I’ve had a couple of conversations with NWG coordinators about insurance. So I thought I’d explain things here…
Any group – Neighbourhood Watch, social groups etc – should really have Public Liability insurance in place as a minimum – just in case. If you’re renting a room for a meeting and someone trips over and injures themselves, then insurance is rather important. If you’re hosting a street party and someone is hurt; or putting up a banner in your street and there is an injury, then you want to be insured. It’s a pretty basic requirement. Most community venues ask you to confirm your group is insured before renting their premises anyway.
Your group might want to sort this yourselves – there are specialist insurers that can help, but that means paying the fees yourselves too.
But, assuming you are carrying out appropriate Neighbourhood Watch related activities, then there is a national insurance scheme in place through OurWatch (the national Neighbourhood Watch Network) which you can be covered by.
So you (as coordinator), and any committee you might have, should make sure you are properly aware about this insurance. What does it cover? What does it not cover?
About the national insurance
But most important, read through their guidance document here. It explains all the important answers to questions like what can be covered and what can not.
The most important issue is, is your group covered by this national insurance policy? To be covered you MUST be a RECOGNISED Neighbourhood Watch Group. That means that you can’t just call yourself a Neighbourhood Watch Group (NWG) – you need to be officially recognised.
One way to do that is to register your group on the OurWatch website as a formal group. Some North East Lincolnshire groups are registered like this – if you’re not, please check and make sure you are. (I can help with this).
The other way is to ensure that we know about your group on the local Neighbourhood Watch Network database – managed by VANEL through me, Karl Elliott. I need to know that you are an operational group; who is the coordinator; have up to date contact details; and know a few things about what your group is up to. Some of my database is old, so I encourage all coordinators to contact me and make sure I’m always up to date.
It may be that your NWG is known to the Police, but it would be helpful if you could ensure I know about your group too.
The important wording is that “it will be for the scheme or Association to evidence how they are recognised as a NW scheme or Association”, so it is up to you to ensure you are recognised and therefore covered by the insurance.
It’s important to check that what you are doing is normal and expected for a NW group. If you’re doing an activity for a third-party then you need to double check you are covered, but meetings and activities in the name of Neighbourhood Watch should be fine. Please check BEFORE you assume you are covered.
The insurance cover does include some extension for personal accident cover. But again, please check the terms. A relevant point may be that it only covers coordinators and members up to the age of 80. So that might be relevant for a couple of our older and more active coordinators who might unfortunately not actually be covered!
If you weren’t aware of the insurance available then please read up and familiarise yourself and your group with all the details.
Please then make sure that your group is ‘official’ and ‘recognised’ to ensure that you are covered. The very simplest way is to make sure that I (Karl) am aware of your group and all your latest details. Please get in touch.
I hope that has been helpful.
Please get in touch with any questions. (If they are detailed insurance questions then I’ll passing you onto the recommended contact information at the insurance company!)
Contact Karl via firstname.lastname@example.org or 01472 515 525