Voluntary aid in Ukraine: Who is responsible for the damage?

Distributing food, sorting donations and helping with bureaucracy: Since thousands of people from Ukraine arrive in Germany and Bavaria every day, many volunteers have become active again: the Diakonie in Bavaria alone currently has around 30,000 of them.

Sometimes it can happen that not everything goes well in the rush. Who is responsible in such cases and which insurance company will intervene in case of damage?

Organizations take care of insurance for volunteers

If an organization employs volunteers, it must also take care of insurance coverage for these helpers. Whether in a club, with welfare organizations or municipal offers in districts.

“The insurance system is also developed for volunteers,” says Harald Keizer. He heads the volunteer department of Diakonie Bayern. If someone works for a social assistance organization like Diakonie or Caritas, they are also insured through the trade association, so statutory accident insurance applies.

Accident insurance also covers treatment and permanent damage.

This covers accidents at work or on the road, explains Philipp Opfermann from the consumer advice center in North Rhine-Westphalia. “Here you enjoy protection and you have the corresponding rights, which can be the costs of treatment in the hospital, which can also be a pension in case of permanent damage,” he says.

The prerequisite is, of course, that the volunteer work is free, Victim continued. Documenting the deployment is also helpful, adds Diakonie Bayern’s Keizer. A simple letter or a list in an Excel spreadsheet is sufficient as proof in case of doubt.

Bavarian voluntary insurance helps with insurance gaps

Of course, there is also the risk of helpers harming others during their work. In this case, the support organization usually has civil liability insurance. If you want to help on your own, without an aid organization or an association, civil liability and accident insurance can apply. Consumer advocate Victim Man advises checking whether volunteer work is also insured and, if necessary, checking with the insurer.

Another option is the Bavarian volunteer insurance. It consists of civil liability and accident insurance and intervenes if other policies do not apply in case of damage; in German insurance, this is called “recovery insurance”. The Free State bears the costs of this.

However, here too it must be possible to prove that the accident or damage occurred during a voluntary transfer. Also, volunteer insurance does not cover everything, for example there are no accidents with your own car.

Reception of refugees: better to inform the insurance company beforehand

Contacting the insurance company also does not hurt if you want to welcome refugees into your home. The General Association of the German Insurance Industry (GDV) points this out to BR’s application. Because a tenant is also liable to his landlord for damage caused to the apartment by the visit, confirms the Tenant Protection Association in Frankfurt.

It is easier for those who want to temporarily host a family through the “Accommodation Ukraine” platform. Depending on the operator, insurance protection is automatically included here.

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