Volunteers 'piggy-backing' on their private insurance : an uncertain protection against liability

Tarr, Julie-Anne (2013) Volunteers 'piggy-backing' on their private insurance : an uncertain protection against liability. Australian Business Law Review, 41(1), pp. 30-39.

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Volunteering is a very important part of life in Australia with an estimated 36% of the adult population volunteering in 2010. Voluntary work generates economic benefits, addresses community needs and develops the social networks that form the backbone of civil society. Without volunteers, many essential services would either cease to exist or become too expensive for many people to afford. These volunteers, who by definition are not in receipt of any remuneration for their work and services, are exposed to personal injury and to legal liability in the discharge of their functions. It is therefore appropriate that statutory protection is extended to volunteers and that volunteer organisations procure public liability and personal accident cover where possible. However, given the patchwork quilt of circumstances where statutory or institutional cover is available to volunteers and the existence of many and diverse exclusions, it is important to have regard also to what scope a volunteer may have to avail themselves of protection against liability for volunteering activity by relying upon their own personal insurance cover. This article considers the extent of private insurance cover and its availability to volunteers under home and contents insurance and under comprehensive motor vehicle insurance. The most common policies in the Australian market are examined and the uncertain nature of protection against liability afforded by these policies is discussed. This uncertainty could be reduced should the Federal Government through amendments to the Insurance Contracts Regulations standardise the circumstances and extent to which liability protection was afforded to an insured holding home and contents insurance and comprehensive motor vehicle insurance cover.

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ID Code: 59740
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Volunteers, Private insurance, Uncertain protection against liability
ISSN: 0310-1053 (print)
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Thomson Reuters.
Deposited On: 11 Jun 2013 22:40
Last Modified: 08 May 2014 22:49

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