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Cheering business peopleAs a non-profit organization, you’re working to do the most good in as many ways as you can. Volunteers are important parts of nonprofit strategies.

Volunteers come with strong credentials and work ethics. However, they can be liabilities to organizations. Volunteers, despite their knowledge, can cause problems.

A volunteer might make a mistake that results in damages to people or property. It could cost the organization money, and open it up to liability and lawsuits.

As a non-profit, you want to protect your business, but you also want to protect your volunteers. With volunteer insurance, you can protect your volunteers and your non-profit.

What Insurance Covers Volunteers?

General liability insurance usually covers things like bodily injuries and property damages. In some policies, volunteers fit under the definition of those covered.

However, a separate volunteer insurance policy can often provide an added level of coverage.

There Are Laws That Protect Volunteers

Often, federal and state laws protect volunteers from liabilities from accidents or damages. The Federal Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 keeps complainants from unfairly holding volunteers responsible for damages. The keyword here is unfairly.

Generally, these laws protect a volunteer if he or she causes a problem out of a simple mistake. Different states and the federal law have different definitions and applications of these rules.

Volunteers usually have to have been working only within their assigned responsibilities for a law to protect them. The also generally have to not to have intended malice. 

There can be other exemptions to volunteer protection laws. Sometimes, a volunteer must have certification if a task requires it. Also, the federal act excludes some motor vehicle accidents in its volunteer protection law.

You should always know your location’s volunteer protection laws if you have volunteers. You should also apply any requirements, such as obtaining waivers from volunteers, before a volunteer begins work.

But, Don’t Forget the Business

Even though there are volunteer protection laws, these laws often protect only the volunteers. They may not cover a business.

In certain cases, a business could open itself to liability in case a volunteer makes a mistake on the job. In that case, liabilities could cause a business to lose money and face legal problems.

A volunteer insurance policy, in addition to your regular liability insurance, can protect your business from financial losses in the event of a problem caused by a volunteer.

If you have questions about special event insurance, call Bene-Marc, Inc. today at (800) 247-1734.

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