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Volunteer Liability Insurance Explained

Nonprofits and other volunteer-driven organizations rely on donated labor to carry out their organizational missions, but there are risks to volunteer labor. Not the same risks as those you take on by hiring employees, but nonetheless, your risk management strategy needs to include a form of public liability insurance for volunteers. Regular public liability policies covering your employees may not cover donated labor, but there are insurance providers who will write volunteer-specific policies.

What Kinds of Liability Are Covered?

When you get volunteer-oriented public liability coverage, it covers your liability in incidents involving volunteers working on your behalf. If that sounds broad, it’s because the policy needs to be broad. It needs to go where you go, and it needs to handle many types of possible damages. Potentially, you could have liability for injuries sustained by volunteers while working on behalf of the organization, but you could also face these scenarios:

  • Mistakes or bad faith actions by volunteers causing financial losses to third parties or donors
  • Accidents involving volunteers on or off-premises that result in injury or property damage to others
  • If needed, volunteer vehicle coverage can be bundled to cover liability for incidents involving volunteers driving their own cars on your organization’s behalf

Individual insurance providers will have slightly different parameters and offerings, so make sure you shop around to find the most robust public liability insurance for volunteers you can. It’s well worth the time spent to have the right insurance coverage.