The COVID-19 crisis has had a considerable impact on community sector organisations, and many have been trying to make sense of what this means in relation to their insurance and risk.
The not-for-profit team at Aon, an alliance partner of Our Community, have put together a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) from their clients throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and have shared this with us to provide the wider not-for-profit community with answers to the tough questions they have at this time.
1. What is our risk exposure?
This will depend on the circumstances of your organisation. If you haven't already, you should undertake a thorough and urgent assessment of the specific risks posed by COVID-19 for your industry, locations and business activities. Unless the situation changes materially, most of our clients’ insurance coverage is limited, and the effects of COVID-19 are more likely to be acutely felt in falling demand and general business activity disruption.
2. Do we still need cover if we have reduced services?
Regular insurances will still be required and can cover your activities, excluding coronavirus related claims. For example, despite reduced activities if a volunteer enters someone’s home you should still maintain a liability coverage for third party property damage and personal injury.
3. Do we have cover if one of our volunteers contracts COVID-19?
Voluntary workers personal accident cover is for accidental injury and death only, the cover does not extend to sickness or illness claims.
4. Are we covered for regular volunteering duties that need to be continued at this time of pandemic?
All cover remains the same for regular activities with the same terms and conditions as agreed upon when placing the Policy, excluding all coronavirus related claims.
5. Are our volunteers covered for additional activities asked that are a result of the pandemic?
If these activities are within the same scope of work that is regularly conducted then all cover would remain the same with the same terms and conditions as agreed upon when placing the Policy, excluding all coronavirus related claims.
6. Are our volunteers covered for any injuries they sustain whilst working from home?
Provided it can be proved that the volunteer was conducting volunteer work on behalf of the organisation at the time of the injury, then cover will extend to the injured volunteer.
7. As an employer will I be liable if an employee contracts COVID-19?
In some circumstances COVID-19 may be a compensable workplace injury. To be compensable under a Workers Compensation Policy, work activities must be proven to be the main contributing factor to contracting the virus. Due to the nature of viruses, it may be difficult to determine that employment was the main contributing factor. Each claim will be assessed on its individual merits.
8. What can we do to make sure our volunteers and employees are safe while working?
Everyone should be following the guidelines set by the federal and state governments. Where possible, all work should be undertaken remotely in work-from-home environments. If this is not possible, there should be increased use of hand sanitisers and social distancing should be observed. An integrated Pandemic Response Plan developed within your risk management and governance framework is essential to the prevention of harm and the mitigation of potential legal liabilities.
You can find the full FAQ booklet (which includes several other questions and answers) by clicking the on the cover image to the right.