The commitment and engagement displayed by volunteers deserves recognition and respect. But in case something happens, what kind of protection do short- or long-term voluntary workers have to offer? There are several possibilities:
If you want to volunteer at short notice (i.e. a tandem with a refugee) without working with a supporting organisation you should check if you have a private accident and liability insurance. Harm you do not intentionally cause other people usually gets covered by personal liability insurances, which you have to take out yourself. You should make sure that your personal liability insurance covers voluntary work (often, responsible tasks like managing a club are excluded from personal liability insurance!).
In general, your private insurance takes priority over other insurances. Should your private insurance deny the coverage you can draw on the insurance of your supporting organisation or assignment location.
Some of the German sports clubs approach integration work in inviting refugees to train with the clubs, to take part in competitions or the social life within the club. Since the beginning of 2015 refugees obtain insurance coverage by the largest sport insurer in Germany, ARAG. Before that, they were seen as non-members and therefore were not insured or at least the relating insurance issues were unsettled.