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AARP: The Problem of Insuring Volunteer Drivers

Volunteer Drivers

In April, we posted on this blog about the problem of volunteer drivers not having reliable access to personal auto insurance. The problem occurs when insurance companies and agents fail to differentiate between volunteers who simply might be reimbursed for mileage, and Uber or Lyft drivers who use their personal vehicles to make a profit. The uncertainty over coverage has discouraged many would-be volunteer drivers. Caught in the middle are millions of Americans, especially older Americans, who depend on volunteers to drive them to medical appointments, shopping, visitation, polling places, and other destinations.

Now AARP has released a major study of the problem, and offered policy recommendations for the insurance industry and state legislatures, to end the confusion and make sure volunteer drivers and their clients can travel without worrying about the drivers’ liability issues.

AARP, through the Texas Transportation Institute, interviewed VIS, along with a number of other insurance sources, and examined state laws addressing the liability of volunteers. Those comments, and an analysis of state laws, are included in the report. (If you use the link above, you can click through to the detailed document and download it.)

If your organization has, or would like to have, a volunteer-based transportation program, we encourage you to review the AARP report and use it with the influence you have in your area, to help address the problem that has had such a negative effect on volunteer-based transportation while demand for that service is increasing so rapidly.

VIS offers excess auto liability insurance. If a volunteer causes an accident while on assignment and his or her personal auto insurance liability limits are insufficient, our excess automobile liability policy provides up to $500,000 in excess coverage. Details are here, on the Website of our business administrator, CIMA.

About VIS

Volunteers Insurance Service Association, Inc. (VIS) was established in 1972 for the purpose of providing insurance and risk management services for volunteer-based organizations. In addition to still providing these insurance services today on a nationwide scale, we have expanded to provide noninsurance resources for members to manage their risks and improve their operations. By transferring the volunteer risk exposure to our program, we can help you protect your organization. Contact us today at (800) 222-8920 for more information on our programs and services. Join now!