Through our insurance provider, Nonprofits Insurance Alliance, Open Collective Foundation can offer our Collectives access to liability insurance and other types of coverage.
Per our Terms of Fiscal Sponsorship, only Collectives that sign up for insurance coverage are covered under OCF's policies.
Please note: this page does not include information about health insurance, only general liability and related coverage.
- Because it's set up as an addendum to our main policies, Collectives can get covered in a simple and cost-effective way.
- As unincorporated groups, Collectives are usually unable to get insurance policies on their own.
- Getting liability insurance helps ensure that the individuals leading Collectives won't be held personally liable if something goes wrong.
- Sometimes funders, grants, landlords, venues, sponsors, etc, require insurance in the contracts they seek to sign with Collectives.
- General Liability
- Directors and Officers Liability (including EPLI)
- Social Service Professional Liability
- Employee Benefits Liability
- Umbrella Liability
- Accident Liability
If you need another type of insurance, please contact us about availability.
We cannot insure employees' or volunteers' personal vehicles. In cases where employees and volunteers use personal vehicles for Collective purposes, they are required to have car insurance.
Usually getting insurance for your Collective is optional.
There are certain enhanced risk factors where OCF may require extra insurance, such as if the Collective:
- Has employees (not independent contractors).
- Wants to sign a lease for a physical premises.
- Specifically works with vulnerable people like children, disabled individuals, or the elderly.
- Offers formal counseling, education, tutoring, and other professional services.
- Wants to hold special (offline) events involving large numbers of people (e.g. a conference or fun run) or handle dangerous materials (e.g. hazardous waste cleanup, industrial tools).
- Driving vehicles to carry out Collective activities (beyond casual transport, such as moving trucks).
The base General Liability cost is $250 per year, renewing August 18 of each year. Something to be aware of is that this cost is not prorated, so the cost will still be $250 mid-cycle. If the insurance underwriters determine that your Collective is riskier than usual, or if the scale of the Collective's work is quite large, the cost may be higher, so we cannot guarantee that the base cost will stay at $250 per year, although we have typically not seen this cost go above $600. (Collectives are also included in our Accident and Commercial Umbrella insurance coverages at no additional cost.)
All Collectives are also added to our Non-Owned Auto coverage. This is typically another $25 per year (we've seen it be as high as $50 per year for larger Collectives), and this is sometimes prorated when added mid-year.
If your Collective has employees, it will be added to our Directors & Officers policy. Directors and officers coverage is the type of coverage that is most expensive for collectives, as they add new employees. While the initial cost when you join mid-year is typically $250 for the whole Collective, when our plan renews in August it tends to be more expensive. In 2022, the cost of Directors & Officers insurance was about $325 per employee, but we cannot guarantee that this cost will hold for 2023. We do not know the exact renewal cost until we go through the renewal process in August of each year, so please leave space in your budget.
Special events and circumstances like hiking trips, fundraising events ($50-$200 each depending on risk), and additional Collective premises (see Processes for insured Collectives below) may have their own associated costs. And Collectives may also have additional costs for other coverages, such as those listed above.
The last thing we should mention is that, nationally and across sectors, insurance costs are increasing at a high rate. We have found a good, nonprofit insurance company with steady premiums, but they are not immune to inflation and have to engage also with the industry as a whole through something called re-insurance. Thus, we cannot guarantee that these costs will stay the same year-to-year.
Note: as of early 2023, we expect to see costs to go upat our next renewal in August based on industry-wide price hikes and inflation.
If these costs are acceptable - or if your activities fall within one of the categories where insurance is required - go ahead and fill out the form and we'll get your coverage in place as soon as possible.
For special situations outside the norm, or if you have any questions, contact us and we can talk things through.
If you are interested in getting insurance for your Collective, please fill out this form. We will then send you an addendum to our Terms for e-signature (this is the signal that we received your submission) and, once that is signed, we will send your information to the insurance company.
It can take several weeks (or even more, in some cases) to be added to our coverage, but the effective date should be the day a Collective admin signs the addendum.
We will only reach out via email if we have questions about your submission, but feel free to follow up with us if you have questions or want a status update.
Collective events (including fundraisers) are covered under our policy unless they involve, directly or indirectly, any of the following:
- Any "fundraiser" ("any event sponsored or co-sponsored by the Collective with the primary purpose of raising monetary contributions") or “event” ("any activity sponsored or co-sponsored by the Collective apart from your regular scope of operations") with more than 500 people present at any one time
- Animals (including, but not limited to, animals involved in rodeos, petting zoos, animal exhibitions)
- Athletic activities or contests, not including golf or bowling
- Carnivals, circuses, fairs, festivals, parades
- Powered Rides or Amusement attractions (including, but not limited to, climbing walls, slides, mechanical bulls, bungee jumps)
- Firearms or weapons
- Water events (including, but not limited to, activities involving swimming pools, lakes, rivers or other bodies of water)
- Trampolines, bounce houses, rebounding equipment, inflatable amusement or sports devices, moon walks, or inflatable wrestling or combatant suits.
Common examples of the above include:
- Outdoorsy activities (all hikes, camping, climbing, etc., count as Athletic Events)
- 5K runs, bike rides, "dance/walk for" events, and other physical fundraisers
- Parades or marches organized or co-organized by a Collective
If an event you are involved in organizing meets any of these criteria, you must fill out this form and send it to us so that we can send it along to our insurers:
OCF Insured Special Event Form.pdf
For Athletic Events, including outdoor activities, you also must collect waivers from all attendees.
If you add a new permanent location, or start using a space on a regular basis for your operations, whether paid or for free, please contact us and send over any related contracts or agreements.
If there is no contract with the leaseholder and/or landlord, and you are using the space free of charge, we will initiate a simple template agreement between parties so that our insurers have evidence of permission for you to use the space and we can ensure it is included in our General Liability insurance.
Here is the template agreement:
Use of leased premises agreement.pdf
If a contract requires that another party be added as an additional insured, simply send it to us along with the name and address of the additional insured and we can request the required documentation from our brokers.
On an annual basis, we will send out a required survey to insured Collectives collecting information we need to complete our insurance renewal. This information includes:
- Updated volunteer numbers (and employee numbers, if they are changing in the near future)
- Premises updates, if any (although we prefer to learn of this in real time)
- Confirming that all volunteers and employees driving on behalf of the Collective have car insurance, where relevant
- Other changes in activities
We will also ensure that your collective has a high enough budget for anticipated insurance renewal costs.
OCF began offering insurance to Collectives in 2021, so the above processes will change over time! Thank you for your understanding, and please let us know if you have any questions.
Collectives will remain on our coverage until they leave OCF or request to be removed. Active Collectives will be automatically included in our insurance renewal in August of each year, and will be charged accordingly.
If your Collective leaves OCF, we will remove you from our policy.
If you no longer need liability coverage, please reach out and we will discuss the process of removing you, provided we agree that it is no longer required for your Collective.