X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
America is a nation of volunteers. We volunteer for political campaigns, social and charitable functions, and work-related events. Most of this volunteering is done without any thought as to liability consequences; for example, who is liable for certain acts or omissions that cause injury or damage to the volunteer or others. If we use a volunteer, John Q. Public, as an example, then perhaps the potential consequences of volunteering will be made clearer.

In the first scenario, Public has volunteered to build houses for a local humanitarian society. While constructing the house, Public accidentally shoots a fellow volunteer with a nail gun, backs his car over the foot of a curious passerby, and puts five staples from a power stapler into his own hand. After leaving the hospital, Public goes home to ponder his situation.

Presuming that the local humanitarian organization has no liability insurance, Public must look to his own insurance coverages. Public’s homeowners’ policy offers him liability coverage for damages because of bodily injury caused by an occurrence. There is an exclusion on his policy for injury arising out of or in connection with a business engaged in by an insured. Now, “business” is defined in the standard homeowners’ policy as a trade, profession, or occupation engaged in on a full-time, part-time, or occasional basis. Whether this description fits Public is debatable, because he actually makes his living as a teacher. Moreover, the policy goes on to state that a business does not include volunteer activities for which no money is received, other than payment for expenses incurred to perform the activity. So, if the fellow volunteer sues Public for the injury, then Public’s homeowners’ policy will provide liability coverage.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free
PropertyCasualty360 Digital Reader.

INCLUDED IN A DIGITAL MEMBERSHIP:

  • All PropertyCasualty360.com news coverage, best practices, and in-depth analysis.
  • Educational webcasts, resources from industry leaders, and informative newsletters.
  • Other award-winning websites including BenefitsPRO.com and ThinkAdvisor.com.

Already have an account?

Dig Deeper

 

PropertyCasualty360

Join PropertyCasualty360

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed decisions for your P&C insurance business. Join PropertyCasualty360.com now!

  • Unlimited access to PropertyCasualty360.com - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including BenefitsPRO.com, ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
  • Exclusive discounts on PropertyCasualty360, National Underwriter, Claims and ALM events

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join PropertyCasualty360

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.