Boy Scouts: Who Should Insure Troop Property?

Consider scouting equipment as you make insurance decisions

Camping equipment, merit badges, banners, and more often pile up at churches that host Boy Scout troops. However, it's often unclear who owns and should insure troop property.

The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America says the chartering organization has legal title to the property, even if it was purchased with money the troop raised or received as a donation.

Although the national Boy Scout Council covers liability risks through self-insurance and excess liability policies, it does not carry any property insurance on the equipment of individual scout troops. A church's insurance decision depends on whether the troop is chartered by the church or not.

Ask Non-Chartered Troops to Buy Insurance

Some churches simply provide building space for troop meetings but are not the group's sponsor. In that event, the troop needs to purchase its own property insurance. The church's policy is then considered excess coverage, not primary coverage.

Add Chartered Troops to Church Policy

If your church charters a Boy Scout troop, then it is legally responsible for the troop's property in the event of fire, theft, or loss.

You have several options for insuring scout troop property:

  • Add the equipment to the church's total contents coverage.
  • Purchase inland marine coverage for the equipment.
  • List any storage buildings used exclusively for scout property as “other structures” on your church policy.
  • Include any trailers used by the scout troop on your church's commercial auto policy.

Your scout troop's property protection needs may differ from those mentioned above. Whatever your circumstances, your Brotherhood Mutual representative can help you identify specific Boy Scout situations and their potential impact on your church.