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Why it’s a mistake to include volunteers on your organization’s insurance policies…and how to protect them the right way

It’s one thing to want to protect your volunteers from a liability claim; it’s another to allow your insurance coverage to potentially be exhausted by giving volunteers access to your total limits of liability.

Sharing your limits of insurance equally between your volunteers and your organization is both dangerous and unnecessary.

The smarter, wiser approach is to insure your volunteers separately, and in doing so assure that your organization’s carefully chosen limits of liability are preserved and therefore available to defend and to protect your organization and your employed staff. By insuring your volunteers separately, you offer them protection just as broad – and in some cases, broader – than the organization’s own coverage. And the coverage is available to them and them alone, just as your coverage is available to you and you alone.

The cost?

It’s $2.05 per volunteer per year. So if you have, for example, 50 volunteers, the total premium to cover them all would be a little over $100 a year. With our membership and administration fee of $140, the total cost to insure 50 volunteers is less than $250 a year. Not a lot, considering the impact including them under your organization’s policy could have on your insurance limits. That’s $5 a volunteer a year. You can’t buy them a lunch or a tee shirt for less, and this lunch/tee-shirt equivalent expense completely protects your organization’s insurance limits.

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 volunteer liability insurance, we also offer accident coverage in case your volunteers are injured, and excess auto liability coverage for your volunteer drivers. All the information is at http://www.cimaworld.com/nonprofits/cima-volunteers-insurance.