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Be there for your feeding program’s volunteers if they’re hurt, or cause a vehicle accident.

You depend on your volunteers to carry out your food program’s mission. They’re there for you. But if a volunteer is injured on assignment, or causes an accident while driving for the organization, are you there for them?

Volunteers know they have risks, including the risk they will be injured, or will accidentally injure someone else or damage someone’s property. Would it help your recruitment effort if you could tell the prospective volunteer this? “We do all we can to make sure everyone is working safely, but if you do get hurt, we have an insurance policy to make sure you don’t have to pay for your medical treatment yourself. If you are driving your vehicle for us and cause an accident, we also have a liability policy in case the limits on your own policy aren’t enough.”

Please allow us to introduce these policies one at a time…

The Volunteers Insurance Service accident medical policy provides up to $50,000 for treatment of the volunteer’s injuries. If the volunteer has other insurance, ours is in excess of that, but it reimburses copayments and deductibles. If the volunteer has no other coverage, ours becomes primary, first-dollar coverage with no deductible. All you need to do is report the injury to us, and we take it from there.

What would it be worth, to offer a benefit like that? The cost is $4.25 per volunteer per year – less than the price of lunch or a T-shirt, for a full year of protection. So if you have, for example, 50 volunteers, the total premium to cover them all would be $212.50 a year. With our membership and administration fee of $140, the total cost to insure 50 volunteers is just over $350 a year. Not a lot, considering the benefit for them and the positive effect on recruiting and retaining good volunteers.

Our excess automobile liability policy can keep the volunteer from having an underinsured claim on his or her personal auto insurance policy. Consider this: Volunteers aren’t usually covered under your organization’s commercial automobile policy, and you really shouldn’t add them. Adding them has the unintended but certain effect of putting your organization’s liability protection at risk; sharing limits with tens or hundreds of volunteers can leave the organization’s limits of coverage depleted, and leave the organization “underinsured” just when you need your coverage the most. Additionally, exposing your organization’s insurance to the cost of losses a volunteer might cause can leave you unable to find an automobile insurance company willing to offer coverage to you in the future.

The far better approach is to cover your volunteers’ automobile liability exposure separately. This approach preserves your organization’s liability limits and assures that they are there and available to you when needed; it reduces the likelihood that a series of volunteer auto incidents, or one serious one, jeopardizes your organization’s underwriting acceptance; and in many cases, it offers your volunteer broader personal protection than adding them to your policy would have provided. It’s a WIN-WIN-WIN proposition.

The cost?

It’s $7.45 per volunteer per year. So if you have, for example, 25 volunteers who use their own vehicles on their assignments, the total premium to cover them all for a full year would be less than $200. With our membership and administration fee of $140, the total cost to insure 25 volunteer drivers is less than $350 a year. So, for the price of a movie ticket, you can provide additional limits of auto liability protection that could prevent a volunteer’s having a significant, and maybe disastrous, out-of-pocket loss.

Here is a link to our online application on the Website of The CIMA Companies, the administrator of our volunteer insurance program —https://www.cimaworld.com/form/vis-volunteers-insurance-service. Your exact cost is computed automatically for you on the application, so you have that information without even talking with anyone here. But if you do want to talk to a real person about the program before you make a decision, Jennifer Yarnell or Vicki Brooks would love to hear from you. They are at 800.222.8920.

By the way, in addition to accident and excess auto liability insurance, we also offer volunteer liability coverage in case volunteers accidentally injure someone or damage someone’s property, other than in a vehicle accident. Some of the food programs participating in Volunteers Insurance Service also choose that coverage, which is only $2.10 per volunteer for a full year of liability protection.

All the information is at http://www.cimaworld.com/nonprofits/cima-volunteers-insurance.