The HOA is Automatically Insured for Volunteers
No need to worry about the Association being at risk if a volunteer gets hurt or accidentally injures someone else. The Association is protected (covered) under the Commercial General Liability Policy of our insurance with Commercial General Liability for any damages a volunteer may do in any "good faith" effort to perform "duties related to the conduct of your [HOA] business." These duties do not have to be endorsed by a majority vote of the Board of Directors, but are legitimatized simply by the act of someone performing "volunteer" service for the Association.
In a telephone conversation on 11-05-2012 with our former insurance agent, Sue Savio, this was illustrated by a hypothetical case: "If the President of the Board asks a volunteer to pull out some weeds, and the volunteer accidentally pokes a passerby's eye out with the handle of the rake, is the Association protected from a lawsuit against the Association for damages done by the volunteer?" Her answer was: YES. She further said that a volunteer pulling out a plant by mistake would also be covered.
Our Commercial General Liability Coverage Form, Paragraph 2 states: "Each of the following is also an insured": a. Your "Volunteer Workers"...
As an added protection for the Association, all persons who wish to volunteer their services to help improve and beautify the Association landscaping, or any other "business" of our Association, must sign our Kuau Bayview HOA Release & Waiver of Liability Form. The volunteer's signed Liability Release form is a second layer of protection which holds the Association harmless from any potential claims by the volunteer for damage compensation for injury.
In addition, Hawaii State Law by means of HRS § 662-D2, Volunteer Immunity of the Hawaii Volunteer Protection Act shields volunteers serving nonprofits that carry liability insurance with an aggregate limit of $500,000, or that have annual revenues of less than $50,000. This applies to the nonprofit Kuau Bayview Homeowners' Association, since we satisfy both the liability limit of $500,000 and the annual revenue requirement.
The Kuau Bayview volunteers are Tom Atkins (Retention Basin, bin emptying, tree trimming, irrigation) and Darlene Brothers (landscaping, website, bookkeeping, administration).