Why You Need This Insurance
Although the chapter may not have a physical permanent location, it does have premises exposure. Any place where a meeting is held, such as at a trade show or a training class at a hotel, creates a premises liability. If a person slips and falls at a chapter event — let's say food was served at a banquet hall and a person slipped on the floor because it was wet from a spill — the chapter could be sued for bodily injury at that premises.
Any active chapter has operations. What if at a meeting they disparage, either orally or in writing, an individual member or company? This could be considered a personal injury and may result in being named in a lawsuit. There is also advertising injury liability coverage, which protects the chapter if it has any active publications such as a newsletter or web site.
The insurance also covers liability associated with lobbying, enforcing standards, and licensing issues, which involve many state associations.
Perhaps most important is the ability to provide evidence of liability insurance to third parties. For example, the Electronic Security Association's national tradeshow, ESX, requires a certificate of liability insurance from each exhibitor – and several state chapters have exhibits at the show. This is a common requirement for conventions and trade shows. If a chapter enters into a contract where proof of liability insurance is required, or if that contract stipulates that a someone be named as an additional insured, the general liability policy meets that requirement.