Does Public Liability Insurance Cover Volunteers?

September 28, 2022

If you’re a volunteer in Australia (or an organisation that works with volunteers), it’s important to know the extent to which volunteers may be covered by public liability insurance. This type of insurance can protect volunteers and non-profit organisations in a variety of circumstances, should anything unfortunate occur in the process of carrying out their duties as a volunteer.

In this article, we’ll explore how organisations can protect their volunteers with insurance coverage in Australia, and how volunteers (or the organisations they belong to) can make a claim for compensation if something goes wrong.

There are a number of risks associated with volunteering, such as being injured while working, or becoming ill as a result of exposure to hazardous materials, for instance. Public liability insurance can provide financial protection in the event that these things may happen, so that volunteers are able to make a claim for compensation.

Of course, it’s important to note that public liability insurance does not cover every risk associated with volunteering. For example, it may not cover you if you are injured while participating in a dangerous activity such as rock climbing or bungee jumping. However, it can provide peace of mind knowing that you are covered in the event of an accident or illness, when volunteering.


Some quick things to note:

  • An organisation doesn’t have to be incorporated to involve volunteers, but it must have the appropriate insurances.
  • The insurance coverage will typically dictate what age restrictions there are on volunteers (i.e. no one under the age of 16, for example).
  • Volunteers are not covered by Worker’s Compensation legislation, which is why it’s so important for organisations to cover themselves (and their volunteers) with Volunteer Personal Accident Insurance.

The two types of insurance that organisations should take out to protect their volunteers

  1. Public Liability Insurance protects organisations up to a stated amount if a third party sues the organisation for personal injury (including death), or damage to property as a result of an occurrence in connection with the organisation.
  2. Volunteer Personal Accident Insurance is like Worker’s Compensation for volunteers. It can provide cover for people who become sick or injured whilst providing volunteering services for an organisation.  It may cover a portion of a person’s salary if they cannot attend their usual paid work as a result of an injury while volunteering or more broadly provides  financial compensation in the event that a volunteer unfortunately has an accident or becomes ill.


Ansvar provides volunteers with reliable Personal Accident Insurance Australia-wide

Ansvar’s Personal Accident Insurance cover is designed to provide compensation to volunteers who provide services on behalf of the Insured if they are injured whilst providing those services.

Unlike employees, volunteers are not covered under the Insured’s Workers Compensation Insurance Policy. Therefore, it’s vital that the Insured takes out this cover to protect the volunteers in the event that they are injured whilst performing their volunteer duties. The Volunteers Personal Accident cover is a defined event policy, so there is no requirement for the Insured to be negligent in order to claim.

It provides an upfront financial benefit in the event that one of the defined events of the policy occurs, and it ensures the Insured organisation provides protection to one of its most important assets – its volunteer workforce.


Need to arrange Public Liability or Personal Accident Insurance? Get in touch

Ansvar has been serving the Australian community for over half a century, with tailored insurance products that protect organisations, employees and volunteers for peace of mind. Our experienced underwriting team will assess your circumstances on an independent basis and work closely alongside you to develop tailored coverage for your volunteer force.

Get in touch to arrange a consultation with the Ansvar team today. We also provide customised insurance products for organisations in the Care Services, Community Services, Learning and Education Services, and Arts, Culture and Heritage sectors as well.

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