Whether you and your co-workers just banded together to form a local, or you preside over a prestigious regional trade union, you need options to get your labor union insurance under control. On the one hand, you must protect your members and ensure the financial health of your organization; on the other hand, your budget is lean, and you really don't want to get more insurance than absolutely you need to get. Shopping for insurance for labor unions can be a thorny issue – particularly if you and others on the governing board disagree about what direction to take. This article aims to simplify the process for you, and it also suggests a time tested resource for you and your members.
Components of Your Labor Union Insurance Package
A general liability component is essential. You and your members have worked too hard and put too much money and time into building your union – you don't want a liability case to chew up your resources and leach thousands of dollars from your budget. If your union owns a meeting hall or rents a facility, you will also need property insurance as well as premises liability insurance. These will cover you if, for instance, one of your members slips and falls while walking up the stairs and breaks her leg. Property insurance covers the equipment that your union uses – such as computers, organizational materials/assets, furniture, and art in your office.
Does your union own any vehicles (e.g. trucks, vans, etc) or tools of the trade? If so, you may need special labor union insurance to cover these exposures. You may also need workers compensation and fiduciary liability insurance. Fiduciary liability, in particular, is required by any union trustee who receives funds from Taft-Hartley. Without this protection, your personal assets could theoretically be seized in a lawsuit against your union.
You might also explore group insurance for the members – such as accidental death and dismemberment, term life, health, and disability. Not every union will want all these coverages, but if you do have a comprehensive set of labor union insurance coverages, you'll likely attract more members and cement the loyalty of the members that you do have.
Simplifying Insurance for Labor Unions
The coverages just discussed actually constitute only a small slice of the potential universe of insurance that you can acquire. A credentialed agent who specializes in labor union insurance can guide you more clearly towards an ideal scenario. In addition (or alternatively), you might opt for a pre-packaged, pre-bundled set of labor union insurance coverages that will include what we just discussed (general liability, group insurance, premises liability, workers compensation, etc). One advantage of going the pre-packaged route is that you can have all (or at least most) of your coverage under the roof of a single plan. In some ways, a pre-packaged plan is analogous to a business owners' policy – which entrepreneurs often purchase to simplify their needs.
Before you purchase any plan, be sure to understand the terms and conditions of the coverage, and make sure that your policies keep you in compliance with both the law and the principles that your union stands for.
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