Protecting Volunteers — The VIS Way
If you already are familiar with our program, click here to go directly to our Producers Agreement, which has links to an online application.

Following is a description of our program. Please call our VIS staff at 800.222.8920 if you have additional questions.

To protect your nonprofit customer’s volunteers, CIMA’s Volunteers Insurance Service Association (VIS) program offers the following coverages separately or combined:

  • Up to $50,000 in accident medical reimbursement – at a cost of $4.40 per volunteer per year with a minimum premium of $100;
  • Up to $1,000,000 in volunteer liability insurance – $2.15 per volunteer per year with a minimum premium of $100;
  • For those volunteers who drive, each accident limit of liability is subject to the limits outlined in endorsement VIS219, and will not exceed $500,000 – $7.75 per volunteer per year with a minimum premium of $100.

Total cost per volunteer if all coverages are elected: $14.30 per year.

The only other cost involved is the required annual $140 fee that the organization pays for membership in VIS.
(NOTE: State taxes and fees may apply to liability premiums and the membership fee. They are indicated on the application.)

We want to make it worth your while to choose our program. We will pay you 12% of the premium — both on new business and renewal — when you access our program. (And we take care of all aspects of customer service and renewal!)

Details are in our Producers Agreement.

Why the VIS program is better than including volunteers on the CGL policy:

• If you include volunteers as additional insureds, you have reduced the limits of insurance available to protect the organization in a claim involving a volunteer. But by removing the volunteers as additional insureds, and protecting the nonprofit’s volunteers through our program, you preserve the full limits of the nonprofit’s insurance to defend it, while providing additional insurance specifically intended to separately protect the volunteers.

• 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.

• Insuring a nonprofit’s volunteers separately, through the CIMA Volunteers Insurance program, preserves the nonprofit’s favorable loss experience, and in some cases, may preserve its access to broad and affordable insurance.

…or on the workers’ compensation policy:
Covering volunteers under workers’ compensation, in states where this is allowed by law, usually is not the wisest approach. First, a volunteer’s injury would affect the claims experience of the nonprofit. Second, workers’ compensation is very expensive compared to our accident medical coverage.  You may be in a position to help your nonprofit customer realize substantial savings.

…and fills an important gap for volunteers who drive:
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.

Click here to see what agents and brokers are saying about the program.

Who are the carriers?
QBE Insurance Corporation is the underwriting company for the accident medical insurance coverage. One of the top 20 insurers and reinsurers worldwide, with more than 125 years of experience. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, QBE operates in 48 countries, with a presence in every key insurance market. QBE North America, based in New York City, grossed more than $65 billion in 2012. Rated “A+” by Standard & Poor’s and “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best – financial-size category (XV).

Lloyd’s of London, which provides specialty insurance in over 200 countries and territories, is the underwriting company for the volunteer liability coverage and excess automobile liability coverage. Lloyd’s is rated “A” by A. M. Best and “A+” by Standard and Poor’s.

Volunteers Insurance Service Association, Inc., which makes this program available, is a risk purchasing group formed and operating pursuant to the Liability Risk Retention Act of 1986 (15 USC 3901 et seq.).

What kinds of nonprofits participate?
We insure some 2.5 million volunteers every year through 5,000 participating organizations. These include the Corporation For National and Community Service; human services organizations of every description; state and local governments; work-release and alternative-sentencing programs; and many others.

Coverage is not available for volunteer firefighters, volunteer rescue squad members, volunteer police officers, or sports team members.  (This is the policy language).

The accident portion of our volunteer insurance (with a different rate structure) is available to participants in work-release and alternative-sentencing programs. A local correctional system’s fear of being sued by injured participants often is a big obstacle to the successful formation or operation of work-release and alternative-sentencing programs. If accident medical reimbursement is no longer an issue, that obstacle often is removed.

Volunteer/Employee dishonesty coverage:
If you need a market for this coverage, it is available to participants in our VIS program, either in addition to the volunteer insurance or separately. The coverage is underwritten by Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, rated A+, Class X by A. M. Best.

The minimum annual premium of $203 covers up to ten volunteers or employees. Additional volunteers or employees can be covered for a minimal additional premium. We’ll be happy to provide details.

Membership in Volunteers Insurance Service:
The VIS insurance programs are available exclusively to members, who pay an annual $140 membership fee. VIS provides the following services to members:

  • Maintaining for members’ use a library of information relating to management of risks in the nonprofit organization;
  • Researching available and appropriate insurance relating to volunteer activities;
  • Designing and administering insurance programs, and compiling underwriting information;
  • Providing consultation on risk management issues at no charge to our members, via a toll-free line (800.222.8920);
  • Assisting members, on request, with matters relating to insurance.

Enroll your customers’ volunteers!
Click here to review Producer’s Agreement. Once you click “I agree” on that document, you will be taken to an application, which you can either submit online or print out and mail.