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Non-profit Liability Insurance

Updated: Jun 3

Insurance is the only product that the buyer and seller hope it is never used.

In a call for information, COSCA learned that most national and international clan and family societies don’t have any insurance; a few local societies have general liability and directors & officers insurance, and most all games associations have event insurance.

General Liability Insurance (GLI), also known as business liability insurance or commercial general liability (CGL) insurance, covers claims related to bodily injury, property damage, and other liabilities arising from normal business operations. This covers personal injury at your business location (if you have one); someone else’s property your business may damage, legal costs if you are sued for libel or slander; and covers claims of copyright infringement.

Directors and Officers (D&O) Liability Insurance protects corporate directors, officers, and their spouses from personal lawsuits related to their management of the company. This relates to “wrongful acts” such as breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation, fraud, misuse of funds, and more.

Event insurance can include Cancellation Coverage that reimburses you non-refundable deposits and fees if you have to cancel or postpone an event due to reasons beyond your control; and Liability Coverage that protects against liability for injury or property damage during an event.

For Scottish heritage societies, the insurance coverage depends on the type of organization and their activities. A few clan and family societies and local Scottish associations carry general liability or D&O insurance, if they have no public events.

However, just about all societies that produce public games and festivals carry event insurance and require their participants to do the same. Many organizations that produce public events are also member of the Association of Scottish Games & Festivals (ASGF). ASGF offers its members group insurance rates for all members. (Learn more at  in fact, Jayne Ann M. Recker, Executive Director of the Celtic Cultural Alliance and Vice President of ASGF reports that the Alliance membership saved the organization about $7,000. Several organizations carry event insurance and require certificates of insurance from their vendors. These include Celtic Cultural Alliance, Scottish Heritage Association of Northeast Ohio (SHANO), San Antonio Highland Games Association, Dunedin Scottish Arts Foundation, Celtic Heritage Alliance, and the Seaside Highland Games does not have D&O insurance and has event insurance only for their Games, with $3 million coverage. The athletes must provide their own insurance and name the Games as the insured. (Nellie Graham Lowry, Treasurer; John Lowry, Seaside Chief)

Recently, the Clan Forbes Society requested quotes for general liability insurance and D&O through the two largest alliances serving small non-profit organizations: Nonprofits Insurance Alliance and Affinity Nonprofits. Each forwarded the request to one of their affiliate insurance companies. Both sent detailed applications designed to determine the extent of the Society’s operations and the type of insurance that would be needed. One was 5 pages long and the other was 31 pages. The Society does not produce any events (group travel is arranged by a third- party) and the Board is comprised of four officers. The company with the 5-page application provided a quote of an annual premium of $497 for D&O liability insurance (that included fiduciary liability coverage) for an aggregate of $1 million. The company with the 13-page application provided a quote of an annual premium of $1,300 for D&O liability insurance and required General Liability coverage, with limits of $1,000,000 per occurrence and a $2,000,000 aggregate.


 If you are Delegate or Alternate of a COSCA Organizational Member, you can access the complete article here:

This includes specific information from several Scottish heritage societies, the actual quotes and coverages provided to the Clan Forbes Society, and samples of the application surveys.


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1 Comment

Thank you for the information. It is quite timely in that some highland games are requesting complete release from liability from the participating clans. My concern is that as a volunteer clan tent host/convenor of record at a highland games, we may be considered personally responsible for injury of a visitor to the tent. The stakes are much higher for the host if the clan tent has adult beverages available.

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