Are You A Volunteer?
Many of us get involved with community organizations and volunteer our time and energy for the good that is done.This can be an extremely positive experience.
But have you considered your exposure to personal liability when you volunteer? Volunteers involved with fundraising, whether for organized charities, minor league sports teams, or special causes such as helping a family with emergency expenses, are especially vulnerable.
What if during the course of the fundraising event you inadvertently cause bodily injury to a third party, and you are named in a lawsuit? Bodily Injury claims are potentially serious and can involve significant amounts of money. Where would you look for legal assistance? Before volunteering, we recommend you confirm the organization has a general liability policy. Typically, this policy covers Board Members and employees, but not necessarily volunteers. If this is the case, ask if coverage can be extended to volunteers.
What If the Organization Doesn’t Have General Liability Coverage?
Where do you look for protection if the organization does not have a liability policy or does not include coverage for volunteers? If you have a Homeowners, Condo or Tenants package, you automatically receive liability protection for most property damage and bodily injury claims arising out of your personal actions anywhere in the world. However, if you operate or use any motorized vehicle, trailer or watercraft in your charitable activities that does not belong to you, make sure the owners have insurance and have provided you with consent.
What About Personal Injury Claims Against Me?
Personal injury claims are a different matter. Personal injury claims deal with libel, slander, defamation of character or invasion of privacy rights. If you inadvertently cause personal injury to an individual while volunteering, your Homeowners, Condo or Tenants liability policy will not likely cover you. Instead, a Personal Umbrella Liability Policy may be your best option. Personal Umbrella policies cover this specific exposure and provide higher liability limits over your Automobile Personal Liability, Watercraft and ATV/Snowmobile policies.
A Personal Umbrella can also protect you from damages caused by an act or omission by you as an officer or member of a Board of Directors or any Non Profit corporation or organization. Remember, all policies are different. If you need more information, advice, or would like us to review your policy to make sure the coverage fits your situation, simply call us. We’re on your side.
(Copyright: Staying in Touch 2009 – Volume Nineteen, Number Two)