Insurance Coverage for Organizations and Their Volunteers

Volunteering offers many benefits for individuals, from increased self-esteem to learning new skills. Sometimes, though, volunteers are asked to interact with the public, transport materials, and operate unfamiliar equipment. Since accidents can happen, do volunteers need insurance to protect themselves?

How Organizations Protect Volunteers

Most organizations carry insurance policies that help safeguard volunteers. General liability insurance is the most common. It defends against property damage, personal or bodily injury claims that may involve volunteer activities. Some nonprofits may even invest in workers compensation to protect volunteers.

Volunteer insurance, however, protects individuals when someone files a negligence claim against them. The coverage not only protects individuals who damage property or injure another person, it also protects volunteers that are accidentally hurt or their property is broken. 

Do Volunteers Need Insurance?

As individuals, volunteers can invest in certain insurance coverage to protect themselves. Volunteers should ensure they have adequate personal liability coverage, often a part of homeowners or renters insurance. If they use their vehicle while volunteering, they must have up-to-date auto insurance.

The best advice organizations can give individuals before they volunteer is to review personal coverage with their insurance agent. Having the right policies in place before donating time helps protect both the organization, the individual and fellow volunteers.