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

For the full article, please CLICK HERE

 Authored by Q Underwriting


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