Jump to content

Scouter liability insurance or umbrella policy


Recommended Posts

After a recent camp out that ended early because of a lightning storm my Father asked me if, as Scoutmaster, I am responsible for all of the Scouts on outings.  I said "Yes".  He said, "You know you could lose everything if one of the Scouts gets hurt or worse.  You might want to think about that."

So I started thinking about it, again.  I know that it is a possibility and I'm not sure if the BSA would have our back at this point in its current situation.  I know that we are supposedly covered under the BSA but I'm not sure I want to stake everything that I have worked for on that.  I have been with Farm Bureau insurance all of my life.  When I inquired about an umbrella policy specifically for my role as Scoutmaster my agent told me that the policy would not cover me for anything off of my property.  So I let it go.

Now that I am thinking about this again my question is,

Those of you that have this kind of protection, who do you have your policy through?  Are you sure it will cover you for something that happens at summer camp or elsewhere when it involves Scouts and/or their Parents?

Link to post
Share on other sites

You are covered by the Federal Volunteer Protection Act of 1997.

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PLAW-105publ19/pdf/PLAW-105publ19.pdf

 

https://www.astho.org/Programs/Preparedness/Public-Health-Emergency-Law/Emergency-Volunteer-Toolkit/Volunteer-Protection-Acts-and-Good-Samaritan-Laws-Fact-Sheet/#:~:text=The federal Volunteer Protection Act,for its protections to apply.

However,

"Protection under VPA does not apply if the volunteer engages in willful or criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless misconduct, or a conscious, flagrant indifference to the rights or safety of the individual(s) harmed by the volunteer. "

I don't think any insurance policy will cover you under those circumstances, either.  This is the basic position of the insurance companies who believe they have a case to deny payment under claims for sexual abuse...they hold that BSA violated those standards.

Which is why we diligently follow Guide to Safe Scouting, Scouter Code of Conduct, and written BSA policies.  You signed an application saying you would do the same ;)

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Which is why we diligently follow Guide to Safe Scouting, Scouter Code of Conduct, and written BSA policies.  You signed an application saying you would do the same ;)

As do we.  Still dose not change the fact that people will sue no matter what guide you follow.

Link to post
Share on other sites

People will sue you, especially if you have an umbrella insurance policy ;)  (Never advertise that you do!!)

I also had an umbrella, and cancelled for the same reason...it only covered the excess of things that happened on our property.

If you ever find a policy that will cover you, let us know! (anonymously here, of course ;) )

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ask a different agent, or ask the agent again.  The whole point of umbrella policies is that they cover things not covered by your homeowners policy. 

If being involved in youth activities as a volunteer was really that risky you would know about a lot more claims and be offered insurance as part of every kid activity you're involved in.  So you probably don't need it.  But it's relatively cheap and brings some peace of mind, so I have it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have carried it, as well.  $4M through State Farm, where I have everything bundled.  Costs me a few hundred a year, although I am no longer an active Scouter.  I have a vacation home on a lake, boats, etc, and occasionally let friends use the property (not on a rental basis).

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think one place to look for information is the youth sports world. Youth volunteer coaches and officials are frequently urged to get liability umbrella coverage. I don't see the roles as being much different. Also, I have always wondered about D&O insurance for those who serve on the committee. It's not just who is at the camp out who is liable. The committee can be named in lawsuits as well. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The party that will be named in a lawsuit is the CO, that's who the Directors and Officers of the troop are.   Whoever is running the CO should certainly have D&O insurance of some sort.

Link to post
Share on other sites

THey will sue everyone and let the Court sort it out.  It could still cost you thousands in legal fees even though you are dismissed from the suit.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/2/2021 at 7:48 AM, scoutldr said:

THey will sue everyone and let the Court sort it out.  It could still cost you thousands in legal fees even though you are dismissed from the suit.

And that is another facet of tort reform that we need...

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

And that is another facet of tort reform that we need...

We do need tort reform. On the other hand I would not want to be in Canada or Europe where your kid can be mutilated and you have almost no recourse. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/1/2021 at 6:15 AM, scoutldr said:

I have carried it, as well.  $4M through State Farm, where I have everything bundled.  Costs me a few hundred a year, although I am no longer an active Scouter.  I have a vacation home on a lake, boats, etc, and occasionally let friends use the property (not on a rental basis).

I was at $2M, but your $4M caused me to reevaluate this last week. From both a holding and liability standpoint, I hadn't done a review in 5 years or so. I am now too at $4M. It wasn't much more to go from 2-4.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...