What insurance do we need to cover volunteers?
When Tom Wertish (from Novallus Insurance) and I sat down to talk nonprofit insurance, he said this was one of the MOST common questions he gets. How can we know that we’re set in case anything happens with our volunteers? Watch his response to that question here.
This question is a squishy one – the role of volunteers can really vary, so it might depend on the situation.
Working with volunteers
With nonprofits, we’re usually looking to get as much free labor as we can get, right? Volunteers are the lifeblood of SO many nonprofits.
But, if things go south, an issue with a volunteer could end up costing the nonprofit way more than you could imagine.
The most common example is if a volunteer gets hurt on the job. The nonprofit can’t exactly turn its back on the person that has been donating their time and expertise, right? A relationship has been formed, and things can happen. But, a volunteer isn’t a paid worker, so things are a little different.
What kind of insurance provides coverage?
Actually, Tom says you should be looking to the nonprofit’s general liability policy (hopefully you have one! Learn more about that here). It’s important that your general liability policy covers volunteers’ medical bills in the event of an injury.
Some policies don’t – that’s why it’s essential that you know what’s in your policy and you work with an insurance agent you trust. In reality, you probably don’t have the time or the knowledge to pore over a (probably boring) 45+ page document outlining your coverage.
Don’t shop for insurance alone. You don’t know what you might be missing, and what you’re missing might result in thousands of dollars in attorney fees later on. That’s my little advice nugget for ya : )
As always, Tom is a great resource if you’re looking for an agent to work with! Check him out here.