachusetts or beyond, or work for a Nonprofit or certain For-Profits,  it is important to understand why the organization needs Directors & Officers insurance.  

If you volunteer or work for a social service or human service organization in Massachusetts, you will want to make sure you are covered by Directors & officers insurance.  Read more here to find out why you may need directors and officers insurance

Being a volunteer on a board of directors in Massachusetts or anywhere else for that matter, is not as easy as it once was. While the position used to be one people chose to make a difference, it has become one that could very well hurt a person's finances and livelihood today. From negligence to wrongful acts, there are several different allegations these individuals often face. This also places others they work with in compromised positions, so directors and officers liability coverage is essential. There are many reasons a claim on this type of policy would be made, but there are a few that are especially common. 

Why you need to be concerned about Fundraising And Grants

Most nonprofit organizations rely on grants for their funding. People often voice concerns about how the money is being used, and this may result in lawsuits. Organizations should always consider the requirements associated with any grant before applying for it. Any promises made should be reasonable and attainable. If an organization is targeted for mismanaging funds, it could be targeted through legal action, adverse publicity or loss of grant funds.

Financial Oversight Or Fraud in nonprofit organizations

In recent years, the media has been focusing more on nonprofit fraud incidents than for-profit fraud incidents. Some large organizations have failed to provide proper oversight of funding control, which means the money is vulnerable to abuse. Lack of oversight is a breach of fiduciary duty. In addition to grant recipients facing lawsuits, foundations that make the grants may also be targeted in some cases.

Employment Practices for nonprofit organizations

Directors and officers policies for nonprofit organizations usually include coverage for employment-related claims. Employment practice liability claims rank highest as the cause of directors and officers claims toward nonprofit organizations. They also make up a significant amount of the overall liability issues these individuals face. Researchers found that there were nearly 10,000 discrimination charges filed in 2010 against nonprofit and for-profit organizations. This figure includes both actual and alleged acts of retaliation, harassment, discrimination and wrongful termination. Employment-related lawsuits have increased since the Civil Rights Act passed, which gave people the right to punitive damages and jury trials for emotional stress and anguish. While employment practice liability coverage is included in most nonprofit directors and officers policies, it should be supplemented with other forms of coverage. There should be risk management strategies implemented to keep future claims from happening. This should start at the level of the board of directors, and they should be the ones to question the executive director as well as other officials about policies. They should always know whether there is uniformity throughout the organization and if the policies are being carried out properly. The board should have a system set to accurately analyze the effectiveness of the policies.

Liability risks faced by nonprofit boards are serious issues to consider, and they are issues that continue changing as time passes. In the past, charities were seen as innately good, so there were rarely lawsuits brought against them. However, accountability, higher transparency and the growth of a litigious society took its toll on board members. To keep an organization healthy today, every nonprofit should have a good directors and officers policy in place.

Is Directors and Officers Insurance Expensive?

Directors and officers insurance coverage was expensive in the past, but insurance is much more affordable today. It is not a product that is uniform for every policyholder. Protection varies based on exclusions and limitations, so the organization and board members should discuss options with an agent before making any decisions.

Here at Elliot Whittier Insurance, we offer Directors & Officers Insurance for Social Service Organizations, Human Service Organizations and more.  Please visity our Social Services Insurance page here to check a partial list of some of the types of organizations that we can help.  

You may also want to check out our article on Directors & Officers Insurance for Businesses in Massachusetts. as well as our Social & Human Services Insurance page.  

Tell me more about Directors & Officers  Insurance for non-profits


With offices in Danvers & Winthrop Massachusetts, Elliot Whittier Insurance has been awarded the Five Star Award of Distinction  from the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents.  Elliot Whittier Insurance is also a Trusted Choice® Agency and represents multiple insurance companies, so it offers you a variety of personal and business coverage choices and can customize an insurance plan to meet your specialized needs.  You can visit Elliot Whittier Insurance online at www.elliotwhittier.com or email info@elliotwhittier.com or call 800-696-3947

What to do Next?

Have us review your insurance policies and check that your limits are sufficient. Ask what the cost is to bump it up under higher limit scenarios.

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