What are the risks and insurance implications of Coronavirus volunteers?
More than 750,000 people volunteered to support the vulnerable on the back of the ‘Your NHS Needs You’ campaign. In many cases, voluntary groups and community organisations are coordinating efforts and managing volunteers and, to support the cause, many new organisations have been formed. What are the risks and insurance implications for this?
Background checks and training
Safeguarding is vital for any charity, voluntary or community organisation, when dealing with children and vulnerable adults. When putting together safeguarding action plans, organisations should consider the following:
- Obtain application forms from potential volunteers which includes information such as contact details, skills and experience, and driver and car insurance details
- Check if a DBS certificate is required
- Offer safeguarding and manual handling training
Role specific considerations
Volunteers may be involved in a range of roles but many are transport related, e.g. to deliver medicines or shopping, or to transport service users.
Some key considerations are:
- Vetting appropriate driving licenses, vehicle and insurance
- Social distancing and hygiene processes during patient transport and item drop-offs
- Vetting of volunteers and service users for symptoms of COVID-19
- Providing ‘proof of volunteering’ to volunteers and contact details for supervisors
- Agreeing expenses processes and limitations in advance
- Minimising handling of cash (for both hygiene and fraud reasons)
Most specialist charity insurance policies automatically include some cover for Personal Assistance. CaSE Insurance automatically includes cover for: attending to, accompanying and caring for Service Users including shopping, laundry, cleaning, cooking and other household work, dog walking, collecting pensions and prescriptions and pastoral care and advice.
While such policies should provide adequate cover, you should confirm with your insurer.
Other things to note
- Risk assess every role and likely scenario before recruiting or sending out volunteers
- Where necessary, provide PPE and anti-bacterial gel
- Provide clear contact details for the volunteer
- Make sure volunteers are not overstretched
- Ensure GDPR is adhered to
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Authored by Q Underwriting
Specialist MGA providing quality products for niche commercial markets
Q Underwriting is a specialist underwriter, providing over 25 niche commercial lines products – all backed by A rated insurers. Our specialisms include construction, tradesmen and liability; charities, faith and recruitment; public and private hire, fleet and motor trade; and non-standard property. All our products are underwritten in-house by our experienced team.
Q Underwriting is a robust and reliable partner for brokers and insurers; we’re backed by The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. We write £95m of premium under delegated underwriting authority from several A rated insurers and our team of over 135 people support a nationwide network of brokers.
We are focused on providing excellent service and supporting brokers’ growth. In trading terms, we offer the best of both worlds: brokers have direct access to our experienced underwriters as well as a quick and easy to use broker portal – Qtrade – which houses all the products available from Q Underwriting in one place.
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