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The inexpensive way – the right way – to insure for volunteer injury and liability claims against HOA and condo owner volunteers

Most homeowner associations depend on volunteers. Unfortunately, even in the best-run operations volunteers sometimes get hurt, accidentally hurt someone else or damage property, or are at fault when running an errand in their vehicles.

Yes, you might say, that’s why our HOA has an insurance policy.  But consider this: Although your HOA’s general liability policy is appropriate protection in the event a member of the general public holds you liable for injury or property damage, it is not the best way to protect your volunteers. Here is why:

  • If a volunteer is injured, the “medical payments” provision of your general liability policy could respond, but the limits might be inadequate, and it’s likely that a claim would result in a premium increase at your next renewal. If the limits are inadequate, you might not be in compliance with the requirements of your directors and officers liability policy; i.e., that you maintain adequate insurance for your known risk exposures.
  • If a volunteer accidentally injures someone (including another volunteer) or damages someone property, same thing – a claim on your record, and probably a premium increase.

Let us suggest a way to insulate your HOA policy from nuisance claims and premium increases, while giving your volunteers the protection they need for the most common risks they face. It’s our Volunteers Insurance Service program, which allows you to insure volunteers separately from your HOA, at a cost that even the most budget-conscious organizations easily can afford.

We offer the following three types of coverage, individually or in any combination:

  • Accident medical – Up to $50,000 for treatment of a volunteer’s injuries, at $4.25 per volunteer per year
  • Volunteer liability – Up to $1 million for legal defense, judgments or settlements if a volunteer is held liable for injuring someone or damaging someone’s property, at $2.05 per volunteer per year
  • Excess auto liability – If you have volunteers who use their personal vehicles in their volunteer assignments, our policy pays up to $500,000 – in addition to the limits on the volunteer’s own personal auto policy – if the volunteer causes an accident during his or her assignment, at $7.45 per volunteer per year.

You just insure the greatest number of volunteers you would have at any given time. (All policies have a $100 minimum premium.) Your only other cost is our annual fee of $140 for membership in Volunteers Insurance Service Association, our risk purchasing group.

We currently insure the volunteers of some 5,000 nonprofit organizations nationwide, including many, many homeowner and condo owner associations.  Our customers tell us our program has been a tremendous help in recruiting and retaining good volunteers. Volunteers know they have risks, so they understand what a benefit our program is.

We’ve been in continuous operation nearly 50 years, and the insurance companies underwriting our program have top ratings from Standard and Poor’s and A. M. Best.

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.

All the information about what we offer, including the full policies themselves, is at http://www.cimaworld.com/nonprofits/cima-volunteers-insurance.

Best wishes to your HOA and its volunteers. We hope we’ll be working with you soon.