We’ve heard the term – no good deed goes unpunished. Unfortunately, under the law, if you volunteer, are a board member, or help organize a fundraiser; this could just be the case for you.
Most organizations that have boards don’t carry personal liability insurance for their members. If you are on a board, we recommend you ask the organization if they are carrying personal liability insurance for you.
What if you volunteer, can you be at risk?
Here’s an example:
A person you know becomes severely ill and is struggling financially while they recover. You decide to help host a benefit to help your friend. You organize a benefit with a few other people at a place that is “loaned” to the benefit in goodwill.
You and others work hard for a month organizing this event. Fifty people show up at the event. As you are mulling over your disappointment for lack of turnout, you see someone slip on a banana peel that is laid beside a garbage can. You watch in horror as this person slips and falls in such a way, that they hit their head on the corner of garbage, knocking them unconscious. You call 911. An ambulance shows up and escorts the person on a stretcher to the hospital.
A few weeks later, you learn that the injured attendee incurred a permanent brain injury, rendering them disabled. You feel awful that they hurt themselves like that. You contemplate organizing another benefit to help this person, but you don’t know them that well. You decide it’s best to have someone else organize another benefit for them.
6 months later, you’re elated that the friend you organized the benefit for, is back on their feet able to resume their life. As you return home from visiting your friend, you find a deputy at your front door, serving you with legal paperwork. You read the sum of one million dollars for pain and suffering from the person who fell at the benefit that raised $2000 for your friend. You notice an extensive list of people’s names who helped at the benefit and then you discover your name amongst the defendants. You immediately think this wasn’t my fault, this was an accident. I didn’t intentionally inflict this injury. I won’t be held responsible, will I?
Who is responsible for this injury?
The owner of the premises, gave you the premises for a purpose other than their business, so will their business insurance cover this claim? Perhaps, perhaps not. That business owner will most likely point the finger back at the benefit organizers because they donated the premises to use.
What insurance do you have? Does this event have something to do with your home you own that you can make a claim under your homeowner’s insurance? What about your auto insurance policy, can you claim a slip and fall by another person under that coverage? Where does this leave you?
What about the person who slipped and fell? Don’t they have insurance? Perhaps, but probably they’ve exhausted their limits and they are looking for extra money to help them out for this life-altering event.
Who dropped the banana? It wasn’t you. You don’t even like bananas. Isn’t the person who dropped the banana responsible?
Let Gannon Associates Insurance help keep you covered:
It doesn’t seem fair, but this is how the legal process works. Everybody points the liability finger at everyone else. You find yourself in the mess of hiring a lawyer and paying for a huge retainer to defend yourself. The fact is your personal cash assets that you have worked so hard to obtain could be at risk if you are found financially liable.
We don’t want you to stop helping others, but we want you to be covered for when you do. The good news is, there are economic ways to have this type of coverage.
Contact Gannon Associates Insurance and let us know what type of volunteer work you do. We’ll review your complete lifestyle habits and advise you on your potential risk factors. We’ll show you the avenues to help keep you covered.
By carrying the right type of insurance that fits your lifestyle; when any loss happens, as a Gannon customer, you call Gannon Associates Insurance, and then we call in the claims team. We are with you every step of the way through any sort of claims process.