The contributions of American volunteers were estimated at $167 billion for a single year!
As a non-profit organization, you may recognize that these contributions are invaluable to your cause. You may want both, protect the volunteers you have, as well as attract more like-minded, hardworking people.
Unfortunately, whether you're running an organization dedicated to animal welfare or a humanitarian cause, you know that injuries and illness are inevitable. That's why, when you have these pursuits in mind, accident and health insurance for volunteers is indispensable.
This article outlines what you need to know about protecting your volunteers with accident and health insurance as well as the benefits that come with it.
Let's get started!
1. Workers' Compensation and Volunteers
Most employees are covered by workers' compensation for injuries that occur within the workplace. Additionally, if you have general liability insurance, this may also cover your employees' injuries on the job. However, state laws are a little bit different when it comes to your volunteers.
Most states do not allow for this provision, and others allow it at the option of the employer. Additionally, even if your state does extend workers' compensation to your volunteers, it can be more expensive than getting separate insurance.
Given these facts, it only makes sense to get your volunteers insured through a specific insurance policy that works for your non-profit organization. Volunteer insurance policies do not work on the "at fault" principle. This generally applies to commercial general liability insurance policies.
2. Protection Against Injuries and Accidents
Insurance for your volunteers can extend to accidents and injuries that occur during those accidents while performing volunteer tasks. This may include:
- Coverage for medical expenses associated with the injuries
- Disability benefits (if applicable), or
Additionally, certain types of insurance may cover emotional damages and other losses associated with the injury. This would depend entirely on how comprehensive your coverage is. Be sure to choose a policy that works well for the type of accidents likely to occur during the course of your work.
For example, an animal shelter might see injuries like dog bites, bacterial infections, or other animal-induced injuries. Whereas, an organization like Habitat for Humanity might see more construction-related injuries or accidents.
3. Types of Insurance Available for Volunteers
The second point discusses protection against injuries and accidents to the volunteer. However, it is also worth noting that there are two additional types of protection your insurance may offer.
One is protection against damage done by your volunteers. And the other is vehicle insurance for when your volunteers require to perform a large part of their tasks using your vehicles.
In certain unfortunate circumstances, your volunteers may cause harm to others during the course of their work. Here, you'll need insurance to make sure you're covered for these accidents that cause injury to other persons and their properties. This can be very important if you want to protect the reputation of your organization and avoid unprecedented lawsuits.
4. Encourage Higher Volunteer Participation
While running a non-profit organization, people generally go one of two routes.
The first involves asking the volunteers to sign a waiver or a hold-harmless agreement. Here, you have the option of stating that you do not provide any insurance. The volunteer has agreed to take part on their own volition, and at their own risk.
The problem with this approach is that it might discourage volunteers from participating in your programs. While volunteers do not expect any remuneration, most people are unable to perform well with the apprehension of injury or a lack of protection.
For some, an injury would result in unwanted medical bills.
That's why your second option of getting accident and health insurance for volunteers is generally preferable. It leaves the door open for hardworking, dedicated people to volunteer without the anxiety of financially destabilizing injury on the job.
Do keep in mind that having a set of diligent, regular volunteers will also help reduce your expenses towards employees. A volunteer's work is estimated at $27.20 per hour. So while it may seem like an additional expense to spend on insurance, it's actually a cost-saving strategy.
5. Improve the Reputation of Your Non-Profit
Having a comprehensive protection policy for your volunteers is not just an encouraging sign to your volunteers. It also shows the public that you care. This contributes to the perception and goodwill towards your non-profit. This can make way for more donations, and in turn, may expand your ability to make meaningful changes in the world.
Get Accident and Health Insurance for Volunteers Today
Injuries and accidents are an inevitable part of any job. However, the right accident and health insurance for volunteers can help protect both the volunteers as well as your non-profit from unexpected expenses.
You deserve the peace of mind that comes with knowing your volunteers are taken care of. This will allow you to keep the focus on your cause, the way you were meant to.
At pomi we specialize in helping non-profits find comprehensive volunteer insurance plans that work for them. Schedule a meeting with our experts today, and let's talk about what we can do for you and your non-profit!