Think long and hard about serving on the board of a non-profit organization

No matter how worthy the cause or how dear it may be to your heart, ask first about your potential liability as a Director. Do the by-laws provide for indemnification of Directors found liable for their acts or omissions? Is insurance in place to fund this? If not, you could be required to pay damages out of your personal assets.

Not-for-profit doesn’t mean not-to-be-sued! You can be at risk for errors, whether actual or alleged, for misleading statements or mis-statements and for omissions, breach of duty or negligence. Suits have also alleged mismanagement of funds, conflict of interest, self dealing and actions beyond granted authority. Claims frequently involve employment practices—wrongful termination and discrimination. Lawsuits can also range from such matters as unpaid salaries to failure to enforce by-laws of the organization. Claimants can be equally varied—from government, regulatory bodies and the like, to creditors, members of the public, employees and even fellow Directors. It is unwise to rely solely on the by-laws indemnification clause for your personal protection. There is no standard clause to guarantee full indemnification in all circumstances. In any case, the organization’s cash flow may be inadequate to fund this obligation. This is where D& O Insurance comes into play.

Non-Profit Directors & Officers Liability Insurance typically covers the organization’s duty to indemnify and may cover the organization itself too. As well, it should cover not only the directors and officers but also volunteers, staff and employees. It will not typically pay for deliberate criminal or dishonest acts nor libel and slander, bodily injury or property damage. Except for criminal acts, these risks can be covered by other forms of policies. If these matters have been addressed, your decision whether or not to accept an invitation or election to the Board is simplified. If not, you should think hard if you are prepared to expose yourself as a volunteer to lawsuits alleging that you have acted wrongfully.

For more information, please contact us toll-free, 1-800-661-1518. To see and hear Dan Lawrie, President & CEO’s video, please visit: E.&O.E.

About Dan Lawrie Insurance Brokers

Today, with a staff of over 85 dedicated professionals providing and servicing a complete range of personal, corporate and related financial services insurance products, Dan Lawrie Insurance Brokers has become one of the most respected and fastest growing organizations in Southern Ontario and now ranks in the top 5% of insurance brokerages in Canada.

As a “full-service”, 100 per cent Canadian owned and operated insurance and financial services brokerage, Dan Lawrie Insurance is fiercely independent with no financial obligations to any outside interests.

Over 10,000 individuals, families and companies depend on our services and expertise. In addition to personal insurance clients, our clientele includes all types of retail, wholesale and manufacturing firms, as well as contractors, associations, professional and service organizations. They range in size from small family operated businesses to large international firms.

Through our integrated Financial Services department we provide, in addition to our extensive property/casualty services, a complete range of life, health, mutual funds, RRSPs, financial and estate planning services. Our corporate financial services include employee benefits, pension plans and executive financial planning. We are also a leading provider of Credit Insurance services.

We’re proud to be involved in the communities where we do business. Through our active participation in various organizations, such as Rotary, City Kidz, Big Brothers, The United Way, Crime Stoppers, Chamber of Commerce, WICC, MS Society, Mohawk College, etc., we work hard at giving something back to those communities, in which we live and work.

Our ability to provide innovative insurance solutions for our clients is a direct result of the commitment and accountability of all our people. Working with over 60 major Canadian and international insurance companies on behalf of our clients, we are committed to providing: