Chelmsford-based commercial insurance broker, Ascend Broking, has launched a specialist charity division, to deliver expert insurance advice to UK charities experiencing ever-changing insurance requirements during the pandemic.
Ascend Broking, with offices on the Chelmsford Business Park, has recruited account executive Stuart Belbin (pictured) to its award-winning team, to head up the new charity division and continue Ascend’s practice of employing sector specialists within key segments of the UK economy.
Stuart has in-depth charity sector experience from previous roles and joins Ascend Broking at a crucial point for many charities. Overall, predictions thus far from the charity sector are for a 24% drop in income for the year, constituting an overall sector loss of £12.4 billion. 84% of charities saw a reduction, or a significant reduction, in income during lockdown. One-in-ten currently believe they may have to stop operating altogether, within six months.[i]
Given this situation, it is vital that charities analyse their costs and see where savings could be made. Stuart will be helping charities reassess their insurance needs, according to whether or not they are still operating from certain premises, whether they need to have cover to the same level for other aspects of the business, and whether they may need to consider some new covers. With coronavirus imposing physical, mental and financial pressures on workers and volunteers, new situations could jeopardise a charity’s future operations.
The changing volunteer base, due to volunteers being unable to work for a charity via which they are receiving Government furlough scheme assistance, is leading to workforce flux within charities, with some now having new – and potentially untrained – volunteers assisting their operations. This can create new risks for the charities concerned, which Stuart can discuss with charity-sector clients.
His consultancy will also enable charities to focus on other areas, such as where they could make savings, or how they could change methodologies for fundraising. This will give charities more than just insurance advice to mull over.
Stuart says: “Charities are facing their toughest challenge to date and many are simply focused on survival. Whilst it may seem tempting to cancel some insurance policies, such cover could be the lifeline a charity requires to ensure its long-term future should a claim arise, so everything needs to be discussed and rationalised.
“I shall also be working with charity trustees, who face their own risks and who could be held liable for any failure in the charity’s performance. Insurance exists to cover any legal cases brought against an individual trustee, on the basis of the advice they provided and the direction they have taken during the pandemic. This could be important protection for many trustees to have in their locker.”
Any charity or trustee needing to consult with Stuart, to discuss their insurance covers and determine whether these need to change, can contact him on 01245 449 060. More information about Ascend Broking’s expertise can be found at www.ascendbroking.co.uk