Howdy from a constant reader, who seldom chimes in, but I'll make an exception for this question:
You are held to different standards when you give a bike away, as opposed to selling a bike.
Also that you are a not for profit rather than a profit motivated organization and that influences the standard, though there are many and much evidence that would say that line is fast and increasingly blurring.
The bottom line though remains in our nations litigious response to everything, file a lawsuit, and worry about its "correctness or validity" afterward. Yes, your "CoOp" needs liability insurance unless you want to risk literally everything, and I mean everything.
So sorry to be the bearer of bad news. I am sure you can purchase a policy through an organization or industry group. I would bet others will respond shortly with sources for you to do that through.
Best of luck, and keep up the good work you do,
I am working to revive Holy City Bike CoOp- a bike collective in Charleston, SC.
Recently we had a someone voice a concern about liability with repaired bikes. For instance, what if someone is given or purchases a bike that the collective has repaired and it breaks or malfunctions while they are riding it? Is the collective responsible? Do we need liability insurance?
Thanks for the help!
Bicycle Advisor & Event Coordination Trek Bicycle Store of Mt. Pleasant
B.A. International Studies, Environmental Studies College of Charleston, Spring 2015
"It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed. — Charles Darwin"
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