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Legal Insurance for Charity Volunteeers

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Charities
7 replies 4K views
EquineEquine Forumite
3 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Charities
Doe anyone know of any home or other insurance policies that offer legal protection for charity volunteers? My home insurance policy only covers legal helpline and public liability should I lose a court case. The actual legal fees to defend the action are NOT covered as the policy wording only includes claims for work as an Employee?

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  • Robin9Robin9 Forumite
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    Approach the charity they are working for.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • Can't as its the charity that are potentially going to take action.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    have you checked that the home insurance doesn't cover your actions as a volunteer? I ask, because our charity's insurance in some places specifies that the term 'employer' also covers volunteers.

    I'd be surprised if you can take out any insurance to cover an existing situation. one of the expectations is that you declare anything which might give rise to a claim. It's one of the reasons why it's no use joining a union just because you've got a problem: they won't cover THAT problem.

    It must be pretty serious for a charity to consider taking legal action against a volunteer. Did you do what they say you did? Honestly, paid legal advice might be your best bet.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: TWO adult cardigans, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees, 2 sets of handwarmers, 1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 3 balaclavas, multiple hats and poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
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  • Yes, I have checked with the home insurance provider and appreciate that any new cover cannot cover existing situations.
    I am trying to find an insurer that does not have this "employee" restriction, so can advertise the differences in cover level to others doing voluntary work.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    I'm not at work so can't check, but I am fairly sure that our charity's insurance covers us against our volunteers doing anything they shouldn't, in just the same way as our employees are covered.

    the ONLY situation in which I can imagine we'd contemplate taking legal action against a volunteer would be if there was fraud involved. Can you imagine the fallout if charities made a habit of suing their volunteers?

    Are you a volunteer with this charity, worried about being sued, or one of the trustees? There are definitely ways of mitigating any risks to volunteers which would be far far better than individual volunteers attempting to self-insure.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: TWO adult cardigans, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees, 2 sets of handwarmers, 1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 3 balaclavas, multiple hats and poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
    Current projects: pink balaclava (for myself), seaman's hat, about to start another cardigan!
  • My opinion, to start with, would be to argue that the word Employee includes work as a volunteer. Did you sign any documents governing volunteer work at the charity?
  • VegastareVegastare Forumite
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    Just wondered if your partner/spouse is in a union as it might give legal protection to you.
    While I understand you are a volunteer they hate disputes. Plus I agree with others the insurance should clearly insure you as a volunteer. Did you have a team leader/volunteer manager who was actually employed by the charity, if so what is there part in this.


    As for a charity. In my opinion as a former charity worker they hate bad press. So they need to have a very good case against you.

    I think maybe a solicitor would give 30min advice for free or see CAB.
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