Building and contents insurance

Find out about insurance for guiding buildings

Buildings and venues used for guiding need to have the right insurance cover.

It's the responsibility of your charity trustees, or the management committee, to make sure the right cover for building, equipment and other property and assets is in place.

Property insurance protects your property against most risks, such as fire, theft, water damage and some weather damage. You can also get special additions that protects against risks such as floods, earthquake and boiler insurance.

Building insurance

This insurance covers damage to the structure of your property, things like the roof, walls and floors. It usually includes cover for damage to the fixtures and fittings too.

You need to take out a policy that’d cover the whole cost of rebuilding the property if it was damaged or destroyed - not just the market value. This should include everything from demolition costs, professional fees, such as planning consultants, architects and legal fees, the cost of materials, labour and VAT.

You may also need to find alternative premises. And you may be unable to hire out your building. You may want to consider business interruption insurance to cover this.

Don't try to save money on insurance premiums by underestimating the cover you require. There have been instances in the past where a guide property has not been able to be completely restored after damage because the building was underinsured.

Due to the difficult financial situation at the moment, costs for different elements including building materials and labour are increasing quickly so it's easy to be underinsured. 

You should review your building insurance each year when it's renewed to make sure you have the right level of cover and that you are insuring against all necessary risks.

Your insurance provider may provide an estimation service. Our insurance partner, Unity Insurance Services offer a rebuild cost assessment option. You don't need to have a policy with them to use this service.

Most policies do not offer subsidence cover as standard, but it will be an optional extra. Repairing damage from subsidence can be expensive, so think about taking out this extra, unless you’re sure that your building and foundations won’t be affected.

For some leasehold properties, the buildings insurance cover is maintained by the property owner. But the management committee still need to check the lease so everyone knows who’s responsible for arranging the insurance and make sure that the coverage is correct when it’s reviewed each year. This is unlikely to include cover for contents, so you’ll need to get separate contents insurance.

The insurance must be taken out in the name of the unit, district, division or county - or in the case of a joint scouting and guiding property, in both names. If your property is held by The Guide Association Trust Corporation, that must also be added to the policy as an interested party. Under some leases, you might also need to include the property owner on the policy in some way.

You need to keep your insurers informed of any changes at your property. So, if you start hiring it out to different groups, running different activities or put in new equipment, let them know as they might have some questions and may need to extend the cover.

Contents insurance

You don’t have to take out contents insurance – it’ll depend on what you keep in your building. But it’s important to note that contents are not covered under of any Girlguiding’s policies.

Review what you have in your building, including activity equipment, and estimate the value of it to decide whether to take out a policy. Make sure that you calculate the right values of your contents - it should be the replacement value not the second-hand value. You should hold an inventory which is regularly checked.

If you’re running a depot, you’ll need to get cover for stock and money as goods ordered are your responsibility from delivery until sale. If a depot is being run from someone’s home, they’ll need to tell their household insurer, otherwise they won’t be able to make a claim.

You can arrange cover for these additional areas through any reputable insurance company or through Unity Insurance Services, a Girlguiding insurance partners.

Contact our insurance team

For more information, please contact our insurance team, either by phoning 0845 260 1053 or by emailing [email protected].