Community emergency plan volunteers and insurance

As part of becoming prepared for an emergency, your community group will need to consider how it works with volunteers and the insurance and legal cover it needs.

Volunteers

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Cornwall Council's check list for organisations to use when working with volunteers covers the main things you will need to think about.  It includes things like recruitment, training, and supervision.

Much of Cornwall Council’s insurance guidance for community groups involved in devolution projects also applies to groups working on community emergency plans.  Most community groups focus on public liability insurance, but you may want consider professional indemnity, employer’s liability and personal accident insurance as well.

There are different ways to provide affordable insurance cover for your group and volunteers.  For example, there are private insurance companies that offer municipal insurance for volunteer community groups.  However, for many the simplest way to provide insurance cover for a community group and its volunteers is to be affiliated with the local town or parish council and come under its insurance policy.

Contact the clerk of your local town or parish council to discuss whether this is possible.  The insurance provider may impose a limit on the number of volunteers and type of activities it will cover.  The insurer may also require proof of adequate training.

The Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Act also gives volunteers and community groups legal reassurance that courts will take account of the fact that they have been acting to help society if something goes wrong and they end up being sued.