Insurance for Co-operatives

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Co-operatives have unique needs when it comes to insurance.



We recommend that co-operatives evaluate their insurance needs on a fairly regular basis in order to address their risk exposures. The following will give you a sense of what you should know about your co-operative in terms of risk exposure as well as what information your insurance advisor will need when choosing the best coverage for your organization. Here are some things to consider when assessing the insurance needs for your co-operative.


The Co-operative Itself

incorporating cooperativesBe sure to have an understanding of the foundational qualities of your organization. Consider the following questions:


  •  Is your co-operative incorporated or going to incorporate soon?
  • Is your organization a worker co-operative, producer co-operative, consumer co-operative, or multi-stakeholder co-operative? How would you categorize your organization?
  • How long has your co-operative been in business?
  • Do you have a constitution and bylaws? Do you have regular board meetings and keep minutes? Do you have a board of directors? Do you keep financial statements?
  • Is your co-operative “Non-Profit” or “For-Profit”?


These details help paint a picture of the stability of the operations. Longer running organizations have a track record while newer organizations have less of a history.  These details help insurance companies determine a co-operative’s eligibility for a number of insurance products such as D&O Liability and Group Benefits.


The Co-operative’s Activities

insurance for cooperativesA rounded understanding of your co-operative’s activities and how it functions is essential. The following details help clarify the coverage your co-operative needs:


  • Do you serve people from a vulnerable sector such as children or seniors? Do you require a police background check for the people who interact with these individuals?
  • Do you operate a daycare? A licensed establishment? Or do you produce any products for use or consumption?
  • Where does your annual revenue come from? Does your co-operative receive gifts or grants?
  • Does your co-operative host events? Is liquor served at these events?
  • Do you provide any medical or counselling services to your members or to the public?


There are a number of specialized insurance coverages available. A thorough understanding of your co-operative’s activities helps your insurance company determine which of these coverages pertain to your organization’s operations. Each co-operative has their own unique exposures.


 The Co-operative’s People

employee benefits coopsIndividuals make up a co-operative and it is imperative that these people are protected. Here’s the information you need to know and what you should consider:


  • How many paid employees does your co-operative have? Full-time? Part-time? Seasonal? Contract?
  • Do you currently offer a group benefits plan to your employees?
  • Is it important to your co-operative to be able to provide financial compensation in the event of an injury or death?
  • Does your staff or volunteers have access to cash or the organization’s bank account?


Again, these specific details assist your insurance company in determining your co-operative’s suitability for various coverages.


The Co-operative’s Property

property insurance for coopsYour insurance advisor needs to determine what type of property coverage your organization requires. Every organization has unique needs with regards to property coverage. From the building owner, to the leasee, there are different options available and should be discussed with your insurance expert. Consider the following:


  • Do you rent, own, or borrow space? Do you operate at more than one location?
  • Do you own or lease office contents such as computers, phones, furniture, and other equipment?
  • Does your co-operative own vehicles? Do your employees or volunteers use their own vehicles for your co-operative’s business?


This appears to be a lot of information, and it is. But all these details are important when determining the necessary insurance coverage for your organization. These details should be reviewed annually to ensure that your co-operative is not left exposed.


Co-op Guard™

The Co-operators offers a package tailored to co-operatives called Co-op Guard™. Our specially trained Financial Advisors use a unique needs analysis tool that helps us customize an insurance package for your co-operative. Call us today for more information.


We are here to help. Contact us anytime to answer questions or for a free quote.

insurance for cooperatives

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