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Section Two: Administration - Section 2.3 Liability Insurance

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For liability insurance information for Extension employees and volunteers, and to request a Certificate of Insurance, see the University of Maine System (UMS) Certificate of Insurance website.

Use of Personal Automobiles

The University does not provide Liability insurance coverage or Physical Damage insurance coverage for non-University vehicles. If an employee or student uses a personal vehicle for University related business, that person’s own vehicle insurance will be responsible for any claims. The University will not reimburse an employee, student, or other private owner, or their insurer, for any deductible or liability claim paid by their auto insurance or for any damage to a personally owned vehicle. See UMS Risk Management: Vehicle Administration for details.

Liability in the Use of Untested Chemicals

Please refer to UMaine’s Safety and Environmental Management policies regarding the use and handling of hazardous materials and chemical safety.

Insurance for Special Events

Health, accident, and life insurance are not the same as liability insurance or protections. The Maine 4-H Program does work with county 4-H programs to purchase accident insurance from American Income Life for all enrolled Maine 4-H members and 4-H adult volunteers. Each county collects its funding differently for this policy so we encourage you to contact your local County Extension Office for more information.

Insurance for 4-H Events

4-H leaders are included under the University’s general liability coverage when they are performing official duties as representatives of the 4-H education program of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. This does not include accident coverage of any kind.

For special short-term events of a risky nature, such as 4-H horse shows and 4-H shooting sports activities, inexpensive one-day or one-year coverage for medical costs resulting from accidents is available from local insurers.

Club leaders should

  • carry their own health and accident insurance;
  • be sure each 4-H participant is covered by family health and accident insurance; and
  • encourage participants to purchase additional low-cost accident insurance from a reputable company.

Extension staff and authorized volunteers have liability protection while doing educational activities on behalf of University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Staff and Volunteer Liability Insurance.

4-H volunteers should follow these steps to make sure they are protected by the University’s liability insurance while performing University-related activities:

  • Be Volunteer Orientation and Leadership Training (VOLT) certified and enrolled with their Extension office
  • Teach, model and emphasize safety in all 4-H activities
  • Make sure that activities are approved by appropriate Extension staff
  • Make sure their Extension staff knows when and where the approved activities take place

Appropriate activities include all educational activities in which a 4-H volunteer is acting on behalf of Extension, or in place of a regular Extension employee. Documentation, such as 4-H volunteer enrollment records and written information from the volunteer to their Extension contact person about the activities they undertake, is important in case there is a question about whether a specific volunteer or activity is covered by the University’s liability insurance.

Other adults who support the 4-H program should be under the direction of enrolled, certified volunteers.  The Good Samaritan Law and the Volunteer Protection Act may provide protection for other volunteers.

If needed, Extension staff must make the appropriate arrangements for Certificates of Liability coverage for specific events. Staff should complete a Liability Insurance Certificate Request, available on the University of Maine System’s Certificates of Insurance website and email or fax it to the person indicated on the form.


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