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Simple question, not sure if it necessarily belongs in the

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"Law" category, but here goes... I...
Simple question, not sure if it necessarily belongs in the "Law" category, but here goes...

I am going to be doing some volunteer work for a 501c3 of which I am an officer. We are a charitable organization dedicated to educating the public and providing rescue/adoption services for exotic birds. I will be doing adoption clinics at local big box pet stores. At these clinics I will have a couple of my birds. They're very well-behaved and highly unlikely to bite, but they ARE animals and therefore not 100% predictable. I would like to protect myself with personal liability insurance so that, in the unlikely event of an incident at one of these clinics, I am protected.

Will adding a personal liability or "umbrella" rider on my homeowner policy protect me in a situation like this? If not, is there some insurance vehicle I should consider?

I understand that I may be afforded some protections provided by the 501c3, but since these are my personal companion birds and not the property of the organization (fostered or rescued birds) it seems as though the lines are somewhat blurred. I once owned a home with an in-ground pool and found it very inexpensive to significantly raise my personal liability insurance... but I don't know if the protections afforded by such a rider would protect me in this case...
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 10 hours by:
3/1/2012
Lawyer: Fran-mod,
 replied 5 years ago
Fran-mod
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
I have not received a response.

I'm not sure if there is a more relevant category for my Insurance-related question. "Law" was the closest thing I could find.
Lawyer: Fran-mod,
 replied 5 years ago
Sometimes, finding the right Expert can take a little longer than expected and we thank you greatly for your understanding. We’ll be in touch again shortly.
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Lawyer: Law Pro, Attorney replied 5 years ago
Law Pro
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Experience: 20 years legal practitioner: real estate, collections, estate, civil, business, and criminal law
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An "umbrella" policy attached to your homeowners will cover such usually - it all depends on the policy.

Doesn't the non-profit have liability insurance? If so, you would be wasting your money buying the umbrella policy.
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Based on the advice I have personally received and the overwhelming documentation I have reviewed on the subject, liability insurance for the 501(c)(3) is not much of a value considering the protections inherent in the incorporation along with the additional protections afforded in NY State. The policies are very expensive (~ $1,200/year) and wouldn't provide a whole lot more liability protection than we already have by virtue of our incorporation. The assets of the charity are currently only about $5,000.00, so it's hard to justify spending 20%+ of our liquid assets for incremental protection.

I was looking at the umbrella policy to protect me personally in the event that an incident with my birds occurs and litigious folks decide to come after me personally for relief. Also, if I were in public NOT on business of the charity and something happened, an umbrella policy would likely do the trick from the sound of it.

I just wanted to make sure I wasn't completely out of line in even suggesting such a thing be added as a rider to my homeowners plan.
Lawyer: Law Pro, Attorney replied 5 years ago
OK, I understand that the non-profit doesn't have the money - some non-profits have money out the gazoo (ie. United Way for example) to it's best to strap them with the expense of the insurance rather than you.

Yes, the umbrella policy would certainly protect if something happened outside your property in a public or other place.

It sounds like a good idea - some of those exotic birds have amazing power and strength in their beaks and can certainly cause someone serious personal injury.

The best liability insurance company is Chubb - so if your concerned about your insurance carriers umbrella policy - switch over to them.



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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
I have a couple cockatoos that we adopted from not-so-happy homes. They have downward bite pressure that is measured in the THOUSANDS of pounds and one of the two can be extremely aggressive! Bites from these types of birds can often lead to serious injury with stitches being a blessing if that's the extent of the injury. I have been lucky -- my experience with the birds and cautious handling has only gotten me bitten a handful of times and these bites, while serious, have not landed me in the Emergency Room. Needless to say, these birds WOULD NOT be going on "tour" with our organization!!!

Thanks for all the helpful information!
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