Protection for volunteer drivers at charities through legislation


Protection for volunteer drivers at charities through legislationThere is a legislation that has been co-sponsored by a couple of North Jersey lawmakers and it would offer protection to volunteer drivers at charities. It will help in keeping the auto insurance rates low due to the volunteer work they are involved in and it would also help in limiting their liabilities in the event of an accident.

However, the sponsors of the bill as well as the non-profit groups that are advocating the passage of this bill agree that there is no evidence that insurance companies are increasing auto insurance premiums for volunteers or that they are facing lawsuits due to the accidents they have caused.

Instead, what the sponsors of the bill are trying to say is that the legislation is needed as thesevolunteers state that they fear that they will face such actions and that is keeping them away from doing volunteer work.

There are over 50% of the charities in the state that requires volunteer drivers but has difficulty in recruiting as well as keeping them. Most of these charitable organizations state that it is largely due to the misperception by some of the potential volunteers that their auto insurance rates may get affected in the event of any untoward incidents.

Grace Egan who is the executive director at the New Jersey Foundation for the Aging states that they have met with the Insurance Council of New Jersey and they have been told that they never impose any surcharge on the insurance rates of individuals who are volunteer drivers.

A study was conducted recently by the New Jersey Foundation for the Aging, New Jersey State Association of Jewish Federations, as well as the Center for Non-Profits. The survey involved a number of charities which provide transportation for those in need and it was found that over 50% of these organizations were having a tough time in recruiting new drivers.

Egan stated that although it was a misconception, it prevented individuals from volunteering. This is more of a psychological fear because there are many individuals who have volunteered, gone through the training process and after 3 weeks of training, they just pull out as they are worried about their auto insurance.

The sponsors of this legislation include Fair Lawn Democratic Sen. Robert Gordon as well as Englewood Democratic Assemblywoman Valerie VainieriHuttle.

Huttle stated that the bill would give volunteers a better comfort level. She also added that the legislation had bipartisan support and the insurers didn’t seem to have a problem with the bill.