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Excess auto liability insurance for volunteers transporting discharged patients – a great way to attract and retain good drivers

Making sure discharged patients are able to get home, and to follow-up appointments, is critical. The last thing a healthcare facility needs is a readmission because those transportation needs were not met. When family members are not available, it often falls to volunteer drivers to provide transportation. But the “L word” – liability – often is a barrier. Volunteers who would like to provide this vital service worry that they might cause a vehicle accident, with damage that exceeds the liability limits of their personal auto insurance policies.  It’s an understandable concern; many drivers carry only the minimum limits their state requires.

Liability usually can be managed, and that definitely is the case with volunteer drivers. We offer a program – the only one of its kind – that provides up to $500,000 in additional liability protection above the limits of the volunteer’s own auto policy. In a serious accident, it can make the difference between a large out-of-pocket loss for the volunteer and a claim that’s completely covered.

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 restrict your access to competitively priced commercial auto coverage 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 would be less than $200 a year. 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 excess auto liability insurance, we also offer accident coverage in case your volunteers are injured, and volunteer liability coverage in case volunteers accidentally injure someone or damage someone’s property in activities other than driving. All the information is at http://www.cimaworld.com/nonprofits/cima-volunteers-insurance.