Hi, thanks for the forward. Here are two more points to consider:

1. Indemnification by Cascadia Wikimedians User Group of an individual is only effective up to the amount of Cascadia's resources, so if Cascadia's net worth is $5,000 and a volunteer is sued for a covered action for $15,000 and Cascadia carries no applicable insurance, a successful suit could liquidate Cascadia and also result in a personal liability of $10,000 for the volunteer.

2. We need to make sure both Cascadia as an organization and individuals associated with Cascadia have appropriate coverage. The statutory provision provides some protections for volunteers if Cascadia carries certain insurance, but it does not protect Cascadia as an organization.



On Dec 23, 2014 9:26 AM, "Lane Rasberry" <lane@bluerasberry.com> wrote:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kirill Lokshin <kirill.lokshin@wikimediadc.org>
Date: Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 12:12 PM
Subject: Re: [wikimedia-dc-board] nonprofit insurance...
To: Lane Rasberry <lane@bluerasberry.com>
Cc: Wikimedia DC Board Mailing List <wikimedia-dc-board@googlegroups.com>

Hi Lane,

Wikimedia DC does not currently carry an insurance policy.

That having been said, there are a couple of points that I would recommend you consider in your case:

(1) The regulation you cite seems to be about general liability coverage (which typically applies to things like personal injury, etc.).  This is normally not the same as either errors and omissions (E&O) coverage, which in my experience is typically of interest only when the organization is performing some sort of professional services (and could be sued for performing those services improperly) or directors and officers (D&O) coverage, which is what protects individual members of your board from liability if you're sued for fiduciary misconduct, etc.  I would suggest clarifying with your local regulatory agency whether they are in fact only talking about general liability coverage here; while I suppose it's possible that some quirk of Washington law would allow that to be applied to other scenarios, it does strike me as rather odd.

(2) Generally speaking -- and, again, without having looked into whether some aspect of your local laws mandates certain actions on a statutory basis -- the question of whether an incorporated nonprofit carries insurance coverage is distinct from the question of whether that nonprofit indemnifies volunteers against liability related to the performance of their duties.  It's possible, at least under DC law, to do either one without the other; in other words, we could indemnify our volunteers without carrying insurance coverage (in which case the organization would be directly responsible for paying any damages) or we could carry coverage exclusively for the organization's benefit, without necessarily indemnifying individual volunteers.  I would suggest checking what the statutory provisions for this are in Washington, but, regardless, I expect that you will want to have something more detailed and explicit about this in either your bylaws or some additional policy.  Note that you may not necessarily want to offer a blanket indemnity to everyone who might claim to be a volunteer, since you may have no knowledge of or control over what they do in that capacity.


Kirill Lokshin
Secretary, Wikimedia District of Columbia

On Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 2:28 PM, Lane Rasberry <lane@bluerasberry.com> wrote:

Does Wikimedia DC purchase nonprofit insurance? If so, what kind and from whom?

I am asking on behalf of Wikimedia Cascadia, which is looking at this law which seems to apply to nonprofit organizations in Washington state:

It says

"a volunteer of a nonprofit organization or governmental entity shall not be personally liable for harm caused by an act or omission of the volunteer on behalf of the organization or entity if...

The nonprofit organization carries public liability insurance covering the organization's liability for harm caused to others for which it is directly or vicariously liable of not less than the following amounts:

     (i) For organizations with gross revenues of less than twenty-five thousand dollars, at least fifty thousand dollars due to the bodily injury or death of one person or at least one hundred thousand dollars due to the bodily injury or death of two or more persons;"

There is talk in Cascadia of protecting volunteers by providing this insurance at a cost of perhaps $500 per year.


Lane Rasberry
user:bluerasberry on Wikipedia

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