Rick Callaway of West  Callaway  Stotka, Inc., Pleasant Hill, CA has placed the volunteers of a number of his nonprofit customers in the CIMA Volunteers Insurance program. “It’s the most cost-effective way to insure the volunteers of my nonprofits,” he says. “And the company is really easy to deal with. I get all the information I need quickly.”

Emil Curran of Johnson Stevens Curran, Danbury, CT says the program “definitely plugs a hole for us,” especially when general liability carriers do not want to provide medical payments coverage for volunteers. He usually purchases all three available coverages – accident medical reimbursement, volunteer liability and excess automobile  liability. “The staff at CIMA is very helpful. The first time, they walked us through the coverage and made it very easy.”

Tammy Perez of R&R Insurance Services, Waukesha, WI — “Nonprofits often don’t think  far enough ahead  in terms of ‘what are we doing for our volunteers?’ Considering the potential  problems that could happen versus the low cost of the CIMA program, it’s a great value. From a selling standpoint it’s very simple, the carriers are solid, and the renewal is an easy process both for the insureds and  for us. This is an area a lot of agents overlook. We’ve been trying to educate our clients about it.” 

Workers’ compensation for volunteers is not an option in Wisconsin. The accident medical coverage offered through the CIMA program is R&R’s solution for that exposure, and is an inexpensive alternative even in states where workers’ compensation is available for volunteers.

Most nonprofits select all three of the available coverages because of the low cost, but the coverages also are available individually or in any combination – whatever best suits the client’s needs. For example, Roeding Insurance, with offices in Lexington and Crestview Hills, KY, has a specialty in public entity insurance, and has been placing volunteers in the CIMA Volunteers Insurance program for several years, for accident medical coverage only. 

Michele Barrett of Roeding —  “Our agency strives to provide comprehensive programs to meet all the insurance needs of our public entities.  Providing accident coverage is a crucial component of offering well-rounded service to our clients.  Customer service is the top priority of our agency and in our dealings with CIMA Volunteers Insurance, it is clear that they live by the same standard.  They provide an excellent product and they are a pleasure to work with.  The responsiveness of Vicki Brooks and Joan Wankmiller is second to none.  We are fortunate to have CIMA Volunteers Insurance  as a market for our clients’ accident coverage.”

Other agents have different niche markets where volunteer activity is a key risk exposure. One such agent is Ed Weber, of Community Association Insurance & Risk Management Agency, based in Cincinnati, which represents many homeowner and condominium owner associations and insures their volunteers through the CIMA program.

He says: “Most of my clients are of the common interest community type, with all board and committee members serving as volunteers. We agents should be mindful that there could be instances where those members are carrying out their voluntary duties and are subject to, or complicit with, physical injuries.” Periodic inspection of the facilities is  one example, but there are many others, he points out. “Associations can create volunteer duties, such as pool monitors, clubhouse co-coordinator, and light bulb replacement person. The most obvious exposures are those created by the board to reduce operating expenses; for example, organizing work sessions to assist the community by shoveling/salting common areas when the weather conditions have not met the threshold for their snow pushers to take effect; or landscape maintenance, painting, planting, repairing, etc.”

Bobbi  Barlow, vice president of Brown & Brown of Florida, Daytona Beach,  has found the CIMA program to be the right solution for yet another  niche market: “I write volunteer accident coverage for a large chain of senior living communities in Florida.  Each of their properties enjoys a great relationship with community and affiliated church members who want to offer their time and talents to the senior residents at the assisted living or skilled living facilities.  My client was pleased to be able to provide this coverage to these volunteers.  Because volunteers are not covered by workers’ compensation, this special coverage provides peace of mind not only to the client but also to the volunteers. As the agent, I am happy to deliver this product to my client.”

Many of the agents and brokers accessing the CIMA Volunteers Insurance program are very proactive in suggesting the coverage for their customers. Adrian Luttrell of Walker Brothers Insurance, Springdale, AR says, “We have sent two mailings in the past year to our nonprofits, suggesting that they avail themselves of these critical coverages  for their volunteers. We as insurance agents do not like to speak to the cost of an insurance product all the time, but the CIMA products are very economical, at a time when most nonprofits are struggling for funding.”

Fox Everett, Inc., with several offices in the Gulf Coast area, has placed accident medical, volunteer liability and excess automobile liability for the volunteers of a number of its nonprofit clients. Vice President Bobby Portwood: “We found that patrons of charitable organizations would volunteer with organizations that provided this protection to these volunteers. This coverage is reasonably priced and easily underwritten. We have found the coverage to be especially beneficial to insureds such as Humane Society and local non-profit job center.”