This article about liability cover for volunteer workers and people participating in a working bee at a strata property has been provided by Tyrone Shandiman, Strata Insurance Solutions.
Question: Our executive committee recently approved a voluntary working bee in the common area garden. Are all participants required to register with the committee so they would be covered by the voluntary workers’ insurance cover?
The executive committee at our complex recently approved a voluntary working bee to spread mulch in the common area garden.
The executive committee asked participants to identify themselves to the committee for the record so they would be covered by the voluntary workers insurance covering personal injury and liability to others. The participants took exception to the request and went ahead with the working bee with no one having informed the EC that they would be taking part.
What can the EC do to convince them that the request was reasonable and in the best interests of both themselves and the owners corporation. And should the EC withhold permission for voluntary work on common property if participants will not register their participation in advance?
Answer: When it comes to voluntary workers, there are three considerations.
Volunteers are generally considered to be persons engaged for work solely on behalf of the body corporate without promise of reward or remuneration.
When it comes to voluntary workers, there are three considerations:
- Voluntary Workers Section (Injury to the volunteer): This section is designed to cover prescribed injuries paying a specific amount for the events listed in the policy (for example disablement, loss of sight)
- Public Liability (Injury to Volunteer): This section is designed to respond to legal claims in the event the volunteer is injured and sues the body corporate.
- Public Liability (Volunteer Injures someone or damages property): Strata policies may extend to cover volunteers in the definition of “You” (i.e. insured) for the public liability section and therefore cover volunteers if they are sued for a personal injury or property damage claim resulting from their voluntary work.
The policy does not specifically require that the volunteer is registered as a volunteer by the owners corporation – the volunteer simply needs to satisfy the insurer they meet the insurers definition of a voluntary worker at the time of the incident.
While there is no specific requirement in the policy for the owners corporation to withhold voluntary work for people not registered, registering volunteers is one way to assist in this process and protect the volunteers interests.
This information is of a general nature only and neither represents nor is intended to be personal advice on any particular matter. Shandit Pty Ltd T/as Strata Insurance Solutions strongly suggests that no person should act specifically on the basis of the information in this document, but should obtain appropriate professional advice based on their own personal circumstances. Shandit Pty Ltd T/As Strata Insurance Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative (No. 404246) of Insurance Advisernet Australia AFSL No 240549, ABN 15 003 886 687.
This post appears in Strata News #455.
If you have a question strata insurance for volunteer workers or something to add to the article, leave a comment below.
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