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Why it is important to insure volunteers separately from your organization

If you are like most nonprofit organizations, you have carefully considered the amount of liability insurance you need and can afford. Let’s say that limit is $2,000,000. In choosing that limit, you believe it should be sufficient to address the most likely kinds of unexpected liability incidents that may arise. You — and in many cases your board of directors — know that a loss much greater than this would be devastating. It may even shutter your operations. Like nearly all nonprofits who depend on volunteers to help carry out your mission, you wanted to protect your volunteers from a liability claim they might incur while working on your organization’s behalf.

What you probably have not considered as closely as you should is the impact including volunteers as insureds under your policy could have on your organization’s ability to defend itself.

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, when you put in the number of volunteers you want to insure for liability. (On the application, you’ll see that we also offer insurance for volunteers in case they are injured, or cause a vehicle accident. More information on those coverages is at http://www.cimaworld.com/nonprofits/cima-volunteers-insurance.

You won’t see an annoying “Chat now?” popup on our Website. But if you would like to talk to a human about the program, Jennifer Yarnell or Vicki Brooks would love to hear from you. They are at 800.222.8920, Monday through Friday.