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Why your insurance agent probably hasn’t recommended that you insure volunteers separately

First, our Volunteers Insurance Service program is the only insurance program in America that is designed to insure volunteers’ liability separately. While we insure the volunteers for over 5,000 nonprofits across the country, we only recently began aggressively marketing our plans . . . . so, your agent probably hasn’t heard about us. (Over 300 agents that have heard about us enroll their nonprofit customers’ volunteers with us, though.)

When you aren’t aware that someone is actually willing to insure an organization’s volunteers separately, you look at the question of insuring volunteers as a binary one; either you can include them on your policy and protect them that way, or you can specifically exclude them from coverage and leave them without protection in the event they accidentally hurt someone or damage someone’s property.

We offer a third option, and a much better one. You can, and you should, insure your volunteers separately.

As agents and brokers discover this third option, they are recommending it. They rightfully leave the decision to you, but the choice is straightforward, and the question to be answered is a simple one:

If you woke up tomorrow morning facing a $2,000,000 liability claim arising from the clear negligence of one of your volunteers, would you rather:

  1. Share your organization’s liability limits with that volunteer, reducing the amount of insurance you have to defend yourself and to indemnify your organization; or,
  2. Know that your organization has EXCLUSIVE access to the full limits of insurance you purchased, and that your volunteer is protected by a broadly written – but separate – liability policy subject to a $1,000,000 limit of insurance.

Obviously, Option 2 is preferable — IF the cost of separate coverage is reasonable.

The cost is very reasonable – just $2.05 per volunteer per year. So if you have, for example, 50 volunteers, the total premium to cover them all is just 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. With 50 volunteers, that works out to $5 a volunteer – the more volunteers, the lower the cost. You can’t buy your volunteer a lunch or 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 — 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. There’s more information about those coverages at

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.