[Linux-aus] Public Liability Insurance for Lug's.

John Ferlito johnf at inodes.org
Thu Aug 26 02:01:51 EST 2010

Hi Russell,

The short answer is that LA cannot provide PLI insurance to LUGs as it
has done in the past. The long answer including our proposed solution
is outlined below.

On Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 11:19:38AM +1000, Russell Stuart wrote:
> The University of Queensland, which is where we (Humbug) currently hold
> our meetings, generously provides the rooms for free.  However they do
> want to sight a Public Liability Insurance policy.  In previous years LA
> has provided one.  However, I understand LA may be not be doing this any
> more.
> Could the council clarify the provision of Public Liability Insurance
> for LUG's?

I'm glad you asked. I'm was going to include some information on this
in my next President's report but I'll move it up a bit.

As you may have noticed from the council meeting minutes, a few months
ago I performed an audit of the existing insurance policy held by
Linux Australia.

The outcome of this audit was that we did not have sufficient cover
for all of the activities we were undertaking. We engaged David Fisk
of OAMPS to investigate our options in terms of insurance.

We now have three new insurance policies, the old one having been
cancelled. These policies are

- Voluntary Workers Personal Accident Insurance
- Public and Products Liability Insurance
- Association Liability Insurance

The first covers us for volunteers, something that we have not had
previously. Some what useful seeing as we are a volunteer run

The second is the usual PLI and covers the types of events that LA is
involved with, most importantly running conferences, workshops and LUG

The third covers the members of the council and sub-committees in the
event that any sort of legal action is taken against Linux Australia.

We also have pre approval for Events Cancellation Insurance. We
haven't purchased any yet for LCA as we need a more finalised budget
than we have now and we need to evaluate what we actually get for it
and whether it is valuable to us or not.

So that is where Linux Australia currently stands in terms of

In the past Linux Australia has extended coverage to LUGs as well as
events like OSDC. The advice I received from our previous insurer as
well as our current insurer is that this type of arrangement is simply
not possible.

We can only provide coverage for events which are run by Linux
Australia and under our ABN. We cannot provide coverage to third party

This is one reason why events like PyCon have been organised as LA
sub-committees similar to LCA so that as well as bank accounts, filing
of BASs and other support provided by LA, they can also take advantage
of our insurance. There are a number of other Australian FOSS
conference, Wordcamp, Drupal Down Under etc who are interested in
similar arrangements.

What I would like to propose is that we set up a framework in which
LUGs can become sub-committees of Linux Australia. This will provide
the required PLI coverage as well as some other basic services.

Unfortunately the council has not had time to put a proposal together
as to how this would work. We will try to achieve that in the next few

At least one LUG chomping at the bit and indicating that they are
interested will definitely move this process along more quickly.


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