October Newsletter

  • What to Consider Before Requesting an Additional Insured

  • Volunteer Risk Management: Handbook

What to Consider Before Requesting an Additional Insured

Every day we receive phone calls from our insureds requesting additional insured certificates and / or endorsements. In today’s business world, it is a common practice to add another entity on to your Commercial General Liability policy. While this is a common request, adding an additional insured on your policy should be carefully considered as there can be financial consequences. Some additional insureds require specific wording which can further complicate the intent of coverage.

A potential problem that can arise from an additional insured is that the liability policy can apply separately to each insured (Organization and additional insured) against whom a claim has been brought.  In other words, general liability coverage applies separately to each insured and can deplete your liability limits. Depending on how broad the endorsement is written, the additional insured may be able to obtain general liability coverage for their own activities and exposure.  Furthermore, under certain circumstances, an additional insured may have direct access the insured’s policy.

There have been changes in the wording of the additional insureds endorsements which help limit the coverage for additional insureds. The language “caused in whole or in part by your (the named insured) acts or omissions” was added to help reduce coverage for additional insured’s sole negligence. The language, however, has its potential drawbacks and should be reviewed by your attorney.

Above are just a few potential liability issues to consider when adding an additional insured on to your general liability policy. This decision should not be taken lightly and dismissed without noting potential consequences. Coverage is per the terms, conditions and exclusions of the General Liability policy. Consider increasing your General Liability limits or purchasing an Umbrella policy to protect against a catastrophic liability loss which may include the added costs and expenses of the additional insured.

Volunteer Risk Management: Handbook

Nonprofit employers and administrators tend to focus on implementing an effective employee handbook which outlines the employees’ policies and procedures. However, many nonprofits tend to neglect writing an effective handbook for their volunteers.  Volunteers are a vital aspect of most Nonprofit organizations and there is an increase liability risk when there are no proper procedures or policies in place. Many administrators mistakenly believe that since they are not technically employees, they do not need a handbook or that it is not as important as an employee handbook. A well -crafted Volunteer handbook or guidebook will go a long way toward preventing potential lawsuits and will help volunteers understand what is expected of them.

A volunteer handbook should be clearly written and reviewed by an employment attorney or HR professional. The handbook should inform the volunteer of the goals and history of the nonprofit organization and how they -the volunteer- fit in with the organizations mission. The Volunteer Handbook should clearly outline the volunteer’s responsibilities, training requirements as well as safety policies. There should be information on which resources the volunteer can utilize, for example if they have a complaint the handbook should list the organization’s contact that will assist them. Additionally, the handbook should explain how the organization and volunteer may terminate their relationship. Finally, the volunteer should sign an acknowledgement indicating that they fully understand and have reviewed the Volunteer Guidebook.

The Volunteer Handbook should be considered as part of your organizations Risk Management plan and should be continually reviewed and updated.