Does our Church insurance cover third parties who hire the premises?
Quite often, groups or individuals may wish to hire your church premises and in these cases we are frequently asked whether your Church Insurance will cover their activities. In short, not really – anyone hiring your premises should have their own Public Liability cover. Here’s why…
Otherwise subject to the usual terms and conditions of your policy, the Public Liability cover under a standard church insurance policy will provide an indemnity to the Insured in respect of legal liability for accidental death or bodily injury to third parties while using the church premises, and/or legal liability for accidental loss or damage to their property. As an example, this means that if anyone were to injure themselves on the church premises, due to negligence on the Church’s part, the church would be covered against an injury claim.
However, this standard cover does NOT extend to indemnify any of these other groups or individuals who should have their own Public Liability insurance to protect their own distinct interests, separate from the Church. For instance, should a playgroup or tumble tots organisation hire the space and a toddler hurts themselves playing on a rocking horse that the group has provided, the church could not be held liable and the Church Insurance would not cover a claim. The organiser of the playgroup should have their own Public Liability Insurance.
Therefore, you should clearly point out this situation to anyone who wishes to hire the premises, and you may even wish to consider putting this in writing in any hire agreement.
“We cannot accept responsibility for any activities for those hiring rooms. Hirers are therefore asked to ensure that their own Public Liability Insurance is arranged to cover any claim made against them in respect of any activity that they are responsible for, any equipment they bring onto the premises or any damage caused to the premises.”
You may also want to take a look at our advice on safeguarding. It might be an idea to check that, where appropriate, hirers have their own suitable child/ vulnerable adult protection policies in place. Members of the public attending third party events held at your premises might reasonably assume that you would only allow reputable groups or organisations to use your premises. Click here to see our Safeguarding blog.
Of course, this is only a suggestion but it will give you food for thought.
Please do not hesitate to contact us on 01564 730 900 if you have any queries on this subject.