Volunteering and Liability Insurance

Sep 4, 2014 2 minute read

Volunteering and Liability Insurance

According to Statistics Canada, over 47% of Canadians volunteer each year. That’s over 13 million people generously committing to donate over 2 billion hours of volunteer activities annually. Given these statistics, it’s important for volunteers to understand the insurance risks and for voluntary or non-profit organizations to have insurance in place that protects these dedicated workers.

In terms of work, while volunteers contribute their time, energy and skills for free, they are still entitled to receiving the same protection as paid employees. However, since volunteers may not be as familiar with the work environment or as heavily trained as an employee that has been on payroll for years, they may be exposed to greater risk and can have a higher chance of being injured at work.

As a volunteer, your personal property policy may help protect you from certain risks associated with volunteering. For example, if your personal property is damaged while volunteering, it may be covered under your property policy, subject to your deductible. If you accidentally injure someone while volunteering and the injured person decides to take legal action and seek compensation, both your personal insurance company and the organization’s insurance company should be advised and will get involved.

As an organization, you may be held liable for the actions of your volunteers. Examples of risks to seek coverage for do not just include bodily injury or property damage. Other lesser known coverages include: personal injury incorporating slander; non-owned automobile insurance, in which volunteers use their own cars for an organization’s business; and tenant’s legal liability, where a volunteer causes damage to the organization’s rental property. Having commercial general liability insurance that covers volunteers is pivotal for non-profit organizations to manage risks and protect valued volunteers.

Implementing a structured risk management approach, which includes comprehensive insurance coverage, is vital in ensuring that an organization can continue to meet its objectives when faced with an insurance issue. In creating a risk management approach you will go through the exercise of determining what situations you may be exposed to and will require coverage for. As each non-profit organization will have very different risks depending on the types of services they perform, the kind and level of coverage each organization requires will also vary.

If you are a volunteer and want to learn more about how you are protected through your own personal policy, contact a BrokerLink broker today. If you are a voluntary organization looking at updating your liability insurance, we can help you find the right type of coverage at the best possible rate. Speak with a BrokerLink broker to discover all the ways we can help ensure the safety of your hardworking volunteers so that you can keep on serving the community together with peace of mind.