Sometimes, volunteers have accidents – injure someone, get hurt themselves, or have an auto accident. Usually, their own insurance is not enough to take care of the damage.
Volunteers can be covered by your organization’s own commercial general liability policy and (in some states) workers’ compensation policy. There can be problems with this approach, however. Some considerations:
- Should a volunteer have a liability claim, the available limits of insurance under your commercial general liability policy would be reduced, leaving the organization itself with reduced protection. Your claims experience also would be affected, which could result in a rate increase. The VIS® program allows you to protect your organization’s available limits, and its claims experience, too.
- Unless the insurance carrier is willing to remove, or materially amend, certain common exclusions, if you include volunteers as insureds you have eliminated the volunteer’s protection against a claim brought by another volunteer, or an employee. But by removing volunteers as insureds, and instead protecting them through our program, you preserve the volunteer’s insurance protection in this type of claim situation.
- As far as protecting volunteers who drive is concerned, the organization’s own commercial auto policy often provides no protection. In that case, without our program’s excess auto liability coverage the volunteer would have to rely totally on his or her own insurance for liability. Even if volunteers are included as insureds, the organization would be sharing its available limits of liability, and claims experience, in the event of a claim.
- Workers’ compensation insurance is expensive.
The VIS® program allows the nonprofit organization to improve its insurance protection by separating the risks volunteers represent, and do it very inexpensively.