What can happen to volunteers I mean can things go awry real quick? Here are some really unfortunate yet true cases of situations that just went to the dogs.
- Once a volunteer ran a stop sign while on agency business and he ended up hitting another vehicle that paralyzed the driver from the neck down. The volunteer had personal coverage but it had lapsed so the agency’s van coverage came into question with the claim settling at 2 million!
- While clearing a field, volunteers were using chainsaws and one of them lost sight in one eye after something flew in. Settlement reached $1 million.
- In another case, a volunteer was found to be sexually exploiting children for nearly four years even though the NPO had sufficient supervision. The NPO was held liable and had to settle claims of over $4 million.
- Discriminated on the basis of his sexual orientation, a volunteer sued and won over three quarter million, most of which went into attorney fees.
This begs the question, how can you protect your volunteers and your organization? The simple answer to this question is to always ensure you have sufficient insurance to cover for any sort of exposure. This includes sexual misconduct, professional misconduct, auto or premises liability and the sorts. By the way, the policies should include all volunteers too as additional. Not only do you end up protecting all your volunteers but also become equally attractive to potential volunteers since they feel safer doing their volunteering work.
Other than maintaining adequate cover, you should also ensure your volunteers engage in safe activities so as to reduce risks of loss or the like.
The above situations may or may not be true. In fact, some of them are and they can happen to you as a volunteer or to your organization just as easily. The only real way you stay safe and keep your employees and volunteers safe is to maintain proper claim cover.