Protecting Your Organization’s Volunteers with Volunteer Liability

Volunteers are the lifeblood of most nonprofit organizations, donating their time and energy to help further the cause. However, without proper nonprofit insurance protection, an accident or negligent act could cause serious damage not only to a volunteer, but to the nonprofit as well. Your nonprofit’s general liability insurance will not typically cover volunteers, nor will worker’s compensation insurance. It is essential to review your policy and ensure your nonprofit has coverage for volunteer workers.

If a volunteer is injured while working for your nonprofit, the proper insurance coverage will cover the cost of a trip to the emergency room and any necessary treatment for said injury. Although the volunteer’s homeowner’s insurance may cover some of the cost, many volunteers may not have their own coverage, and the nonprofit could face some high damages, especially if the nonprofit was negligent or responsible for the injury.

Source: Danilo Rizzuti via Freedigitalphotos.net

In other cases, volunteer board members could face lawsuits for breach of fiduciary duty, poor employee treatment, fraud or other complaints. Although such lawsuits are not common, they can be financially devastating for a nonprofit without the proper insurance coverage for such occurrences.

When a nonprofit takes on volunteers, they should be screened prior to working with the organization and given proper training as part of an orientation to the organization. In order to reduce the chances of an injury or negligence by volunteers, they should be supervised and undergo periods of evaluation during which potential hazards can be pointed out and corrected.

Nonprofit insurance should include a volunteer accident policy and liability coverage specifically for volunteer workers. With this coverage in place, if a volunteer worker is injured, or accidentally causes property damage while carrying out their duties, the damages would be covered and the nonprofit would not at be at risk for the loss.

Lamb Financial Group specializes in risk management and insurance coverage for nonprofits and social services organizations. For information on covering your valued volunteers or any other questions regarding your agency, please call 866-481-5262 or contact us.

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