Volunteer fire fighters who utilize a vehicle that is not owned by the fire department to respond to an emergency call are not covered under the fire department’s insurance coverage unless the policy specifically states that it provides coverage for volunteer employees who use “commandeered” or their own personal vehicles.

Thus, unwittingly, volunteer fire fighters who utilize their own personal vehicles in response to emergency calls will likely be subject to the limited coverage of their own personal auto insurance coverage.  This may result in limited insurance protection in case of catastrophic injuries during a motor vehicle accident.

If you are a volunteer fire fighter, be sure to obtain the highest possible limits of auto insurance coverage to protect yourself in case the fire department’s insurance policy does not provide coverage when you are utilizing a “commandeered” or your own personal vehicle.  Alternatively, if an accident has already occurred, retain an attorney immediately to review the fire department’s insurance policy to determine whether insurance coverage may be had.